(Inadvisable) Writing Advice, Uncategorized

The erotic pen(name)

People call me a lot of names. ~ The Palimpsest Pen

Dear P.P.,sexy-3150354_640
I’m an erotica author trying to come up with a good pen name, but I’m at a loss.

P.P.: There are a couple of proven methods to coming up with good pen names. If you write something spicy like erotica, using a single word as your name or combining it with the word “erotic” is always a good start. Here are some examples:

  • Blaze
  • Eroticwriter
  • Sexxxy (the multiple “x’s” makes it truly unique).

Another suggestion is to use an evocative name:

  • Dick Throbb
  • Lana Lickker
  • Harry Balzack
  • Silky Folds
  • Chesty McBosoms

Alternately, you could just use your real name because when people meet you, like at a parent-teacher conference, they will recognize how talented and famous you are.

(Inadvisable) Writing Advice

Opportunity knocks and carries a big gun.


Today’s question comes from a paid minion fan:

“Comment: dear palimpsest pen i have recently published my 
first work after nine AND three 
quarters years of careful crafting the public is finally ready to 
experience the gift OF my life story it contains profound 
insights drawn FROM my experiences 
that speak to the universal human 
condition i consider myself an activist for 
political change AS a free individual with 
agency i have made the stylistic choice not 
be bound BY the authoritarian structures of so-called 
grammar unchained FROM the fascist 
dictates of arbitrary rules my work can speak with its own 
voice AND its concepts can be experienced free from rigid 
bias AND self-perpetuating linguistic hierarchies some so-
called readers are oppressing me by claiming THAT my 
work is impossible to read AND ‘
that I should follow the so-called 
rules all they need to do is get used to 
my writing style AND they will experience 
my work as it 
was meant to be why must I bear this burden fernando”

P.P.: Dear “fernando”,

I can see your genius shining from your letter and tell you that self-publishing is not for you; no you deserve something greater. Something like an actual contract with a real-life publisher. But how, you wonder, with the rising slush piles, do you get noticed? Well, your letter gives me all the clues you should need.

Write cozy, romantic-themed mysteries. Your style is perfect. After you have finished your manuscript, put it into a plain, brown envelope with no return address and include a cover letter that fits the theme. For example, you shouldn’t be letting the computer or a simple typewriter dictate your choice and style of font. Cut your words out of magazines, newspapers (if you can find any—you can usually steal find some pages in a coffee shop), and the junk mail you get with fake car-keys glued to it. Affix these words with a combination of spit, tape and red paint to a piece of paper and don’t forget to put at the bottom, your phone number, the amount you believe you will earn from the publication over the course of the next century, and a time limit for them to get back to you (publishers appreciate this little reminder). Then dust a coat of baking soda over the top to set the glue and help it pass easily through the envelope.

After that, sit back and wait for the knock at your door. You’ll be famous in no time!

(Inadvisable) Writing Advice, Uncategorized


It’s only stealing if you get caught.- The Palimpsest Pen

copyright-3197524_640Dear P.P.,
I want to be an author, but I can’t seem to come up with any good ideas for stories. Any advice?

P.P.: Many people dream of becoming famous authors, but what can you do when you can’t write a coherent plot? There are dozens of free to join “fan-fic” sites and places where aspiring, but un-savvy writers post their stories. Find a few you like, change the names of the characters, and publish it as your own. Everything on the internet is free for the taking. Even if it has a copyright notice, it’s not like the literary police are going to come arrest you for stealing some words, right? Use a poster or still from your favorite Hollywood blockbuster as the cover. Famous actors are easily recognizable, and their appearance on your cover makes you stand out from the crowd!


Covered in Paint

You don’t need special talent to be an artist, just slap some paint on a canvas and you’re done. ~ The Palimpsest Pen

Dear P.P.,

I need a cover for my book, but I don’t want to pay for one. I have a standard “Paint” program on my computer, can I use that?

P.P.: Absolutely! I have used MS Paint for several of my book covers:


Just find some images that fit your story (or, better yet, write your story based on the images) and create your cover. No need to learn any fancy programs or acquire design skills. Make sure to use a font that matches the tone of your book, or mix it up by using several fonts for “visual interest”. And don’t worry about the size. Things like “DPI” and “Resolution” are only for printers. If it comes out fuzzy, consider it a “special effect”.

(Inadvisable) Writing Advice, Uncategorized

Getting reviews

I win. ~ The Palimpsest Pen


Dear P. P.,

I’ve finally published my first book, but how do I get reviews?

P.P.: Don’t let the hype about “honest reviews” get to you. Every review counts towards making you a household name, and the more 5 star reviews you have, the more obvious it is to everyone just how brilliant you are. There are several ways to farm acquire reviews:

    1. Create several “sock-puppet” accounts on websites that have your books and write your own reviews.
    2. Get friends and family to post reviews. You can even save them some time by writing the reviews yourself and letting them post them to their accounts.
    3. If you have some money to spend, there are several questionable reputable agencies on Fiverr and Craig’s List who will post hundreds of reviews for you overnight.


(Inadvisable) Writing Advice, Uncategorized

Your first time is the best.

Write sober. Edit drunk. ~ The Palimpsest Pen.


Dear P.P.,
Is it okay to publish my first draft without editing?

P.P.: If you’re an “Indy Author”, it’s expected. Readers don’t mind paying upwards of $7.99 for a book full of grammatical and spelling errors if it contains a good story. If you feel like you want to at least give it a first editing pass, have your mother or best friend check it over. They will never lie to you about your writing ability.

(Inadvisable) Writing Advice, Uncategorized

Getting the word out.

I would sell my grandmother for a top spot on the NYT Bestseller’s List. ~ The Palimpsest Pen


facebook-3204422_640Dear P.P., I have written a book, but I have no idea how to market it. What’s the best way to get the word out?

P.P.: The best advice is free advice, so here it is: Join every social media site you can, with multiple accounts (don’t let that rule of “only one account” dissuade you—rules are for suckers).  Join every forum on every book-related site you can (and even some non-book related—just for maximum exposure). Create your author profile and begin posting links to your book in every single thread. It doesn’t matter if they are related to marketing or even about books. What you want is visibility. And don’t be discouraged if you start getting kicked out of forums—it’s only because they are jealous that they didn’t think of such a brilliant marketing scheme first.

(Inadvisable) Writing Advice


I don’t need to follow grammar rules, I’m an author. ~The Palimpsest Pen


Dear P.P.,

I keep getting rejection letters. How can I make my writing seem more professional so publishers will take me seriously?

P.P.: Start out by getting a thesaurus. Everyone knows that literary fiction is the hottest market right now, and the way to break in is to show everyone how erudite you are. You don’t even need a plot, just an aggregation of epigrammatic perspicacity.


You’re smarter.

chess-2727443_640Dear P.P.,

I’m so frustrated! People just don’t seem to be interested in my books. I get bad reviews all the time and I don’t know why. What can I do?

P.P.: It’s not you—it’s them. As an author, you are definitely much smarter than the average human doofus, and you should remind any critics who question you by stating it in reply to their stupid reviews. You are a powerful creative entity who has surpassed the intellect of pretty much everybody. Don’t ever change, because someday, probably when you’re dead, someone will come to understand and celebrate the genius that is you.

(Inadvisable) Writing Advice, Characters, Uncategorized

Suspicious Characters

I am the greatest. Buy my books. — The Palimpsest Pen


Dear P.P.,

I want to tell everybody what my character looks like. What’s the best way to do this?

P.P.: Describing a character so that everybody sees him exactly how he is supposed to look can be tricky. One way is to have them describe themselves while they are looking in a mirror.

“Joe knew he was hotter than the average, 6’2” muscular jock. His twenty-two year old, unblemished skin was tan, like the kind of tan of a fawn’s coat, and smooth like a newborn baby’s butt (except it wasn’t soft and squishy, but rather chiseled like Michelangelo’s David)…”

You can also compare him to the actor who inspired you, or, better yet—post a picture with your description so that everybody knows who you mean.