Thursday, 26 July 2012

Schrödinger's Submission

It's a little known fact that Erwin Schrödinger had a younger sister who was desperate to become a writer. She created the below thought experiment,  Schrödinger's Submission, years before Erwin even got a pet cat.

"A whole load of writers' submissions are placed into the slush pile. The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics implies that after a while, the submissions are simultaneously successful and rejected. Yet, when an agent reads them, they will be successful or rejected."

For a while this was thought to a massive break through in quantum writing mechanics. Then everyone realised it was rubbish.



Thursday, 19 July 2012

Five Great Things to Include with a Posted Submission

Are you old school? Do you send your submissions out on paper and laugh at  all the dead trees? Well how about including some of these things to make your submission stand out.

  1. Some glamour shots - sex sells! Don't worry if you're a bit droopy, the person that actually reads your submission probably hasn't seen a real human for six months and will love you instantly. Drawback: They will stalk and kill you.
  2. A horse's head - nothing says 'take me seriously' like this tired cliché. But it's sure to get the message across and you'll be signing a book contract in your favourite Italian restaurant before you can say 'sleeps with the fishes'. Drawback: Horse's heads are big and heavy, postage will be massive and you'll probably have to pay to get the postman's uniform cleaned.
  3. A fluffy kitten - so cute you'll make an instant impression. Drawback - it'll take several days to arrive so make sure you add some cat food and milk to the package.
  4. An inter-dimensional portal to the universe where you are already a massive success - Literally show them what potential you have, admittedly by going to the universe where you don't post people kittens. Drawback: You'll have to break into CERN to steal it. It might also cause a Resonance Cascade.
  5. Yourself - then you can talk through any issues they have there and then. Maybe take a kitten with you. Drawback: I can't think of one.
I'll be trying all of these in the next 6 months. If you don't hear from me for a couple of weeks I'm probably lost in the post, living off the last of the kitten meat.



Thursday, 12 July 2012

The Five Best Reasons to Write a Book

5. You hate your job - the obvious and easy solution to this problem is to write a book. No training needed, unless you can't write. Soon you'll have a bestseller on the shelves and be talking to Clint Eastwood about the script.

4. Kids' books need old fashioned morals - books today just aren't the same. They need to get back to the core values of honesty, intolerance and the supremacy of the British Empire. They don't even have the national anthem printed in the front any more.

3. You've spotted a gap in the teen vampire market - vegetarian film geek vampires that hum in the moonlight. Your heroine meets one at the cinema where she's saved from being drowned in hot butter. She's plunged into a world where vampires and projectionists are at war.

2.  It's a calling - writing runs in your family. You're great granddad carved gravestones. Grandma wrote over 4000 letters to her local MP, ten years after he'd died. Mum never forgot a family birthday card and there was the note Dad left...

1. A god sent angels to tell you to write it - because all the gods and angels don't have anything else to sort out.



Thursday, 5 July 2012

Book Pitch Rejections

Quite often I see agents mentioning on Twitter or Facebook or in their local pub what kind of work they'd quite like to see. Which gave me an idea! I could tell you what I've had rejected recently and by who then you can avoid submitting something similar to them. So here are my recent rejections:

'Where's my Boatswain?'
Pitch: Captain Higgs has lost his boatswain, and is looking all over the port for him. Eventually he has himself fired out of a cannon and he collides with the boatswain. Everyone gets drunk on rum.  27km wide picture book.

Response from Jenny Boffin: You've missed the boat on the Higgs Boson gig. Arf. Arf.

'Bob and his Farting Dog'
Pitch: Bob sticks a cork up his dog's bum and turns him into a balloon. They float off together on a wonderful adventure.

Response from Terry Trump Agency: Not enough farting.

'Daddy Boils the Ants'
Pitch: A little girl finds an ants' nest in the garden and her daddy pours a kettle of boiling water onto it. Picture book with pop-out boiled ants.

Response from Adam Dandy Associates: Inappropriate.

'Fifty Types of Wood'
Pitch: A young adult story about a girl who falls in love with her insulation tape obsessed woodwork teacher.

Response from Throbbing Knights Agency: Completely inappropriate.

All the best with your submissions.