Yeah, I finished the draft a few weeks ago. I’ve sent it out to a few agents so far. No bites yet, but I’m still hopeful!
What’s it about? Oh, right, that’s a very reasonable and understandable question to ask a friend who just finished writing a book. And since I guess my ideal outcome here would be for that book to get published and become a runaway success, providing me with plenty of opportunities to talk about it, summarizing the plot to you, one of my good friends who doesn’t write himself and is thus both not in any sort of unspoken competition with me in this field and unlikely to be particularly judgmental about the plot, should be an easy and enjoyable experience.
So, all right, let’s do this! The protagonist is this guy Charles, who—ugh, listen to me saying “protagonist” like I’m some kind of pretentious MFA student, even though I barely even completed my MFA program. The main character—you know what, no, that still sounds too fancy. The little person I made up in my head who says the most words in the story and who I have spent more time thinking about over the past six months than any real person I actually know is named Charles.
Anyway, Charles is on his way to see his estranged brother, but—okay, you know what, this is harder than I thought. Here, I’ll just read you the query letter I’ve been sending out to agents. That includes a summary. Here we go: “To Whom It May Concern…”
Wait, I wasn’t even able to get the literary agent’s name for this one? And I decided to just, like, send it out anyway, as if someone would still actually read it and like it and respond to me about it? Hoo. Okay, give me a few seconds. I will keep telling you what my book is about, but I need a quick break to go stand in that corner over there and hate myself. Be right back.
Whew, feeling better now. All right, so, what were we talking about? The Indiana Pacers, right? No? We were talking about my book and what it’s about? Ah, yes, of course. Okay, okay, okay. So, you’ve heard of The Great Gatsby, right? And you know how The Great Gatsby is a book? Well, the thing I wrote is also a book, at least based on the number of words it includes. Does that help? Not really? All right. This is fun!
Hey, you know what? Why bother summarizing the book to you when I can just read you the whole thing instead? It’s not like I have much else to do this afternoon apart from refreshing my inbox over and over again hoping to get a reply to one of my query letters. So yeah, let’s do that.
“Charles was hungry.” Yup, that’s the first sentence. I know it’s a little short and simple, but, well, so was “Call me Ishmael.” Oh, that’s a much better point of comparison than The Great Gatsby, actually! Yeah, so this book is sort of like Moby-Dick, only it’s a lot shorter and has nothing to do with whaling or the nature of obsession or really anything else that Moby-Dick was about. You’re getting it now, right?
Okay, so you know what, talking about the book I just wrote has been really great, but I actually just realized I’d rather set my laptop on fire and apply to law school, so I’m going to go ahead and do that now. But, seriously, thank you so, so much for asking about the book. It’s always nice when a friend wants to know more about your creative pursuits.