So, you’ve completed your first creative writing course, had ’emerging genius’ status conferred upon you by a cardinal of Canadian letters; now this is the ideal moment to write the novel. Don’t forget, the world needs your talent and there are hardly any other people out there doing the same thing. Well, there is Margaret Atwood. She was the reason that you applied to that course in Banff.But I don’t think you lost anything, by not having the courage to get within fifty yards of her with any of your scribblings. After all, you were there in the talk, when she showed us the large notebooks that she writes in; what else would you need to know? The fact that her piercing gaze, her fame and her habit of not suffering gibbering twerps gladly, had nothing to do with it. I think the strategic stance you took of merely watching her play tennis, while you tittered and tried to take photographs, was the right one. So, it’s easy, just make like La Atwood and publish your novel!
Can I recommend here that you start off with something less like a novel and more like a commodious beach bag, into which you can toss a rag tag of anything that has so far happened to you since birth. Preferably this oeuvre should be set somewhere exotic, perhaps on a journey through South America.Make it as rambling and picaresque as possible, think Tristram Shandy meets Tom Robbins.
This book is going to be a massive hit. Who could resist? You just happen to bump into someone, whose friend has recently set herself up as a literary agent. So you send her the script, despite the fact that it is single-spaced and full of grammatical and typographical horror. She calls back a week or so later saying that she loves it!