More Straight Lines; God Help Us

I’m pretending to be a writer today.

The good news is, if I ever decide to use my degree in creative writing, I can work for the people who write submission guidelines.

“Include one line explaining what your story is about.”


(We won’t even mention that preposition placement.)

D’you think these people also wrote the Grade 10 literacy test?

One line.   Leaves me a lot of options:

  • This story is about two women and one expensive pair of shoes.
  • This story is about growing old together.
  • This story is about ersatz beauty.
  • This story is about one woman who likes buying women’s magazines and another who enables the behaviour.

Nope.  Can’t use the last one, ’cause it’s more than one line.

I’m finding it odd that artists have so many rules.  Although, I guess the people who manage the art aren’t really intending to be artists; they’re just businessmen.  Does it make me a better artist if I follow a few seemingly random rules? Are they just trying to weed out the illiterate?  Are they just having fun messing with people’s heads?

I’m voting for that last one.

I don’t often wish to be another person, but I think I’d like to be Margaret Atwood today.  I’d send in some brilliantly written piece, single-spaced and without a cover letter.  They’d send it back to me because their time is so precious they wouldn’t read the story to see if it was worth publishing.  Then I’d send a nyah-nyah letter when someone else made millions of dollars off of the story.

Someday, when I’m rich and famous….

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