These are hard times, people. Really, really hard times. My dad lost his job, my mom’s career is on the brink, and both of my parents have resorted to stealing tricycles from toddlers and selling them on eBay for extra income. Ok, the last one isn’t true, but you get the idea.

Now what can I, an infamously lazy teenager, do to help my family in these days of doom? I’ve been pondering this for a while, and I think I’ve hit upon a brilliant solution. This is how it goes: I will write an incredibly crappy romance novel featuring mythical creatures that hitherto have been considered undesirable and/or weird as hell, but with my help will soon be considered the height of schmexiness. I will fill aforementioned novel chock full of misplaced adjectives, the ideological equivalents of passing gas, and lots of glitter. And I will proceed to sell millions of copies of my heinous novel to unsuspecting (or suspecting) American teenagers under the pseudonym Killjoy Lawrence. In other words, I will follow in the admirable footsteps of Stephanie Meyer.

I think a few more details will be illuminating as to how I will carry out this monumental task. Character #1, whom I shall lyrically dub Faint Echo, will be known solely by the fact that a) she narrates the story, and b) in personality, she closely resembles a white crayon – by which I mean to say, I could color her over every scene and still the only thing visible about her would be her fanatical infatuation with an unlikely love interest. If anyone views this character depiction as wrongly one-dimensional, I’ll have you know that Faint reads Emily Dickinson poems and fancies herself a reclusive genius. At some point in the plot she will throw her Dickinson books and her dreams of genius out the window in order to be with her fanatical infatuation.

Which brings me to Character #2, also known as Mr. Studly, an individual who lives to be unbearably good-looking and plot-servingly mysterious. In case you still feel a little unclear as to his role in the book, this should help you out: he also happens to be staggeringly sexy, magnificently muscular, seductively shiny, glitteringly gorgeous, Stonehenge-ingly statuesque, bodaciously beautiful, preposterously perfect, and filamentously, fortuitously, fragrantly frothy. Yes, frothy. He will probably act like a total douchebag towards Faint Echo throughout the book, but we couldn’t care less because we keep forgetting she exists in the first place.

The other characters in the book don’t really matter. You and I both know that the crowning achievement of this literary endeavor will amount to getting #1 and #2 into one another’s arms and, um, bodily cavities (nevermind the fact that #2’s body cavities are the only ones you give a damn about). If there are other characters at all they will merely serve to distract the lovers from their creepy, obsessive bliss long enough to extend the book to three hundred pages. Furthermore, they’ll give me a chance to populate my semi-mystical world with inexplicably warped versions of fantastical beings. You want werewolves? I give you…a troupe of cheerleaders that morph into flying poodles on the summer solstice!

I was also going to discuss the not-so-subtle ideological bent of my creation, but the concepts are so insidious and downright stupid that I thought I’d spare myself the embarrassment for now and just let you pick them apart later. Unless someone thinks I can get away with a digression on Marxist conceptions of consumer culture-–and maybe a short one on literature and the postmodern consciousness? Maybe? Ok, I’m thinking that’s a no.

I happen to have one major predicament with this project, other than the whole selling-my-soul-to-the-devil conundrum. I have no idea what sort of mythical creature Ed—er, make that Mr. Studly–-should be. For copyright reasons, vampires are obviously off of the list. Werewolves too. Dragons are a bit too scaly to be the schmexiest of the schmexy. Gnomes always seem to be old men in pointy hats—and while this wouldn’t stop the brave, stereotype-busting Ms. Meyer from conceiving of them as aging sex gods with beards that turn to fireballs in the event of a snowstorm, some of us can’t get away with such epic revisions of mythical identities.

In keeping with stereotypes, dwarves apparently have really bad manners (not to mention breath), and therefore would not at all fit the character of abusive, pathologically insane, but oh-so-dazzlingly-delectable boyfriend-to-be. Anything with elves will brand me as unoriginal even before people decide to read my decidedly unoriginal book. If I choose to create a leading male character that doubles as a fairy I will risk challenging traditional gender roles far too blatantly for the parameters my disgustingly traditional novel. I can’t be subversive unless, you know, I’m being subversive in an idiotic and meaningless way. And, to top off the list of available mythical creatures, wizards are so passé!

What I need from you, dear reader, are suggestions. What sort of special should Mr. Studly be? Dig deep. But not too deep. If I’m going to save my family from total financial crash-and-burn before the end of the year, I need to be armed with some pretty shallow material.

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  1. Reggie on 3 March 2009, 02:31 said:

    Make him a Heliopath. Get it? Because he’d be like, hot.

  2. SlyShy on 3 March 2009, 03:08 said:

    You’ll have to make him a demon, because your fans will love the conflicted bad-boy type.

  3. The Drunk Fox on 3 March 2009, 03:18 said:

    I was thinking the same thing, SlyShy.

  4. Kitty on 3 March 2009, 03:37 said:

    Fukken lol.

  5. Ari on 3 March 2009, 03:45 said:

    Some sort of hybrid..bird…something. Have conflicted insticts and stuff. Yeaaah.

  6. SlyShy on 3 March 2009, 03:47 said:

    As it turns out, it kind of sounds like this novel will actually happen.

    The title is Sich Schnappen Maleficarum.

  7. Ty on 3 March 2009, 03:51 said:

    Copyright it, Sly! Copyright it RIGHT NOW or Mr.-soon-to-named-other-than-Studly will dissolve you into a puddle of Sich Schnappen by way of creepy Maleficarum gorgeousness!

  8. SlyShy on 3 March 2009, 03:56 said:

    Let’s try that again.

    The title is:

    Sich Schnappen Maleficarum™

  9. SlyShy on 3 March 2009, 03:57 said:

    Also, first person to figure out where the title comes from has apparently really good language skills.

  10. Crystal on 3 March 2009, 04:28 said:

    Ty, I cannot wait to see this novel. The only thing it’s missing is llamas (assuming this is the Ty I know…sorry in advance if the joke was moot).

  11. SlyShy on 3 March 2009, 04:35 said:

    Yes, the llama joke was not a horrible faux pas here, have no worries.

  12. OverlordDan on 3 March 2009, 09:00 said:

    I would just like to be on record as saying:
    Best. Gnomes. Evar.

  13. elvesrule on 3 March 2009, 09:40 said:

    Mr. Studly should totally be an elf, if you want more variation you could make him a fire elf, water elf, space elf, dark elf or an any adjective you can think of elf!

    I can’t phantom why you didn’t think of this yourself!!!

  14. Lucywannabe on 3 March 2009, 10:27 said:


    Ohhhh, I know—make him a Selkie. They’re supposed to be hot in order to seduce human females (that way we can have endless descriptions of his manliness), so he could be all angsty about his existence because he doesn’t want to tear her to shreds after knocking her up but it’s in his biology and OMG HE’S SO CONFLICTED. Oh, and also, the smex would be hot.

    There you go. Another really good mythos to bastardize! :D

  15. Puppet on 3 March 2009, 10:34 said:

    What kind of sport do they play in the rain?

  16. Juniper on 3 March 2009, 10:46 said:

    This is a great idea, Ty. I wish you luck.
    As far as a game in the rain, they could all play golf. It has endless possibilities for glamorizing, action sequences and money shots. (In case they make your book into a movie.) :P

  17. Juniper on 3 March 2009, 10:48 said:

    Sorry about the double post, but you could make Ch #2 half troll or something. I’ve seen that before.

  18. WiseWillow on 3 March 2009, 12:07 said:

    Ooh, I know! Make him a centaur! That way we have him never wearing a shirt (so you can describe his fantastic pecs and ripped abs every time he appears), and feeling horribly, horribly conflicted because, #1 is HUMAN. He’s part HORSE (and horses don’t wear clothes, so his…erm…equipment would be readily visible). Oh, the wangst! But in times of danger, #1 can hop on his back and he carries her away to safety! And of course, at some point we’ll have to have some mysterious, never heard of before, ancient lost potion that can make him a human so he can live with his twue wuv. And then there shall be badly/barely described awkward honeymoon sex. With exploding pillows.

  19. Eragon'sShrink19 on 3 March 2009, 16:00 said:

    “You’ll have to make him a demon, because your fans will love the conflicted bad-boy type.”


    Oh yeah, that’d be great. You can make him like, the the devil’s son and have her give up her soul to go out with him. That’d be like, perfect.

  20. Reggie on 3 March 2009, 18:59 said:

    To Grab of Witches? I think you might mean Maleficae (the nominative plural for witch), but you’re playing on Malleus Maleficarum?

    Congratulations, son, you just got not-a-math-major’d. MaleficIs Amorem Efficat!

  21. Artimaeus on 3 March 2009, 21:11 said:

    Or rather, make him a fallen angel. It’s like a demon, but your moral message can be even more pretentious. Or maybe an Esper, just cause they’re cool (and vague enough to do whatever you want with ‘em).

  22. Moonehs on 3 March 2009, 21:23 said:

    Zomigawd, this is the best! I try to explain to my friends why Twilight is such a terrible example of American lit, but they don’t get it. They read this, and were like ‘What is this shit?’. When I let them read the first two paragraphs, they proceded to beat me with their spikes (note: you should never piss off XC and Track girls. I am one of them, and I know from experience)

  23. RisenDemon on 3 March 2009, 21:41 said:

    Just so that you could claim that you were being original, you could make the male the uninteresting character and the super-sexy character could be a female fairy.

  24. Ty on 3 March 2009, 22:23 said:

    Dammit, people, these suggestions are TOO awesome. I’ll have to write fifty bestselling novels now, and then my family will be filthy rich and everything will suck in a filthy rich sort of way!

    Although, with that much money, I could just send you all a bunch of stimulus checks. I could send the whole nation stimulus checks! And everyone would be happy!

    Maybe a better policy would just be to create a Twi-parody Writing Project on II? Allocation of labor ftw!

    And yes, I realize I use far too many exclamation points.

  25. Dan Locke on 4 March 2009, 11:30 said:

    Yeah, demon or dark elf. Like Edward Cullen, but replacing blood-sucking with even more general wangstyness.

    Also, I’ll have you know that I already came up with half-trolls. They were a crossbreed of trolls and elves called Trelves.

  26. ScribblingSara on 4 March 2009, 14:08 said:

    Why not a dragon? One that can transform into a human, and is the only of its kind that would treat humans with warm feelings. There are of course other dragons around that also looks like humans, but don’t like them and DEFINITELY don’t like one of them mingle with a human girl:P

    Eh, morphing dragons would be an interesting idea – if I cut the romance

  27. Snow White Queen on 4 March 2009, 20:50 said:

    I think you should make him a demigod. That way, he’ll be hot, and totally ungettable.

  28. Snarf on 5 March 2009, 02:09 said:

    Go with bigfoot. Very manly.

  29. Snarf on 5 March 2009, 02:11 said:

    No. Wait.
    Time traveling viking warriors.

  30. Ty on 5 March 2009, 02:22 said:

    I’m ashamed to say that that video elicited an utterly valley-girlish reaction from me. It went something like this:
    Hm. Maybe it wasn’t necessary for me to share that. But…yeah. I now <3 time traveling viking warriors and I’m certain that some day, one will be the father of my children.

  31. SlyShy on 5 March 2009, 02:42 said:

    Those videos are so bad, and I actually watched all of them. I could feel what was left of my sanity. Slipping away. I never thought. I’d miss it. No I can’t. Think any. More. Damn. . . .

    But, seriously, I want to make fun of those videos, but the pure wtfs/minute are through the roof. I’ve never seen such concentrated stupid in a single video before. I’m absolutely floored.

  32. Snarf on 5 March 2009, 11:25 said:

    The thing is, in this case the author realizes it’s fucking ridiculous. I think the videos are half parody, half advertisement.

  33. Juniper on 5 March 2009, 15:45 said:

    That video is great. It’s so absolutely stupid that it couldn’t possibly be mocked. It is it’s own mockery.

  34. lookingforme on 5 March 2009, 17:20 said:

    Hehehe…selling your soul to the devil indeed. But it is for a good cause!
    I personally would vote for the demon idea. Or the centaur idea (lovely descriptions of his rippling six-pack would be in order there). But whatever you do—make it really REALLY bad, because that, apparently, is what sells.

  35. Thebazilly on 7 March 2009, 22:24 said:

    Hi. First time commenting, but I’ve been reading the articles here for a while.


    Going with the demon idea, why don’t you make Character #2 a succubus?

  36. Lookingforme on 11 March 2009, 17:41 said:

    Forgive my ignorance, but what’s a succubus?
    No offense, but I don’t think that having TWO mythical creatures would work, because then you couldn’t write about the (really ANNOYING!) inferiority complex the human partner has.

  37. Corsair on 16 March 2009, 19:41 said:

    Okay, I have a couple suggestions.

    Aes Sidhe – they’re renowned for being total bastards. More commonly called Fairies.

    Djinn – Again, typically assholes.

  38. sakuuya on 16 April 2009, 16:16 said:

    Looking, a succubus is a sex demon, basically. They look like hot women, and they tempt mortals. I think the male equivalent is an incubus, but I’m not totally sure on that one.

  39. Latticino on 10 May 2009, 19:02 said:

    Hi. First time commenting here.

    Why not make him an imp?

    btw, my name refers to a type of glass, not fancy coffee.

  40. Steph on 16 May 2009, 01:41 said:

    Edward IS an incubus. No, wait, sorry, a vampire. No, wait, WHAT?

    Props to Smeyer for messing her legends up.

  41. Danielle on 1 June 2009, 15:15 said:

    Although I like the whole demon idea, I think I have a better one:

    A DOL employee.

    Think about it! They’re usually rude, snotty, not helpful at ALL, and they take your picture before you’re ready so you look like a mentally challenged hippo on your driver’s license—in other words, PURE EVIL. But if Mr. Studly were an intern at the DOL place who ends up falling for Faint Echo when she comes in to take her driver’s test…. it would be so romantic! Plenty of opportunities for purple prose about how that zit on his chin made him look like Steve Martin. And since DOL rules mandate he make the subject look as awful as possible in their photo, he could show his love for her by skirting around that rule and putting a picture of himself on her license so that even if she doesn’t look like herself, she’ll still look heartbreakingly sexy.

    It’s a love story for the ages.

  42. SMARTALIENQT on 7 June 2009, 19:29 said:

    Sich Schnappen Maleficarum™

    — SlyShy · Mar 3, 01:56 AM ·

    Also, first person to figure out where the title comes from has apparently really good language skills.

    — SlyShy · Mar 3, 01:57 AM ·

    Itself Snapping Witches?

    I take German, and Google just gave me The Hammer of Witches for Malleus Maleficarum, as in the witch hunter’s manual.

  43. SlyShy on 7 June 2009, 19:41 said:

    Well, it turns out the joke we thought we can up was entirely incorrect. We thought it would be “Nailing Witches”, which is both a pun on “The Hammer of Witches” and also a reference to the witch that gets, erm, nailed.

  44. Anonymous on 7 July 2009, 02:37 said:

    Make Mr. Studly a hippogrinfth. Just a suggestion. Fill in your reasons here. Or you could make him a… Phoenix!? haha. Maybe a Sphinx, or a Siren, Kraken, Pegasus, Elemental creature, the list goes on and on… Oh maybe you could make up your own!

  45. lizzie on 29 August 2009, 14:04 said:

    MERMAID. Seriously, that’d be awesome.

  46. Snow White Queen on 29 August 2009, 16:55 said:

    Haha, the mermaid problem could be a significant factor.

  47. Casper on 1 February 2010, 18:06 said:

    “conceiving of [gnomes] as aging sex gods with beards that turn to fireballs in the event of a snowstorm..”

    YES. DO IT. OMG. |:

  48. Kloof on 18 April 2010, 16:36 said:

    Mr. Studly.
    That’s great XD