Omphaloskepsis (on preparing a book for rejection)

I’ve written this quirky novel called Fable, and I’m going to submit it to this quirky publisher called Chromatic Press.  There.  I’ve found my beginning and end.  The middle, the spine connecting head to tail, is (as always) the hard part.  All those tricksy vertebrae…

Fable is the story of Moss, an anorexic, A-sexual drummer, who’s spinning  circles in the emotional wasteland left to him by his suicidal parents.  It’s also about Phoenix–half fire, half human pop artist extraordinaire–who’s come to earth to murder her father.  When she and Moss cross paths, they upend each others’ lives to the point of no return.

So, the spine: what comes between  writing a novel, and sending it out  for rejection.  This is what Chromatic requires, and thus, it’s what must be done before I press send.

    1. Edit the hel out of it.  (More than I already have, which must mean I’m dealing with Dante’s Hell.  I’ve got eight levels to go.)
    2. Write a pitch.  (See above.)
    3. Outline the novel chapter-by-chapter.
    4. Polish my resume.

But this is all grubfood (even if it’s a tiny bit contextual and specific to Chromatic Press), things you know (or should know) already, even if you’re a writer who knows nothing.  So why blog this?

Mostly, I’m just working my finger jaws, trying to get all the shiit out of my system, so it’s gone before I start editing.  Because I’d rather my manuscript be free of E coli and anything else that might scare off readers.

Only, I don’t want it to be clean.  Fable is quite dirty, actually: there’s sex, and you know, that stuff’s pretty nasty.  There’s also honesty (so much messier than lying), and people doing that stupid thing where they yell at each other over and over and over, because anger is the only way they can express their love for each other. (I say stupid, but there’s a certain logic to anger as an expression of love, the intensity and focus of it…)

Still, an E coli-free book is probably a better read than one that’s not.  Because no one likes fecal matter in their word-food.


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