How to Fight Presidents

A Book by Daniel O'Brien

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How to Fight Presidents

A Book by Daniel O'Brien

In stores now

Order today!

Update Journal » March, 2014

Guest Post on Suvudu

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

When you’re lucky enough that very nice publishers will pay you some money to write a book, you’re pretty quick to say “Yes” whenever they ask you to do literally anything.

“Hey, will you wake up at 4am to do a series of wacky morning radio interviews?” Of course.

“Will you talk to HuffPoLive about reconciling presidential admiration with how a bunch of them owned slaves?” I’m very unqualified to do that, but yes obviously.

“Suvudu, which is a RandomHouse website, does a March Madness-style cage match every year where fictional characters face off; would you like to write a battle between Katniss Everdeen and Trillian?” Um… Sure?

It was a thing I said I’d do a few months ago and then promptly forgot about until it was time to actually turn it in. It ended up being super fun to write but also one of the weirder things I’ve done. I did my very best to channel some of my favorite elements of Douglas Adams and failed hilariously in the attempt.

I also decided, for almost no reason, that all of Katniss’s dialogue attribution would involve dog sounds. I never meant to suggest that the character was a bitch, or that Jennifer Lawrence was particularly dog-like. I just noticed that Katniss’s first bit of dialogue was followed by “she said with a bow.” I wrote that because Katniss was bowing to her opponent. Then I realized “Hey, she also carries a bow. That wasn’t intentional. Is that clever? Probably not. Maybe people will think that’s clever, but probably not. Hey, speaking of things that are both clever and also other things, ‘bow wow’ is an onomatopoetic representation of how dogs speak. I wonder how stupid I can  be in this thing.”

And that’s why every piece of dialogue Katniss uses is followed by barked, growled, whined and so on. There’s nothing artistic behind it. I can’t stress enough that I’m not saying anything with this maneuver. It’s just dumb and small and the kind of thing that happens when someone tells me to “just write whatever.”

Anyway here’s that link again.




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