Some NY agents are lately calling 'good' fiction writing 'transportive,' or, even more baffling, 'transportative.' Aside from wondering how I am to compete, in terms of prose quality, with the reader's experience of having her molecules split apart, shot through a light beam and reassembled by either Engineers Scott or O'Brian, can you offer any background on where the lleh the NY agent community came up with this uncrackable gem of jargon and What The kcuF it means to a fiction writer? (A)
Is there any possible way for a writer to follow this advice: "I am looking for fiction in which the writing is transportive, with characters I feel I can see before me"? Have the Klingons smuggled a new holograph device into the NY publishing industry for top-secret deployment between the hardcovers at a Goldsmith's near me, in time for this summer's beach-read season? (B)
Every time an agent says something like this, it only causes more confusion, not less -- and, I have to conclude, more mis-targeted submissions resulting from the confusion (?). Can you beam me out of this vortex in the fabric of the sales-word continuum AND rescue the snarkling crew of our common Enterprise from the conceptual chaos of its gaping maw? (3)
A. We buy little velvet bags full of words (they are called word hoard and don't let any lame ass scholor tell you it's from Beowulf, no sirreee) that we use on our website to describe what we are looking for. It bears no resemblance to what we actually want; we do it just to confuse and befuddle you. And, see, it's working. I think transportative is one from the 2005 bag (they are updated annually--unlike our websites which we never update because why would we?), and I think it was very popular that year cause of the subway strike. We really did want transportative fiction..much like we wanted a bronzed pedicab peddler to arrive at the front door at 8am.
B. Yes, the best way to make sure that any agent who has this on their web site will take you seriously is to include story boards, or paper dolls, or even better a troupe of mimes to act out the plot whilst s/he reads your query letter. Items can be found on ebay of course..but you may need the secret code to access that part of the site. Again, this is a way we have to find out if you are really serious about your work and not just some dilettante starving artist who thinks fiction should yanno...move you.
Alternatively you may consult with the NY Department of Transportation which -silly you- you thought meant subways. No no...they're in charge of fiction.
And really, any good movie producer can hook you up with a Transportation Captain. If you don't know any movie producers, just check the credits of a recent movie--they're listed write there.
3. Yes, of course. Never submit any work of fiction to an agent who is so clearly unable to write, recognize good writing, or describe what they seek in simple terms like : fiction-novels, short stories, literary, no genres.
Now, away with me, I'm feeling the need to be tranportized.