Well, here I am. I’ve read books by white male authors before. Loads of them. I’ve read like…five. Or six. Yeah, I haven’t read every single book written by a white dude, but I’ve read the back cover copy on a few novels, and I went to a movie adapted from a Nicholas Sparks book, so I think I have a pretty good handle on the kinds of stories white male authors are putting out there.
I can do better.
I mean, think about it. White male authors haven’t given us anything new or fresh in a while. We need a braver, bigger voice, from someone who isn’t afraid to blaze new trails and really challenge the way we think about white male literature.
When was the last time you read a book by a white male author that had a real, kick-ass female character? And when I say kick-ass, I don’t mean well-rounded and capable of taking care of herself. I’m talking a female character who’s physically perfect and super strong, but carrying around some irreparable emotional damage. Maybe there’s a guy in her life who’s not as tough as she is, but she’ll need him. He’s the only one who’ll be able to heal her heart, and make her a whole woman again. You can bet you’ll see that fresh take in my novel. I’m not afraid to make that leap.
Of course, I might go a different way. I might center the story around a twenty-something guy having a quarter-life crisis. Can you imagine that? He doesn’t know where he’s going, and he has a lot of choices he has to make. Who’s going to help him? Um, why not that wacky girl who works at the record store and colors her hair with Sharpies? She wears a-line dresses and has bangs that fall into her eyes. She’ll change my protagonist’s life by showing him how to let go of his anxieties, let go of his therapist and probably the sexy older professor he’s banging back at college. By the time the story ends, he’ll be hanging upside down on monkey bars to subtly illustrate for the reader that he’s finally found a new perspective.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: why should anyone listen to me? I’ve never written a white male author’s book before. But I put some real consideration into this decision. Unless my beta-reader’s aunt–the high-profile literary agent–happens to see my book and finds something marketable about it, I’m going to self-publish this revolutionary work. It’s going to be far too controversial and outside-the-box for a traditional publishing house or their audience. People aren’t going to get this book. It’s just too edgy. But people didn’t “get” Moby-Dick when it first came out, either (speaking of which, Moby-Dick? I don’t want to be passive aggressive here, but my book is going to blow that P.O.S. out of the water).
I guess the thing we really have to remember here is that, despite having an overall uninformed opinion of the white male style of writing, I’m pretty sure I can barge right in and do it better than all the chumps who aren’t six degrees separated from a six-figure contract by stroke of pure networking luck. After all, if traditional publishing, that institution that strives to present only the most original and artistic takes, finds my novel marketable, that’s truly a sign that I’ve broken the mold. Even if I clearly demonstrate that I’m not sure what the mold is shaped like, or used for. Jell-o, maybe? Ice cubes?
Meh, I can do it better, anyway.