How To Throw Your Manuscript In The Garbage Can

So you wrote a book? How impressive! Most publishers have a policy to destroy manuscripts sent to them by their authors and put the authors' names on a list and send that list to other publishers. This is just to pare down the number of 200-word novels about elven crystals sent to them by the truckloads, and trust me on this one, your manuscript is, at most, no better than that. Your best bet is to send a query letter about your book to a literary agent, whose main job is to have their time wasted by numbskulls who send them query letters.

Tip 1. Your query letter requires superhuman grammar and spelling.

This is the most important. It goes without saying that you're not worth anybody's time, not even your own, if you confuse "discrete" and "discreet," but literary agents are also dying to throw away query letters containing dangling participles, dingling relative clauses, and the noun-phrase of doom. "These pieces of filth wouldn't know a split infinitive if it went to viciously assault their eyeballs," literary agents say of their queriers every day of their lives.

To help you be sure you made literally a negative number of spelling and grammar mistakes in your query letter, pore over some useful books such as Theoretical Issues In Natural Language Processing, edited by Yorick Wilks, Thompson's On Growth and Form, Pistorius's Daemonomania, Stephen Z. Charr's How To Trick A Literary Agent Into Thinking You Shouldn't Throw Both Your Manuscript And Yourself Into A Furnace," and Strunk and White's The Elements of Style.

Tip 2. Perfect the extremely short paragraph.

Remember, literary agents hate you for wasting their time. The authors they hate the least are the ones who waste the least amount of their time. With this in mind, write as many one-sentence paragraphs as possible, especially in the synopsis of your story:

E.g. Twinkle Tune was just a regular Faerie Queyne, when her mother, Whistletips, the Queyen Mothyre of Lillillia was taken by the dreaded ice-goblin Mug to the evil ice-area of Fundledumpf.

But then Twinkle found it.

The Wizard's Sword.

If you're really smart, you'll even work on some one-word paragraphs:

Jenny held his picture in her trembling hands. She didn't know whether to kiss it, or to throw the picture of that two-timing cad out the window. She couldn't stop herself, and filled the frame with her buxom lips. She heard a whisper from those exact same lips.


Tip 3. Literary agents are trying their very best not to have to represent you. Make it hard for them.

Hire a private detective to collect dirt on the agent. Pictures and emails from literary agents are oftentimes filled with such nauseation that they're too hard to even look at. Along with your query letter, send them what you think would land them in the big house for the longest amount of time were the authorities to know what you know, and your agent will definitely find your skill at describing absolutely anyone as "quizzical," and your incorrect usage of already unusable words like "pulchritude," completely inspired.

Tip 4. Don't take it so personally.

Remember, Earth, like most planets, has a N.N.A. policy: No Numbskulls Allowed. Literary agents are just taking that to heart. If you aren't enough of a human to convince an agent that your book is worth bothering with, just remember it's their job not to look at manuscripts. An agent who looks at manuscripts is like an ice-goblin who smokes: it happens sometimes, but that's not the point. The point is to convince you that your manuscript would be better off in the garbage or the toilet, and you would be better off spending fifty years sweeping floors and thinking about sweeping floors, or in your grave.

Tip 5. Being at all bitter is a sign that your novel's total garbage and you're living a lie.