Fountain pens and other useless diatribes
May 11, 2009
The idea of one day seeing your name in print is probably the only thing that keeps most of us writers going. The thought that maybe somehow - somewhere - there's a publisher who sees our work as the next The Firm or Carrie.
My God that's a nice dream. And it'll keep being a dream unless you're proactive about it. I'm not talking about making a few phone calls and sitting back to wait for the kudos to walk in. That method - sadly - will never, ever work.
If you're serious about getting published, then you should be out there every day. Knocking on doors, writing emails, ringing at all hours of the day and making a general nuisance of yourself until they finally publish your work just to get rid of you!
But wait! Don't saddle the horses yet. There are a few things you'll have to remember. Boring, tedious, anal retentive things that make your chances of getting their attention just that little bit better.
Editors can spot amateurs a mile away - they can practically smell them! But with some creative sneaking, you can disguise your work as genuine, no-frills, professional stuff.
The rules (from what I've gathered from my talks with people actually in the business) are as follows:
See what I mean? Boring, tedious and anal retentive. But I guarantee your work will look better for it, and probably be a refreshing change from all the retarded submissions the editors are used to dealing with.
If you pretend like you know what you're doing, maybe other people will believe you!
Me and my publishing friends will have a discussion over the next few days about the synopsis dos and don'ts. Not just formatting rules etc, but the actual writing - what to put in. Editors require the synopsis and first couple of chapters before they make up their minds about the novel, so there's a lot of pressure to do a good job. Everybody I know struggles with writing those buggers.
Between you and me, it's like trying to park a Buick in a weet-bix box.
You have to grapple a 60,000 word MS into a couple of pages, which is NOT fun. But never fear - I'm on the job and I'll figure out what they like so you all know what to put in!
PS: "TTFN" means "Ta-ta-for-now". You'd be surprised how many people don't know that.