You might be a novelist if . . .

. . . you could never*say :

  • No, please, no — my book would make a terrible movie.
  • Actually, I never thought about if this book would outlive me or not.
  • Well, I mean, that book’s obviously better than mine. That’s the only reason it’s on the best seller list.
  • Of course I would only ever talk bad about a book I’ve read.
  • Man, if the reader doesn’t get it, that’s just all my fault.
  • Really, I think my publisher may have even spent too much on marketing my book.
  • No, I never call my agent too much. I completely trust him.
  • I’ve never stooped so low as to rearrange my books on a bookstore shelf, no.
  • My editor knows commas so much better than I do.
  • No, no — I’m sure that award committee knew what they were doing.
  • Novelists don’t really deserve the rock star treatment. I mean, that’s something I knew from day one.
  • I probably wouldn’t have even accepted a blurb from Her, no.
  • Yeah, it was a totally fair review. Whoever wrote it gave my book the same amount of time and attention I put into it.
  • Semicolons are for hacks.
  • Yeah, I probably could have lopped off twenty thousand words and told pretty much the same story.
  • Amazon has ratings?

and, finally, you might be a novelist if you’ve ever used either of these :

  • What, the author photo? I guess I am twenty-two in that. Hunh. We kind of got in a jam about that, I guess. It was the only one I could find.
  • The sex scenes? Of course they belonged. It’s not like I’m trying to ‘prove’ anything with them, is there? I mean, what would I have to prove, right?

©Stephen Graham Jones, 2007

*and, of course, if you immediately understood that that “never” up at the very top was just another way of saying “always, but facetiously,” then of course you don’t need lists like this to tell you you’re a novelist.

Author: SGJ