Exhibit 18.11

On Editing a Novel #14

SHOEHORNING IN REFERENCES TO KILLER BEES SHARK ATTACKS SWINE FLU. So you've been working on your novel for a long time. Maybe not some-of-your-characters-have-polio long but there's still a shocking amount of dated material here:

* That little girl is always pointing at Halley's Comet
* A casual reference to Secretary of State George Schultz has made it through round after round of editing
* Everyone is excited to read about George Lucas in their newspapers
* Burma is given to the Queen as a gift
* The character based on your brother is still alive

The reality is, there are only two ways this novel is ever going to be published:

1) You die--wait, hear us out--you die and hope that your brother's daughter, your only living relative, gets over her grief and feels obligated to self-publish the manuscript as a work of historical fiction in 2045. Teens around the universe laser etch quotes from your novel into hovertrees.
2) You make it relevant to contemporary readers

Frankly, we think option #1 is much more likely, but we're willing to acknowledge its shortcomings. Mainly, who knows if we'll even have hovertrees in 2045. Or if we'll be around, what with the swine flu and all.

Which brings us to our next point: swine flu.

It's got everything that made Michael Crichton great only he's dead (presumably from swine flu) so there's nothing standing between you, a book deal, and a major motion picture adaptation unceremoniously released in February.

It's easy. All you have to do is insert the following conversation once a chapter, every chapter:

"Did you guys hear about the shark attacks swine flu?" asked [protagonist].

"Yes," said [love interest].

"Guys, I don't feel so good," said [unlikeable or minority character]. He was dead from shark attacks swine flu within days.

And use this as the last sentence of your novel: In the autumn of his life, her memory would come to him whenever he walked, evermore slowly, passed the wild lilac that grew near the riverbend. That, finally, was how he found love and a cure to shark attacks swine flu.

You're welcome.

1 comment:

Sasquatch said...

First Michael Crichton and now Bea Arthur? Where will it stop? Not Babe or Napoleon from Animal Farm too! Damn you, swine flu! Damn you!