1.28.2007

Parody the paradigm

I know that manuscripts are to be pigeon-holed in a query letter, in order to be done the same in a bookstore. But what of us who cheat and use Literary as a catch-all, assuming that our language, structure, or content can pass muster as literary?

I suppose mainly I'm asking a personal question to which I'd like an answer, for which I shudder at having to see in public, knowing your procivity to be out-spoken.
But 'girding my loins' as it were: Is there any use in sending a fantasy send-up to an agent who says she doesn't take fantasy? Present company not excepted.

Would you deep-six it as soon as you saw fantasy--as in a literary parody of fantasy? Kinda like...well, no sense giving my pitch away since if your answer is it's fine to try, then maybe you'll see it anyway by some luck of the draw.

Thank you for your time--and your site.


You can write anything you want, have at it in fact. But when you write to me, the ugly variable of commercial enterprise enters the equation.

Generally, parody appeals to the same audience as the item being parodied. Weird Al Yankovik's parodies of rock songs do NOT appear on the Country Music Channel. Parodies of noir do not appear in Romantic Times (at least not intentionally).

If you are writing fantasy, parody or not, leave the decision about whether to call it literary up to me. You tell me it's the parody of a genre I don't represent and I'm going to wonder why you'd want me to read it let alone represent it. Oh wait....this is a parody of a query letter! I get it. How about I parody my stock rejection. I have new note cards. I'll use those.

5 comments:

Sha'el, princess of pixies said...

Bill E. Goat: Mistress! Hold still, will you? Stop!

Me: What? I'm busy, Bill.

Bill E: Well stop being busy and read this! I'm sending it to Killer Yap to slip under Miss Snark's cereal bowl.

Me: You're making place mats now?

Bill E: NO! That's my sample three pages.

Me: Bill, I can't read this. This is just a series of black lines.

Bill E: Oh, ya, you'll need this. [Hands over a magnifying glass] I used a size .5 font. I figure I can squeeze the entire novel onto three pages front and back. ... Do you think Miss Snark has a magnifying glass?

Me: If she collects stamps she does. ... Say, this paper is a lovely shade of deep purple.

Bill E: Okay, I'm mailing this! She'll love this one. ... Got any glitter? Glitter is fun. She'll go for glitter!

Me: Ask one of the girls. The have glitter in their crafts stuff.

Dave Kuzminski said...

Sounds like someone wants a friendly note on fine imported Italian paper written with silver ink. ;)

sarkychick said...

"I know that manuscripts are to be pigeon-holed in a query letter, in order to be done the same in a bookstore. But what of us who cheat and use Literary as a catch-all, assuming that our language, structure, or content can pass muster as literary? "

'in order to be done the same in a bookstore' wasn't written by a professional writer, let alone a literary one. Nor would a 'literary writer' capitalise the L. Sorry. If you loosen up and stop writing in what you think of as a 'literary' style, your prose will improve tremendously, I assure you.

Bernita said...

If an agent is not familiar with fantasy, how are they going to recognize/appreciate a parody of it?

blogless_troll said...

Pretentious parodies, of any genre, never work. Based on the letter, maybe this person should write Literary Essays.