Now They’ve Really Ticked Me Off

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I’m sure there are people who believe television depicts life as it really is. That kind of ignorance can wipe out whole civilizations.

We were watching Midsommer Murders. Subplot: Mrs. Barnaby, who has never written a word of intentional fiction in her life, has decided she wants to be a novelist. First she wants to write romance, but that lasts for only a single episode. She decides she wants to write mystery/thrillers instead. She’s married to a detective but she won’t let him read her manuscript.

Anyhow, she’s only had to write three chapters before she finds a publisher for the whole novel!

Eeeeyahh! What was I doing wrong, that it took me years and years and years of work before I finally sold a novel? Why didn’t I succeed on my very first try, like Mrs. Barnaby? Why did it take me so long, with so much hard work, to learn how to write a novel that readers would actually like? Didn’t I know that being a novelist is easy, literally anyone can do it?

And then, in the very next episode, the whole subplot simply vanished. Wasn’t mentioned. What–no best-seller? I mean, as long as we’re indulging in pure fantasy… But even fantasy has to be, at some level, believable.

If you are thinking you might like to be a novelist–well, don’t even think about it unless you are prepared for the incredibly high levels of disappointment, and the multitude of sacrifices that you’ll have to make… or else it’s just a thing to do and you don’t really care that much.

Please don’t believe what you see on TV.

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