by Shelt Garner
I love to write. Writing is like shedding skin for me. I do it a lot without even thinking about it. And, for years now, I’m been VERY delusional about what’s going on with my first novel. I’ve allowed myself this luxury because I knew it was the only way I would ever actually finish anythiing.
And, yet, now that it’s clear that I’ve finally figured out the beginning of the third draft of this novel and I’m going to — hopefully — wrap it up by, say, around April 1st, I have to put on my big boy pants
I have to start thinking about querying.
The reason why this scares the shit out of me is multifold. One is, well, I’m a drunk crank who doesn’t always follow the media narrative on social media. I retweet a lot — A LOT — of pictures of hot chicks. I get drunk and rant about the importance of heteronormative monoculture. And I have been known to say I fucking hate the Bechdel Test. AND, WHAT’s MORE, my novel could easily be reduced to the logline of smelly CIS white male spends 140,000 words to depict a “sex worker solving a murder mystery.”
I retweet a lot of pictures of hot chicks on Twitter.
None of those things endear me to the liberal women who often are literary agents. But I refuse to change anything. I’m going to accept the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, come what may.
I have a lot to consider going forward. I have to think about how I’m going to pay for a manuscript consultant to look over my copy. I have to buy AND READ a series of novels that I can “comp” my novel to, even though it’s a real struggle to consume anyone else’s content — and I’m a storytelling snob.
AND, all of this is happening the context of the rise of AI, the potential for a “Fourth Turning” in late 2024, early 2025 AND the very real possibility that my entire life could be thrown up in the air because of known unknowns.
I dig shit like this.
And, yet, the whole point of starting a novel in the first place was to get outside my comfort zone and to see how far I could get in the process before it became absolutely, 100% clear that I would have to — gulp — self-publish.
But I would only consider that after a good bit of fighting to get published traditionally. And I might even be so stubborn that I simply but the finished novel aside until I can get something ELSE published traditionally and use the leverage that gives me to get my first novel published.