Writing exercise: EE meets the Pope

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July 5, 2008 by Tracey S. Rosenberg

Evil Editor gave a writing exercise, thusly: Evil Editor is running a pitch session at a convention. The Pope comes in to pitch his novel. Write the scene. (For my own reference, here’s mine posted on the site.) And here it is:

“Evil Editor, I’ve cornered the market on infallibility, so trust me when I say this novel won’t simply move off the shelves, it’ll move MOUNTAINS!”

“Er, Papa, could you stop pounding your crosier into my foot?”

“Mea culpa. Tell your intern it’s stigmata; she’ll fetch coffee for the rest of your life. Now listen, it’s a classic Wizard of Oz story: young German boy forced to join the Hitler Youth, er, winged monkeys – by the way, in the press pack, skip over all that Waffen SS stuff; just say I was pressganged into peeling spuds for the Fuhrer – and after he causes his cathedral to fall on top of Heinrich Himmler, he makes a barefoot pilgrimage through occupied Poland, until he realizes that he had the power all along!”

“The almighty power of the risen Christ?”

“No, my red shoes! Aren’t they darling? Specially made by Prada.”

“So, Pontiff, are you planning to publish this under your own name?”

“His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Patriarch of the West – no, wait, I dropped that one – Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman province, Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City, Servant of the Servants of God. Nice ring to it, no?”

“That needs one hell of a small font if we’re cramming it all onto the spine. This sounds to me like a buddy novel; you got any sidekicks?”

“The Papal Master of Ceremonies, couple of cardinals, maybe a fisherman.”

“I think you need a canine companion – preferably a bitch with a puppy.”

“What for?”

“Best to give the market what it expects, and everyone knows popes love dogma.”


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Photo credit: Rahima Subhan

Tiny bio

I live, work, and write in Edinburgh. I travel to other places as much as I can. To contact me, email writingmostly at gmail dot com.


CURRENTLY READING: The Ginseng Hunter by Jeff Talarigo.

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