Hate Club: Why I Despise Most Published Writers

I hate other writers. But let me be specific. I hate published writers. I don’t think I’m alone in this. It’s a jealousy thing. We all want that recognition. Not just ebook indie-publishing, but in the book store, everyone reading-your-book fame.

Realistically, this doesn’t happen very often. So the hate club builds members. We all channel our collective frustration at those published folks. We say, “I could do that,” or “That book isn’t so good.” When deep down, we yearn to be them.

Today I took a step closer to joining the other side. I’ve found an accomplice in the form of a literary agent. No guarantee of being published (or even selling well) but it’s invigorating to know that someone is basing their income and livelihood on your creative chops.

It reminds me of a Charles Bukowski poem I read once. I’ve scoured my poetry books, but can’t locate it again. It basically had Bukowski commenting on all the haters he had. Those that felt they could write a better poem.

In my search, I did run across this poem about writing. A good one for the Hate Club.

some suggestions

in addition to the envy and the rancor of some of
my peers
there is the other thing, it comes by telephone and
letter: “you are the world’s greatest living

this doesn’t please me either because somehow
I believe that to be the world’s greatest living
there must be something
terribly wrong with you.

I don’t even want to be the world’s greatest
dead writer.

just being dead would be fair

So what have we learned? Even success has it’s downsides.

Feel free to hate.

Tim Kane

How to Lose Agents and Frustrate Editors

You finished your pride and glory. Now’s the time to tell all those agents and publishers just how damn good it is. A sure bet. The best book they ever read. Here’s how to annoy and pester agents and editors until they relent and publish your marvelous manuscript.

Don’t bother with the first pages or chapter, send them the whole novel. All five-hundred-pages. Be sure to make it UPS or FedEx and a sign on delivery. If you’re not up to plunking down the dough for the whole enchilada, then send the best chapters. You know which ones those are. It’s never the first one. Come on! You’re just warming up. How many other classic books have slow openings? Too many to count. So send a selection of your best chapters to amaze your prospective agent or editor.

Now, let’s talk about formatting. It’s not as important as you would think. We know how much paper costs these days, so don’t waste dead trees with double spacing. Try one-and-a-half or single spacing. That way you can squeeze that three-hundred-page novel down to one-hundred-and-fifty. Or, better yet, print on both sides of the paper. Then you can cut it down to seventy-five pages. Hey, you might just be able to afford to mail that bad boy.

Now, some of us might remember the good old days of typewriters. Yes, those things that printed without electricity. There, you needed to put two spaces after each period. Don’t ask me why. It was a barbaric age. Now with word processors, you don’t need to do this anachronistic task any more. The fonts are developed to look good with only a single space. But don’t worry, add two, three, or even four spaces after each sentence. Sure, it might bug agents, but at least it’ll get their attention.

Speaking of fonts, don’t shy away from frilly cursive fonts as chapter headers. You can even change your font from chapter to chapter. Get creative and make an impression.

As you write, make sure to dump all that exposition up front. The longer the paragraphs, the better. Yes word processors can auto-indent for you, but that’s too complex and hard to figure out. Just tab each paragraph. Or better yet, hit the space bar five times. Consistency rules. Plus, rather than page breaks, you could hit the carriage return enough times until you reach a new page.

Finally, let’s talk dialogue. “Said” is sooo boring, Why not spice things up with “announced,” “protested,” or “cajoled.” Editors love that sort of thing. It shows range. Sure, no other published writers do it, but that only makes you unique.

So are you ready? Heck yeah! Bundle up those pages—coffee stain and all—slap some stamps on it, and mail that sucker away. Yippee-kay-ay. You’re going to be published.

Tim Kane

(I do hope you realize these are list of things NOT to do. If you attempt these, prepare for the long lonely ride to rejection.)