I grew up on the Marx Brothers and Monty Python. I wrote sketches that were very meta and would often turn in on themselves. This was my style. And if I was going to write a book that was going to be the book’s style as well. I hadn’t written a lot of prose, mostly short pieces for my college humor magazine. There I had learned the fun and elasticity of the language. These are things you can’t do in a script, where you have to keep the language of stage directions pretty bland and locked within a template. That’s probably why I love doing dialogue so much. Word play was play.
Having decided to write a book, I had to let the idea simmer. Notes & ideas & noodling all floated around. It was all percolating, but wasn’t reaching critical mass. I was hung up on the beginning. I knew where it was going to begin. I knew what the beginning of the quest was. I knew how the quest was going to kick off but I was finding it difficult to come up with an opening sentence. A sentence that could establish the scene, set the mood, mark my territory, draw the reader in and denote the fact that this book is a flat-out comedy. That’s a lot to ask of a sentence. It was a while in coming and I really couldn’t start until I could begin.
It did come (and I got to use the word “sex” which is always an attention-getter). And we were off to the races, and by races, I mean a series of long, drawn-out marathons lasting months into years.