Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Seeking the The "Holy Grail" of publication.

I'm going to share a few things I've learned about my journey using quotes from the movie, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." Hey, someone did it with "Princess Bride."

"When I first came here, this was all swamp. Everyone said I was daft to build a castle on a swamp, but I built in all the same, just to show them. It sank into the swamp. So I built a second one. That sank into the swamp. So I built a third. That burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp. But the fourth one stayed up. And that's what you're going to get, Lad, the strongest castle in all of England." 

Getting published takes determination and you likely won't succeed until your 3rd or fourth book.

  "Welcome, brave sir Knight. Welcome to the Castle Anthrax."  
"The Castle Anthrax?" 
"Yes... it's not a very good name, is it? Oh, but we are nice, and we'll attend to your every need."

A good title can get you far.

"Meanwhile, not more than two swallow's flights away, Arthur and Bedivere had discovered something. Oh, that's an unladen swallow's flight away, obviously. There were more than two laden swallow's flights away, four really, if they had the coconut on a line between them. I mean, if the birds were walking, and dragging the coconut..."
"Get on with it!"

Your plot needs good pacing and better not ramble.

"Oh, wicked, bad, naughty Zoot! She has been setting a light to our beacon, which, I've just remembered, is Grail shaped. It's not the first time we've had this problem." 

Be sure to always check submission guidelines to be sure that your manuscript is what they are looking for.

"First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it." 

Follow Directions!!!

"The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. THAT is why I am your king."
"Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony. 
"Oh, but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you. If I went 'round sayin' I was Emperor, just because some moistened bint lobbed a scimitar at me, they'd put me away."

You may have some credibility issues with your plot.

 "Go and tell your master that we have been charged by God with a sacred quest. If he will give us food and shelter for the night, he can join us in our quest for the Holy Grail."
 "Well, I'll ask him, but I don't think he will be very keen. Uh, he's already got one, you see."

They may have already bought something similar.

Finally, they may not be the right publisher for you. But if they do this, you should probably report them to Preditors and Editors.


  1. Ha, loved it!

    Love Monty Python and your summaries as pertain to writing are dead on.


  2. Thanks! I was glad it turned out and wasn't too far-fetched. :)