“I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”–Mark Twain
Right now, some smart ass is reading the above and saying, “WRONG! It is French mathematician Blaise Pascal who wrote that in 1657! HA-HA-HA! I am smarter than you!”
Of course, Mr./Mrs./Ms. smart ass is looking past the FRENCH mathematician writing something along those lines in FRENCH, so saying the quote is misattributed…
c’est une ânerie.
But certainly it wasn’t an original thought. Other smart asses will say John Locke wrote something like that around 1690 and maybe even shove in your face something about Benjamin Franklin getting on the bandwagon around 1750.
This tends to prove two things every writer knows (or will find out) without having to hear/read assholes arguing about who said what first:
- The best writers know how to steal great stuff (ask Shakespeare when you get the chance)
- Minimizing word count sucks
The pain and misery of linguistic economy worsens when an author sits down to squirt out a query letter. If I were to believe much of what I have read, I would think the point of the exercise is to come as close as possible to getting across what is written in 70,000 to 120,000 words with a few sentences.
Impossible? Probably. But I don’t think that is the point.
I am coming to understand the query to be a literary come-on designed to get your prospective agent/publisher horny for your manuscript. Teasing is the thing that elicits the hot-and-bothered sensation in the mind of the reader. Unfortunately, I’ve never been much of a tease.
And maybe now I’m the smart-assed asshole saying I know more than you do.
Whatever. You decide.
I’m afraid I will perpetually feel the need for another draft (or draught) until somebody goes all-in on this sumbitch.