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How to write a manifesto

My kind of mess
****For years or decades you have been stewing and scheming, working yourself into a towering rage, and now you have finally resolved to make your grievances and ambitions known to all the world. It will not do at all to put these down in the form of an email sig, a T shirt slogan, or a Myspace page, where it will simply languish, swallowed up in the noise of modern life. Even in olden times a villain would go to the considerable expense of inscribing their dire pronouncements on slabs of ink-black granite in crimson characters a handspan high, placed at the busy crossroads for every peon in the region to gaze upon, knowing that by this act alone, simple and non-violent though it might seem, they have magnified their future reputation as a figure of dread, thus making it that much more likely that their opponents will capitulate early.

*Evil plotpoints

  1. Marathon. Compose as much as possible initially in a white-heat blaze of inspiration without interruption, trusting in the spirit within you to provide the boost in eloquence that is so admired in a manifesto.
  2. Edit. Once you have cooled down a little bit, let the draft rest for a while, then come back to it with an eye toward the larger structural units which constitute your thesis. A hierarchical outline may be useful to write out at this time. Rearrange the paragraphs to flow better, and for sections which are not as strong as they should be, supplement or eliminate. Pay attention to the sound of your words when shouted from a streetcorner. You may wish to incorporate rhetorical devices (external link) to enhance the rhythm of the manifesto.
  3. Adornment. You may wish to illustrate your screed with pictures demonstrating your single-minded ruthlessness in order to impress your audience. Or perhaps a more subtle approach is more to your taste, with section headings written out in what cannot be mistaken for anything other than human blood. Add ornamentation in a way which complements your message rather than overwhelming it.
  4. Distribution. Having your henchmen handing them out at downtown street corners is a start, but it is hard to reach more than a couple of hundred that way before the authorities catch wind of your operation. An airdrop or document-bombing may do better for you, or perhaps pinning a large, easily-readable poster-sized version of your work in a public place. If you can enchant the latter to keep people from taking it down, so kudos to you.

! Strokes of genius

  • Multimedia. Some evildoers eschew the printed word in favor of such things as audio communiqués or music videos. Unless you have professional expertise in these areas, it is often best to seek outside expertise to keep the production values high and to preserve the essential message you need to get across. Be aware that simplicity is best in these settings, and that a thickly structured written document will need to be pruned considerably for a successful adaptation.
  • Manifesto exchange networks. Some evildoers have banded together to distribute their manifestos cooperatively, where each member of the network produces a certain number and sends them off to everyone else in the group for them to disseminate. Be sure that any groups you join are composed of non-competing outfits who are trustworthy enough to take the effort to spread the hateful word instead of simply dumping them on a scrapheap somewhere.
  • Outsourcing. If you are not favored by the muse to set your notions out in a pleasing form, or if you are simply too busy terrorizing the weak and destroying the Earth to put in the time it takes to do a good job, you might have some luck with an evil PR agency who can take care of the details on your behalf. Be careful about inflated promises about the quality and quantity of ill-repute you might be led to believe will accrue to your reputation, structuring a contract if possible according to some mutually acceptable measures of effectiveness in conveying the message.
  • Recruiting. A well-designed manifesto is invaluable in you need. It will help you zero in on those who can become committed and more or less willing supporters. It can form the basis of a rousing pledge all are required to recite on pain of liquidation and a screening tool to identify moles in your organization.

!! Traps for mere fools

  • Credit theft. It is all too tempting, especially when just starting out as a malefactor, to put out a statement implying or stating outright that one is responsible for some dastardly deed actually committed by another. It is possible to get away with this, for a while, but over the long term the damage that this can do to one's credibility is hard to repair.
  • Repetition. It is too easy to emulate the style of a manifesto one admires to an extent where the reader starts to wonder whether one's ideas are no more original than one's words. Likewise, it is accounted a fault when you rely too heavily on the same words and turns of phrase over and over again within the same text, confusing the inattentive reader as to whether they have read a particular paragraph already.
  • Shrinking from the spotlight. You must not give in to the impulse to hide yourself. In your manifesto you are throwing down the gauntlet to a misguided, benighted world and are publicly declaring your most fundamental intentions toward it. Hiding behind anonymity, even in the face of physical danger to yourself or your minions, gives off the stench of cowardice and can seriously jeopardize your evil supervillain ambitions.

+ Precious and needful

  • PR consultant.
  • Fine-tip aerosol paint sprayer.
  • Coated Tyvek® stock. Making it harder for people to tear them up.
  • Public address system.
  • Ink by the barrelful.

Further plotting

Created by: GrinningSkull. Last Modification: Sunday 27 of March, 2011 06:31:35 EDT by GrinningSkull.

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