Nodding off midbedtime ritual isn’t exactly the stuff of memories.
We tracked down the reclusive Lemony Snicket, famed author of the just-released musical whodunit book and CD, The Composer Is Dead. It took coaxing, but he reluctantly revealed the secrets behind telling a riveting lights-out tale.
1. Ask your child what the title should be. This stalls for time and spreads the blame if the story’s no good.
2. Name the villains after people who wronged you in high school.
3. When you get stuck, remember Raymond Chandler’s advice: “When in doubt, have two guys come through the door with guns.” The bedtime equivalent is a clumsy talking animal holding a tray of cream pies.
4. At the end of the story, all of the characters should be very, very tired.
5. Don’t bring your cocktail, because you might accidentally leave it and wake your child when you sneak back to retrieve it. Alternately, you may forget about it entirely and three days later someone will find a warm martini on your child’s dresser.
(Note: This has never, ever, ever happened to him.)
The Composer Is Dead is available online at amazon.com or at your local bookstore.
Long story short: Share this great advice with your tale-telling pals.
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