Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Is Your Book a TV Dinner or a Full Course Meal?

Yesterday, I finally printed out my whole manuscript to send to Dream Agent #1. She asked for the full a month ago and I just now finished it up, going through every single page for the hundredth time making sure that everything was in order and the best I could humanly make it.

I ran into so many problems you wouldn’t believe. My printer died and I had to buy another one and then my ink ran out of which I had to run out and get more. But, now it’s sitting in a humungous pile on top of my computer table. All ready to go. All three-hundred forty-five pages.

It sits up on top of my computer table because I want to admire my book in its naked state. No coverings of any kind, just pure, white nakedness. I want to see it as I’m answering email, writing columns and just gazing into space. I want it to catch my eye so I can say, “Damn. I wrote that. And it’s done. Finished.”

While I’m gazing at it, I want people to see it in its nakedness, before the coverings that will turn it into a published book. I want them to see something I had created and feel the moment with me. I want them to feel the peace of mind it creates and the joy that fills the room with its beauty. Okay, I'm going off the deep end, but you get my drift.

My daughter wasn't home and she couldn't share the moment with me, so BF was elected. Now, you gotta know BF. He reads nothing I write. If I start reading something to him that I have written, his mind wanders to the television and it's just like reading to Floyd, my parakeet, who at least will bob his head like he's listening. No, BF is not certainly my first choice, but he was my only choice. They say beggars can't be choosers, so I held my breath and called him into the living room.

“BF (well, I don’t call him BF, but I choose to have him known as this for anonymous reasons), come here. I want you to look at something.”

He got up from the game and plodded into the living room.

“Look up,” I said, pointing to my mountainous pile of written words about to be shipped off to a new home. “Isn’t that the most beautiful thing? That’s my book.”

You know what he said? The man who has shared my life with me for ten years? The same man who went out and bought me another Cocker Spaniel when my first one died? The same man who bought me a thousand dollar mattress because my water bed sprouted a leak?

“People don’t have time to read something like that. They want TV dinners, not twelve-course meals.”

Then, he walked back into the bedroom and continued with the game.

I sat there, going what in that hell is that supposed to mean, you know?

Granted, the pile is daunting. It’s humungous. Three-hundred and forty-five pages, plus the agency release, plus the cover letter, plus my four-page writer’s resume. It really does look intimidating. Like War in Peace or something. Heck, there's longer volumns of work out there anyway!

But how dare he after all the work I have put into the book tell me that people want TV dinners???

But then I got to thinking about this. TV dinners are not filling, are they? Not satisfying and surely not as good for you. Maybe someone who is on a diet might enjoy their lightness, but what about those out there who want something substantial? Something where after they read – errr – eat, they won’t want anything more – completely satiated?

I mean, it's not a pamphlet, for darn's sake. It's a full-length novel. My first novel. And all novels have about the same amount of word length. What did he expect? Did he think I've just spent the last year of my life pounding away on the keyboards on a pamphlet???

Oh, what does he know anyway.

I mean, would you prefer a quickie or a full night of romantic embrace? Cancel that. At my age, a quickie is long enough. *grin*


  1. by the way did you copy everything so you don't have to go through this hell again... I prefer a great dinner with wine, and good conversation....

    apparently your significant other needs some cheese with his whine.

    Lol... keep it up.

  2. Yeah, everything is backed up. Now to get back into my other ones!

  3. I don't know about you Dorothy, or the BF, but give me twelve course meal anybody cooked but me and I'll be in Heaven!
    Yeah, men, unless they're writers just can't appreciate what a true thing of beauty a finished, naked manuscript really is! UNless of course it has size 40DDs attached to its front!
    Never mind him, I know exactly how you feel, and all I can say is break out the good china!
    Keep writing girlfriend,

  4. Perhaps one day I will know what it feels like to look at a completed manuscript. I remember reading Danse Macabre by Stephen King, and in it he talked about carrying the manuscript of The Stand to his publisher. He said it weighed twelve pounds, and he had visions of someone finding it laying atop his corpse the next monring.

    Congratulations on your first novel. I want to get in line for a signed copy. :)

  5. Awww...FTS, that was so nice. I'll definitely keep you in mind! Now if the darn thing will just sell. You ought to see it, though. I think I'll take a picture of it...lol...in fact, I'm going to do that right now!

  6. Linda, you know what...my perfect mate would be a writer. Maybe in my next lifetime?

  7. Give me 3 hours at Spago over a T.V. dinner any time! Congratulations, Dorothy!

  8. I like long diners... but TV Diners are okay in a pinch ;)
    Congrats on finishing up.

  9. Dorothy - what a wonderful tale about your manuscript - I hope you did take a picture of it. And if it's going to who I think it's going to - wow! Sooner or later, you will sell.

    Most men, unless they are writers, are into the visual - that's why most movies are made for men. Thankfully, I am married to a writer and it is heavenly. I wish one of those for you.


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