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“They say it’s bad luck to send in a full manuscript.”

“How is that bad luck?”

“You won’t get published. They want a sample. Or an agent’s letter. A referral. Or query letter.”

“But sending in the manuscript doesn’t constitute as bad luck.”

“I’m telling you, you’re not going to get in with them if you send the entire thing.”

“That’s not luck. That’s a result of my choice.”

“Not to be signed?”

“To be signed. To send the manuscript.”

“They don’t want it.”

“How do you know?”

“You know how many they get?”

You know?”

“A lot.”

“But never a manuscript as good as mine.”

“It doesn’t matter how good it is. They won’t open the first page.”

“They will when they see the title.”

“What’s it called? Bad Luck for You if Not Read?”

“No. Read This Manuscript or I’ll Kill Everyone in Your Office.”

“Good title.”

“It’s a good manuscript.”

“What’s it about?”

“A guy being signed but cursed because he forced a company to read his manuscript.”

“How’d he force them? Did he have a threatening title?”

“Yeah.”

“What was it called?”

Bad Luck for You if Not Read.”

“Good title. How is he cursed?”

“The reader doesn’t like his title or the story. He says it sucks.”

“But he’s signed?”

“Yeah. But his story sucks. So who cares.”

“Is he read by lots of people? Critics like him? Does he get famous? Make a lot of money?”

“Yeah. But the story sucks.”

“He should have used the other title about killing everyone.”

“I don’t think either title is good.”

“Who are you?”

“I’m the third guy. The reader. And this story sucks.”

“I wouldn’t call this a story.”

“Me either.”

“Me either.”

“Well, no one’s going to read it. You needed a better title. A different title. A more threatening title.”

“I thought this was the title that would get me read the most.”

“It’s always the timing. The here and now. All along, the answer was in the tense.”

Dan Jones

Author Dan Jones

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