16 December 2005

Paperback Writer

Due to the encouragement of my friends and the beneficence and patience of my hubby, I'm going to be spending my Saturday writing queries. A query is a tool by which you grovel attractively in order to get your words seen. In print, that is; I'm already being seen, albeit by a smallish audience of already-confirmed fans, here.

Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book? It took me years to write, will you take a look?
Well, yes. I mean, I don't have a whole book on tap; just ideas for essays and articles, some of which I'm using this blog to bring up out of my backbrain and into the light of day.
It's based on a novel by a man named Lear, And I need a job, So I want to be a paperback writer, Paperback writer.
I think that fear of being overly replicative has got to be right up there with spellcheck failure as a writer's primary terror. And hubris, too, of course. No one wants to be caught cribbing directly from the pens of the giants. But of course, since the truly great are just there floating around in the collective unconscious, it's a big risk that you'll jump in and end up right next to them...
It's a dirty story of a dirty man, And his clinging wife doesn't understand. His son is working for the Daily Mail. It's a steady job, But he wants to be a paperback writer, Paperback writer.
Someone said that we write best when we write what we know. I know I've filled these blogs with what I know, or what I'm learning. Personal reflection is of late becoming a pop star instant ticket to credibility. Pink, and Christina Aguilera both have "family-airing-of-the-dirty-laundry" songs in their repertoires.
It's a thousand pages, give or take a few. I'll be writing more in a week or two. I could make it longer if you like the style. I can change it 'round, And I want to be a paperback writer, Paperback writer.
The art of the query is to take the same idea you have, and twist it around in as many different ways as you have places to submit it, so you're not double-dipping, yet you're still getting to talk about whatever your soapbox is. I guess the trick for me is not getting attached (how Buddhist!). I tend to write from the gut, and then think of what I set down as set in stone. The idea of jiggering it endlessly to attempt to appeal to the Keepers of the Gate is a little offputting.
If you really like it you can have the rights. It could make a million for you overnight.
When you start talking about getting published, ironicaly, most people immediately start talking about the moneymaking aspect. Several times, I've wanted to hop up and down and scream "These are my *babies* I'm putting out there! It has *nothing* to do with the money! It's all in the thought!" And of course there's the cold reality that the ranks of those who make bank with their writing are slim indeed. J.K. Rowling notwithstanding.
If you must return it you can send it here, But I need a break, And I want to be a paperback writer, Paperback writer.
Well, yes, a break is indeed what I'm hoping for. I've got a muse hammering the back of my brain so hard I'm beginning to develop permanent dents. She's been trying to get out for a really long time; so long, that I suspect she probably resorted to sneaking out and pounding on my friends on my behalf. Not to worry; I've got a Muse Care Package all put together.


At 12/28/2005 08:49:00 PM, Anonymous Dana Nourie said...

Take this blog exactly as is and send it to Writer's Digest as an essay! Pronto. Hmmm, I'll dig up the editor's email for ya. Dana

At 1/23/2006 11:02:00 PM, Blogger Carla said...

This is just toooooo good. You are a poet!


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