On Editing a Novel #10
MAKING YOUR NOVEL A BOOK OF HOLISTIC CURES. As you've been searching for a publisher for your novel, you've probably noticed that there aren't publishers anymore but only pharmaceutical companies. This might present a problem to less enterprising writers and the reading healthy, but you can take advantage of this situation if you take the proper steps to convert your novel into a book of natural cures. It's easy!
1. Make a list of the foods you don't like. These foods cause arm cancer.
2. Turn your sentimental and unconvincing title into something sentimental and convincing. Instead of "My" say "America's." Instead of "of" say "Cures Stolen from a." Instead of "Love" say "Native American Shaman." Instead of "Summer" say "Chi Cleansingist."
Thus, your horrible title, My Summer of Love, becomes America's Chi Cleansingist Cures Stolen from a Native American Shaman.
3. Grow a beard. Or, if a woman, overcome an abusive spouse.
4. Turn the antagonist in your book into a person called They. They is all of the people you don't like. They is the jerk who doesn't hold the elevator. They hates America. They loves foods that cause arm cancer. They keeps secrets from you. They is sort of cute but you're not, like, into They. They pals around with terrorists. They is full of anti-anti-oxidants. They drinks blood, but not the good kind of blood. They never calls. They doesn't want you to know. They is far away. They is cold when They sleeps, even under the covers. They never stops reminding you. They fights back. They is okay. They hates cures They doesn't create with chemicals. They doesn't know about Susan's fibromyalgia. They needs a cure They's self.
5. Include recipes from a Betty Crocker cookbook but replace sugar with ginseng and flour with fish oil in all of the recipes. If people later complain that the recipes don't turn out, tell them, "I don't know, I thought that made for a perfectly drinkable cake."
6. Most of your novel you can probably leave unchanged as long as you update the chapter titles to things like, "It's a Phact! Ph Levels and Lupus." Everyone will assume that your narrator's decision to tell Carla that he loves her is really a metaphor about coping with alopecia.
7. Sell your book at the fair.
8. Ride the Tilt-O-Whirl at the fair. If someone asks what this cures, tell them, "Your insufferability." If the person cries after this, pour them a nice cake to make it up to them.
If you follow these steps exactly, you are probably read to skip ahead to #16 USING YOUR NOVEL TO START A RELIGION.
On Editing a Novel #10