Stevie Chuckles’ Advice to New Writers
Part 1: Before you sell
You are important. Your writing is important. You and your writing are more important than anybody else (and their crummy writing). Here are some behaviors you can embrace to accentuate your place in the writing universe.
Most of all, remember that rules are for OTHER writers.
- Manuscript format is for people without genius. Allow yourself to express your creativity with interesting paper, inks, and unusual fonts. Strange packaging—say, the uncured hide of a unicorn—will also bring your manuscript the attention it deserves. Don’t worry about return addresses. If they really like it, they’ll find you.
- Feel free to submit to several different markets at the same time. Your genius doesn’t have time to wait like those other jerks.
- Or, since you’re so important, feel free to submit your original manuscript. The only copy. Backups are for the timid.
- Write a cover letter that explains that the editor would be A PATHETIC FOOL to pass up this story which is obviously so much better than the SHIT that editor usually publishes. They will appreciate your candor.
- Feel free to contact movie studios immediately, even before your book or story is finished. Your ideas are so original and so creative they will just hand you buckets of money for the priviledge of being associated with you.
- Editors may demur but they really like nothing better than to have you follow them into the restroom so you can pitch your novel to them.
- If one of these lying bastards actually has the temerity to say they don’t want to listen to you pitch your story during their particularly painful bowel movement (I mean—you’d think they’d want the distraction, ya know) then it is your duty to trash them in public and private conversations. People will admire your spunky and courageous behavior. They won’t share your opinion with other editors. They respect your privacy. And they won’t put their cell phone video of your diatribe on YouTube.
- Consider novel submission methods. In this day of email and internet applications those companies aren’t really using their fax machines for anything important and this provides them with a hard copy. Or, since today’s editors are on the go, go, go, consider text messaging your manuscript to their cell phone, one paragraph at a time.
- Attend some writer’s workshops. Because of your genius, of course, the main topic of these events is how sucky everybody else’s writing is. Face it, everyone is really there in hopes you will like their story and to hear you savage everybody else’s story. They hope they can be as wittily cutting as you are.
- Remember that you don’t have to read the entire manuscript of the other workshop participants. You already know its sucks. It just eats up your time. Making fun of the first or second page is sufficient.
- If someone does have the temerity to criticize the story you’ve brought, it’s important that you interupt them before they finish—before they completely embarrass themselves. Otherwise you might not have enough time to explain how very WRONG, WRONG, WRONG they are.
Next time: After you’ve sold but before you’ve published. (It involves spam.)
*The above was part of my lecture at the 2008 Viable Paradise Writer’s workshop on Martha’s Vienyard. New writers are strongly encouraged to follow every step. It cuts down on my competition. Okay. Maybe not the fax thing. Or the text messaging. Or ANY of them.