The Author's First Rule
Author’s first rule
People are stupid.
Explanation by Mytard Mytardicus Mytardian
People can be made to buy any trash, either because they have absolutely know taste, or because they dig badly written, violent, derivative fiction with lots of naughty bits.
Author’s second rule
The greatest harm can result from admitting you are wrong.
Explanation by Madmoose Madmoosian Mcmoosie
Sometimes, being honest can lead to a drop in sales. Instead, proclaim long and loud that you are misunderstood. Overreach your talent, then blame your readers. Retcon ‘til your fingers bleed. Doing what your mother told you is the right thing can cause more harm than good. Violation of this rule can cause anything from discomfort, to disaster, to death. Remember, there is no such thing as bad publicity.
Author’s third rule
Passion rules reason, for better or for worse.
Explanation by Mindonner Mindonarian Mindoiusousity
Try to get your fans passionately committed to buying your books. After investing hundreds of dollars, they’ll work their asses off justifying why they spent so much money on what is basically toilet paper printed between perfectly good covers. Letting your emotions control your reason may cause trouble for yourself, so always keep your cool. Encourage those around you to lose it when people disagree with them.
Author’s fourth rule
There is magic in graphic violence, naughty sluts, almost rape and really, really long speeches. In graphic violence, naughty sluts, almost rape and really, really long speeches you give, but more so, you receive - buckets of cash.
Explanation by Myshkin Kin’myshy Manmishiomannus
There’s enough 12-year-olds and bed-wetting virgins in the world who will buy crap (as long as it has graphic violence, naughty sluts and almost rape) that you can easily afford that shiny penis-mobile the cool kid in high school had but you didn’t because you were to busy not being able to read and learning from wolves. When they grow up, you can put in those really, really long speeches (‘cause you get paid by the word) and they’ll just skip over them to get to the naughty bits. Plus, then you can claim your books are high art, and hopefully sucker in some nobby blokes who will pretend to read the speechy bits, but really just want to read about graphic violence, naughty sluts and almost rape.
It is noted by S’teven Eriks’on that it is not imperative that you believe in your own speeches, ‘cos if you did you’d be such a huge dick that only idiots as big as you could stand your presence. Oh, hold on...
Author’s fifth rule
Tell people to mind what you say, not what you write, for it will help you cover the fact that you’re just making up shit as you go along.
Explanation by the noblest Goat in the Mountain
Because retconning only works if you can keep track of what you’ve said in the past (and God knows you don’t want to have to re-read your own work, that’s what rabid, leg-humping fanboys are for), you need an out. This is your ace in the hole ‘I’ve got a teleporter built into my bionic leg’ escape from any awkward situation. Seriously, ninja’s with smoke bombs wish they had this. Take every opportunity to proclaim that the actual words are secondary to the noble ideas you are using to write them. Pick an obscure philosopher who is an academic joke as a backdrop - Ayn Rand is intellectual masturbation for people who believed it when their mothers told them they were the smartest little boy alive, but landed their jobs by marrying into the company. She’s perfect. Use her. Bonus points for plagiarism. Double points if you can insult your fans’ intelligence (more so than you already are).
Author’s sixth rule
The only sovereign you can allow to rule you is your yeard.
Explanation by Yeardi vonNamblecock
The yeard knows all, sees all, and if I tie it tight enough, it’s a substitute for a facelift. The only sovereign I can allow to rule me is my yeard. It does not make you look constipated. The first law of they yeard is this: it draws attention away from your receding hairline. From this irreducible, bedrock principle, all self-delusions are justified. This is the foundation from which fantasies about the women who would like to fuck you are spawned. Yeards are a privilege, not a right. Wishes and whims are not yeards, nor are they a means to discover them. Yeards (and cash) are your only way of getting sweaty, hairy chicks at WorldCom -- it's our basic tool of survival.
Explanation by Tairy al’Badkind
Misery, iniquity, and utter destruction lurk in the shadows inside [a yeards’] full flowing, where sports jackets are did not go out of fashion in the 80’s. The yeard can draw faithful disciples, the deeply feeling believers, the
selflessbrainless followers. Faith and feelings are the warm marrow of evil that let you sell more books to suckers, so be nice to people when you meet them in person. Like yeards, faith and feelings provide no boundary to limit any delusions, any whim. They are a virulent poison, giving the numbing illusion of moral sanction to every depravity ever hatched. Use them to your advantage. Reason is the very substance of truth itself, so whatever you do, if one of your mindless drones shows some whisker of reason, get ‘em banned from your website and don’t sell ‘em tickets to your overpriced meet-and-greets. Faith and feelings are the darkness to reason's light, and if it’s dark enough you might be able to mug ‘em and rifle their pockets. The Sixth Rule is the hub upon which all rules turn. It’s Sixth and not the First because of shut the hell up. It is not only the most important rule, but the simplest. Nonetheless, it is the one most often ignored and violated by pimply fat guys who try to look like you but don’t have the dildo far enough up their asses.
Author’s seventh rule
Life is the future, not the past.
Explanation by W’lu W’luarian W’luzoolander
Continuity is for suckers. If something you write now is contradicted by something you wrote in the past, just ignore it. People are stupid and will forget or not pay attention, because they are too enthralled by your bitchin’ ass prose and wickid awesum depictions of real human values. It might help if you include a really long and confusing infodump on how it’s
kosher(fucking weirdo diversity) just fine because of some shit you forgot to make up before. And you can never go wrong with a really long speech.
Author’s eighth rule
Deserve your fanbase.
(Translated from “needem fuckwits” in High R’andian, the secret language of Objectivists, which usually used to exploit suckers for cash).
Explanation by Maid of Wolves, noble animals they be
justifiedunreasonable in your convictions. Be completely committed. Earn what you want and need rather than waiting for others to give you what you desire.See rule 10. Have your official websites run by your most dedicated, unreasoning fans, some real nutters who are willing to ignore your insanity, and spend their time either whitewashing your stain on the internet, or praising you to high heaven. Occasionally show up for chats or interviews. Use plants to lob you easy questions, then praise them for being so clever. Watch ‘em wriggle like you were petting a greased puppy. Eat greased puppies, they are good for you, and their bones are still soft so they don’t stick in your throat. Don’t let others know about it, ‘cause it’s a subtle tell that you’re actually EEEEEEEEVIL. Though to be honest, if they didn’t figure it out with Michael, they probably won’t see it now.
Author’s ninth rule
A contradiction cannot exist in reality. Not in part, nor in whole.
Explanation by Vigourous Carpathian
Like the Wizard’s Fifth rule, this should be bleeding obvious, to the point that there is no real need to actually say it. In fact, proclaiming this as some sort of Great Truth is frankly, a little embarrassing. Like, “my reference of choice is Conservapedia” embarrassing, or "I think Tom Cruise is soooo cool, he informs my choice in religions" embarassing. Use this to your advantage. Proclaim it as a great truth, then spew out so many contradictions in your books and interviews that people start to believe you are either a great thinker too subtle for their puny minds to understand (even though you have the writing talents of Christopher Paolini) or just fucking bonkers. When people point them out and ask questions, grab the first tangent you can think of and announce it like it was the Sermon on the Mount, then insult the questioner with ‘elegant subtlety’. Ignore the fact that you just basically admitted to anyone with a modem and a sausage of common sense that you were stumped. Embrace any random impulse that strikes your fancy-- imagine something is real simply because you wish it were (‘cause that’s what Richard would do). You must abandon the most important thing you possess: your rational mind. You weren’t using it anyway.
Author’s tenth rule
Wilfully turning aside from ripping off another author’s work is treason to one's self.
Explanation by Ezrulie the Unruly (who’s name finally made sense last night at about 1:30 a.m.)
Look, honestly, why would you bother doing all that work when someone else has done it for you? When people ask about it, be shrill in your denunciation. Turn your venomous antagonism on an entire genre if anyone dares to point out the truth. To those seeking the truth, its a matter of (your) simple, rational, self interest to always keep reality out of sight - be photographed in front of the bookshelf filled with used non-fiction that you prominently display in your livingroom, and keep your REAL bookshelf locked up in your S&M dungeon. Truth is rooted in reality, after all, not the imagination.