Once, in the life of every great author, there comes the uncontrollable urge to write a novel on the lachrymose side. Tear-jerkers, as they are affectionately called by the literati, make money, as they are read by old dowagers, the type that keep pekingese pets, and housemaids, who take care of the dowagers and loath the pekingese.

Thus we can readily see that a biblionion appeals to all walks of life, and with such a ready market, who are we to frown upon the wet handkerchief.

Undoubtedly the greatest tear-jerker of all time was East Lynne. The wailing, caused by this three-hankie book, reverberated around the entire globe. Thus we may call East Lynne a veritable textbook of the wet novel.

But, we must be careful not to attempt duplicating the pathos of Lynne in any manner. Several years after Lynne appeared the author wrote a book about Lynne's father, entitled South Paw, which met with universal disclaim. The author's West Abby, sometimes called Westminster Abby for short, also fell flat on dry eyes.

Therefore we must retain the tear producing elements of Lynne and build our own plot around them. And that's not all. We must not be content with a mere three-hankie, or four-hankie novel. Our finished product must be at least a two-towel special. Once we produce such a story, the book will sell like mad and with such an increase in towel sales, that the novel will produce, we can get a linen company to subsidize our novel, thus adding mene mene tekel to our coffers.


Before beginning the actual writing of our cryptic saga there are several prime requisites, necessary to get into the mood.

1. Attend three funerals a day for twenty-one days.
2. Force yourself to cry over the plight of the reducing complications which beset your obese mother-in-law.
3. Buy a print of the motion picture "The Jazz Singer" and become thoroughly saturated with "Sonny Boy".
4. Flood your innards with gin and work up a crying jag.

When you have completed the foregoing preliminaries you should be in such a state of physical and mental collapse that you will be ready to weep at the mere thought of Mother Westwind's inability to locate the seven little breezes. If you do not feel this way you'd better give up the idea of writing a biblionion and attempt to write jingles for Burma Shave.


-o- TITLING -o-

Finding a suitable nomenclature for your book will be quite a problem. The title of your novel should be short, snappy, astutely eye-catching; a combination of words that will stick in the memory of the public. Getting back to the East Lynne and it's sister novels, we discover that all of the directions except North have been used. You could call your novel North Pols, but somehow that title leaves me cold. Nor will titles with oblique directions, such as Southwest Suzie, or Northeast Murgatroid, captivate your readers imagination. Therefore we have no alternative but to think up original titles, such as The Life and Loves of Gertrude Gastrophy, or The Loves and Life of Bertha, the Huckstress. Then, there has been a marked trend toward the reiterative title, i.e. I Love You, I Love You, I Love You. You could make your central, tear-drawing character a drunkard and entitle your saga Hiccup, Hiccup, Hiccup, or Travelling Through Life With a Beer and a Burp, but inebriates are frowned upon by cocktail-filled sopisticates, the type that will purchase your book. By now you should readily see what an imbroglio we've got ourselves in to. This is exactly what will happen to you when you attempt to title your novel. As a last resort you can name your book Earl, Queen, King, or Duchess. These are titles that have withstood the test of time.

-o- PLOTTING -o-

All stories of this type must have a strong, well developed plot. It is most imperative to have your outlined plot before you at all times, thereby avoiding the possibility of ramifications or deviations. There follows a perfect example of a plot outline:

1. Joy Bernetha Bushes, working as a chamber maid at Belly Acres, palatial estate of Ivan Van Divan, scion of the flying Red Horse, become embroiled in the following complications:

a. Drops a whipped cream truffle down LadyBustleburp's back, almost loses her job.
b. Gets her car caught in a wringer, while trying to read laundry marks, almost loses her job.
c.While under the influence of her first mint julep, calls the cook a pismire, whereupon she gets one big smack in the puss, almost loses her job.
d. Shoots crap with the chauffeur, almost loses her.
2. Bernetha's charm captivates the eye of Tane Van Divan, the scion's son.
a. Tane chases Bernetha.
b. Bernetha runs.
c. Tane increases his pace
d. Bernetha runs faster.
e. Tane is cathing up with Bernetha.
f. Optional.
3. Bernetha and Tane get hitched.

a. Can a little girl, raised in poverty, live in Podunk?
b. Tane's wealthy friends snub Bernetha, Bernetha revolts and sticks out her tongue at the Grand Duke of Forturia.
c. The Grand Duke gets real wrathful, but the Duchess guys Bernetha a diamond tiara.
d. Whatinell's a diamond tiara?

4. The lovers quarrel, and, in round 4, Bernetha gently pops Tane on the noggin with an anvil.

a. Bernetha goes home to father. (Mother's a welder at Lockheed)
b. Tane seeks solace in the North Woods, comes home to find it in the bath tub.
c. Tane realizes he cannot do without his Joy Bernetha Bushes.
d. Your readers realize that something is up.
5. The beginning of the end.

a. Bernetha flys to Tane.
b. Bernetha spots Tane in the hammock.
c. Berneths chases Tane.
d. Tane runs.
e. Berneths hurries like all billyhell.
f. Tane slows down.
g. The lovers are united in
-o- THE END -o-

Data entry by Judy Bemis

Updated January 17, 2015. If you have a comment about these web pages please send a note to the Fanac Webmaster. Thank you.