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Pup
12-03-2007, 01:26 AM
So my novel's being taken to editorial board meetings at two publishers a week from Monday. This is how everybody pictures those meetings, right? :D

My two main characters comb their hair, put on their best clothes--best for 1850s country people that is--and take the subway from the New York hotel where they're staying to the first editor's office. She makes sure the one with the drinking problem is sober and warns him it won't help to flirt with the female editors. She reassures the teenage boy who's nervous being in a big city for the first time. Then she escorts them to the meeting room.

There's a long table with editors sitting around it, each with other characters beside them. Over there's a fairy, looking intimidated by the pair of muddy soldiers joking to each other beside the next editor. With another editor is a young couple holding hands and smiling shyly. At the coffee machine is a man in armor, talking with a woman in a fighter pilot's flight suit. A dirty man in a knit cap beside one editor glares silently.

"Let's get started," someone says, and everyone finds their places. My character holds the chair for the fighter pilot to sit down. She rolls her eyes but keeps quiet, because everyone's trying to be on their best behavior.

Each editor stands and introduces the characters that he or she has brought, and they shake hands around the table. The editor describes their qualifications and speaks about their good points. There's a brief question period. The fairy flutters her wings and answers questions in a bubbly voice about her home. The soldiers swagger and snicker at some of the questions, but answer with confidence. The man in the knit cap grunts a few answers. Everybody jumps when he pounds his fist on the table after someone asks an innocent question about where he works.

My characters try their best. The older one uses the "n" word too much when he explains about his work as a slave catcher, and the boy is too shy to make eye contact but he manages some half coherent answers.

Once that part of the meeting's over, all the characters are asked to leave while the board discusses them. "I know you have another meeting to attend, so I'll email you," my characters' editor says.

So they take the elevator down to the sidewalk. On the subway, the older one says to the boy, "They liked you. If we get turned down, it's because of me."

"No," says the boy, "you did fine. I wish I could stand up and talk to people like you."

They find the other publisher's office and meet the editor there, and head into the next board room, and do it all over again.

That's how everyone pictures editorial board meetings, right? :D