I've been trolling the darkest corners of the internet--where our most secret fantasies live--and still I haven't decided the best way to proceed with submission. I always open an incognito tab for this kind of research, as would any person who wants to be taken seriously after their online searches are hacked and revealed to a public with an insatiable appetite for the eccentric habits of celebrities. Also to prevent spam.
Should I reveal my fantasies? Or has that been overdone? Become a cliche. No longer a turn-on. Simply boring. Apparently the only cardinal sin is being boring.
Should I beg? That works for some, apparently. Although maybe not the ones I want to attract.
How about being mysterious? Keep them guessing. That could work. Unless they aren't that curious. What if I totally expose myself and they just yawn and walk out of the room.
In an effort to answer these frightening yet scintillating questions, I have scoured websites that offer advice to novices. Here is a sampling:
"Make me unable to put it down." Good. Unless it got tiring.
"Keep it short." A bit counterintuitive.
"Be original." Really? After all this time, if I've thought of it it's a sure thing hundreds--millions?--of others have already done it. And moved on tho the next new thing. Even though, by this hypothesis, there is no new thing to move on to. Perhaps it's just a matter of offering personal discovery to someone coming of age, someone younger. But not too young, obviously. They have to be consenting adults.
"Set the hook." Apart from sounding painful--which is kind of the point, if we are honest with each other--this is perhaps the most intriguing advice. It implies dangling like a marlin, all sharp spear and glistening body. I'm not sure I'd be into dangling, though. I'm looking to close the deal.
As you must have inferred by now, I haven't settled on a strategy. Perhaps I am too timid for the game. Perhaps I'll just set my novel aside and not submit it to agents after all.