Thursday, January 26, 2006

I Don't Like Monkeys Any More Than You Do

Dear Sir:

I just wanted the thank you for taking the time to read over my manuscript. I know you said in your letter that it didn't meet the current needs of your publishing firm, but what I probably didn't make clear in my initial submission is just how flexible I am regarding the content. I am absolutely willing to cut, add, or change any number of words, themes, characters, or chapter titles to better suit your needs. In fact, short of actually having my name appear somewhere on the book (even there I'm flexible, maybe just initials or one of those symbols like Prince uses) I'm not really married to anything you read.

For instance, you mentioned that you didn't find it credible that a monkey could attain such a high level political office or be involved in such a complex love triangle. To be clear, I don't like monkeys any more than you do. In retrospect, I don't even know why I put that in there. I think that somewhere in my head I'd just really gotten attached to the idea that monkeys probably sell books. But it seems clear I was confusing monkeys with something else that sells books, possibly sex. It would have been much better if Bubbles had lost in the primary and then Kathleen had broken it off with him before they ever got tangled up with the magician. I'm working on a draft to that effect right now and could have it in your hands by the end of next week.

You also noted that Kathleen's discovery of the hidden treasure through clues hidden in Norman Rockwell paintings felt like an obvious rip off of The Davinci Code, which is odd because I haven't even read that book. I thought it was a manual for a very old means of communication similar to Morse Code, but in, like, Italian. In any case, I've since read a summary and there do appear to be some similarities in the plot lines. I'm having my lawyer look into it, but since it appears The Davinci Code was published before I began work on my manuscript, he's skeptical that we'll have any legal recourse. Meanwhile, what if instead of burying the clues in paintings, they were woven into reruns of Friends? I really liked that show, and I think a lot of other people did too, and I think tying it in would probably really boost sales. We could even bring Chandler into the narrative as a witty and self deprecating antagonist to the ninja.

Regarding your thoughts on the 'Choose Your Own Adventure' format really being a dead end, I have to admit that my first reaction was that you must be some kind of whack-job. But, I've had a little time to process it and, dead or not, I think the story can function without it. Really, it's probably going to make a whole lot more sense now and we won't even need the wizard character (unless you liked him), not to mention that eliminating eleven of the twelve possible endings will really help to tighten the page count (I agree, 1400 pages was a tad long).

Other suggestions you can anticipate me taking to heart in the draft that will be available next week: numbering the pages, not drawing doodles about my coworkers in the margins, and not attempting to depict the various characters' emotional states with a bar graph at the end of each chapter. While I do feel that charts and graphs are really under used in fiction these days, I know it's hard to lead a revolution and I think it's more important to get published first and worry about changing the world later. As for the numbering and doodles, those were just oversights, much like letting that monkey win the election (seriously, what was I thinking?).

In closing, not only am I more than willing to address all of the concerns laid out in your letter, I'm willing to answer any future issues that might be a roadblock to us working together. What it really comes down to is this: I know a large number of words (which I can also supplement with dictionaries and reference materials) and I'm willing to arrange them in whatever order you find most pleasing, with or without graphs. Also, it would be great if we can get the thing published ASAP because I already told several people at work (you may remember them from the margin doodles) that I had a book coming out and I'm not sure they believed me. Sally from HR (in a LOT of the doodles) actually laughed at me, but I think she'd really change her tune and possibly reconsider my marriage proposal if we could get this thing on the shelves.

Thank you again for your time and expertise.

Kyle Killen

p.s. I have some wicked cover designs in mind as soon as you're ready to discuss that. All I'll say is: bar graph.

p.p.s. Again, sorry about the whole monkey thing.

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