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Art Wright
05-15-2010, 11:24 PM
I am 1/3 of the way through writing a time travel novel, "Arrow of Time". As an avid Sci Fi reader and first time novel writer, I am convinced that my plot is unique and has many elements of which I am very proud, and very protective of. My question for you fine folks is, do I write a banal query letter, which probably won't make it past the secretary of an agent, or do I spice it up with plot elements, and risk sending said query letter to a fake writer's agent, who is data mining for ideas for his own drowning career.
Thank you much for your time...

CACTUSWENDY
05-15-2010, 11:33 PM
lol

My, my....I don't think I ever thought of that happening. That would make a good story line.....

I think this is why you send your query to folks that are well known and would never risk losing their name or rep from such shoddy affairs.

Will be interesting to hear what others think.

Cyia
05-15-2010, 11:41 PM
I am 1/3 of the way through writing a time travel novel, "Arrow of Time". As an avid Sci Fi reader and first time novel writer, I am convinced that my plot is unique and has many elements of which I am very proud, and very protective of. My question for you fine folks is, do I write a banal query letter, which probably won't make it past the secretary of an agent, or do I spice it up with plot elements, and risk sending said query letter to a fake writer's agent, who is data mining for ideas for his own drowning career.
Thank you much for your time...


Say you did stumble across someone "data mining". So what?

If you're querying, your book is finished. Anyone seeking "ideas" from a query would 1st have to plot, then write, then edit the book. Then they'd have to shop it around, garner interest, get an agent/publisher, etc.

If you haven't found someone to handle yours in the time it took them to write theirs, then there's something wrong either in the concept or the presentation.

(BTW - Google "arrow of time" + Stephen Hawking. The name, at least, is nothing new.)

PoppysInARow
05-15-2010, 11:49 PM
Ideas are nothing new. Ideas are a dime a dozen, and I guarentee next to no one will steal your ideas, because it takes far too much work to write a book from a stolen idea. Especially if there was no guarentee it would sell.

When you become as big as JK Rowling or Stephanie Meyer, then you can worry about people stealing your ideas or work. If you're not that famous, no one really cares.

Amadan
05-15-2010, 11:56 PM
I am 1/3 of the way through writing a time travel novel, "Arrow of Time". As an avid Sci Fi reader and first time novel writer, I am convinced that my plot is unique

I'll bet you a gazillion plubits that it isn't.


and has many elements of which I am very proud, and very protective of. My question for you fine folks is, do I write a banal query letter, which probably won't make it past the secretary of an agent,

I think you've answered your own question right there.


or do I spice it up with plot elements, and risk sending said query letter to a fake writer's agent, who is data mining for ideas for his own drowning career.
Thank you much for your time...

Seriously, you actually believe published writers go looking for query letters from unpublished writers from which they can steal ideas to "save their careers"?

It's not brilliant ideas that sell books, it's brilliant writing.

Maryn
05-16-2010, 12:00 AM
Remember, too, that if you do your homework, you will know which agents are the real deal, and who their clients are, and to what publishers they've sold their clients' books. Those agents are not about to face financial ruin and the collapse of their agency in order to steal your idea, write a novel using it themselves, and market it to publishers.

So while the previous answers are all solid, the onus is on you to sort the agents, scammers and incompetents from professional agents whose excellent reputations are deserved.

Maryn, glad to meet you

Art Wright
05-16-2010, 12:07 AM
I'll bet you a gazillion plubits that it isn't.

I don't know what a plubit is, but you're on!

I think you've answered your own question right there.



Seriously, you actually believe published writers go looking for query letters from unpublished writers from which they can steal ideas to "save their careers"?

It's not brilliant ideas that sell books, it's brilliant writing.

Where did I say the agent/writer was published? And a brilliant idea helps immensely if you have writer's block... Take brilliant writing and make a best seller out of a Chili's menu... :)

PoppysInARow
05-16-2010, 12:20 AM
Where did I say the agent/writer was published? And a brilliant idea helps immensely if you have writer's block... Take brilliant writing and make a best seller out of a Chili's menu... :)

If the author isn't published, no idea, no matter how IMMENSELY BRILLIANT OMIGAWD AWESOME that you have, will send his career through the roof. Because he still has to write the book, edit, and everything that Cyia said.

You have some options here. 1) Send queries out blindly 2) Don't send queries out because you have an irrational fear that someone will steal your work 3) DO YOUR RESEARCH!

Yeah, you might hit scammers if you don't do your research, but they're more likely going to try and make money off of you than steal your idea.

Ideas are worthless. It's putting them together into a book that makes them important. Even if someone stole your book, it's copyrighted to you the moment you write it. Ergo, theft of literature/ideas are exceedingly difficult/impossible and won't happen to you. Especially if you do your research.


Also, writer's block isn't a blocking if ideas, it's a lack of flow in the words an an innability to pound out sentences. At least that's how I know it to be.

Miss Plum
05-16-2010, 12:22 AM
Art Wright, you art wrong. How many bestselling authors or even mildly successful authors are former agents-in-disguise? Name one.

Ruth2
05-16-2010, 01:16 AM
Art, if you go over to "Query Letter Hell" in "Share Your Work", you'll see folks telling query writers not to put in so many plot points, that their queries are stuffed with too much information. If you write a good query, it'll sparkle with original writing but won't be so overloaded with info that someone could steal your premise and write your book out from under you.

So polish your query nice and shiny and send it out.

RoseColoredSkies
05-16-2010, 01:27 AM
Actually the bes thing to at this point is finish writing the book first. Worry about agents and such after you revising the heck out of it.

scarletpeaches
05-16-2010, 01:30 AM
I'll bet you a gazillion plubits that it isn't.I see your gazillion plubits and raise you eleventy bajillion quatloos.

colealpaugh
05-16-2010, 01:40 AM
risk sending said query letter to a fake writer's agent, who is data mining for ideas for his own drowning career.


In all seriousness, Art, that's sorta sounds like tin foil hat land. Really.

Old Hack
05-16-2010, 12:22 PM
Do not under ANY circumstances pretend to be an agent, representing yourself. It'll backfire horribly. Your deception will be obvious to everyone you submit to and it'll get you rejected before they've even looked at your writing. I've seen it happen several times and it's heartbreaking and embarrassing and awful.

Just finish the book, revise it carefully, and then write a stunning query letter. It's how the system works.

E. S. Lark
05-16-2010, 04:50 PM
Don't worry about queries or the subbing race right now. You aren't even done the book yet and who knows if you'll ever finish? There are a lot of projects I started and thought 'this will be great' but then I lost interest.

Once you finish writing, edit it. Look for crutch words, -ly words, passive voice, proper sentence structure, dialogue tags etc. Once you edit all of that and rid the MS of any unnecessary data (backstory and of the like) then find yourself 2-3 beta readers and have them look it over. Once they send back feedback, edit the MS again based on their notes.

Then you want to read the whole thing allowed, print it out and edit it one last time. THEN you can worry about agents. When you're ready for that, join querytracker.com - they list agents - but always, always do your research as the genres they have up on QT aren't always right. And always double check submission guidelines.

Miss Plum
05-16-2010, 06:23 PM
Do not under ANY circumstances pretend to be an agent, representing yourself. It'll backfire horribly. Your deception will be obvious to everyone you submit to and it'll get you rejected before they've even looked at your writing. I've seen it happen several times and it's heartbreaking and embarrassing and awful.

Gawd, I hope Art isn't thinking of doing this. Publishers could sniff out a phony in a second (especially one as green as Art seems to be), and the word would quickly spread among agents, who function in an industry in which everyone knows what everyone is doing.

Art, please post in to let us know you're taking us seriously. And tell us your age, too.

eqb
05-16-2010, 07:52 PM
My question for you fine folks is, do I write a banal query letter, which probably won't make it past the secretary of an agent, or do I spice it up with plot elements, and risk sending said query letter to a fake writer's agent, who is data mining for ideas for his own drowning career.

Lock the manuscript in a lead-lined box, then bury it in an undisclosed location. That's really the only way to keep your ideas safe.

Wayne K
05-16-2010, 07:58 PM
:deadhorse

Jamesaritchie
05-16-2010, 08:57 PM
Where did I say the agent/writer was published? And a brilliant idea helps immensely if you have writer's block... Take brilliant writing and make a best seller out of a Chili's menu... :)

Define brilliant idea and brilliant writing. The truth is no one out there cares a damn about brilliant writing, or about a briliant idea. It's all about story and character. Ideas mean less than nothing, and brilliant writing is something darned near every MFA student in the country can whack out at a moment's notice.

Albannach
05-16-2010, 09:14 PM
Define brilliant idea and brilliant writing. The truth is no one out there cares a damn about brilliant writing, or about a briliant idea. It's all about story and character. Ideas mean less than nothing, and brilliant writing is something darned near every MFA student in the country can whack out at a moment's notice.

LOL Oh, SO true!

Art Wright
05-16-2010, 09:51 PM
I am 47 years old. How old is the plum to be calling me art wrong? I haven't heard that one since grade school... Yes, I am "green"; this is my first attempt at writing since high school. In my life experiences, I have been: a U.S. Navy Nuclear Power Plant Operator, a successful wedding and portrait photographer (until the recession, that is), cook and dishwasher, Equipment Maintenance Engineer for TI and Intel. etc. While none of that qualifies me as a writer, it doesn't hurt either. Also, I have been thinking about this time travel novel for almost fifteen years. I could never find a technology that was plausible enough to build my time machine around... Until now. I have done a year and a half of research, compiling notebooks and a big ol' pile of Post It notes that represent my subconcious musings that will become a trilogy.
I don't remember who posted about me trying to represent myself as an agent. It isn't true, and I hope someone just misread a post.
And, Plum, I take this seriously. There is more that I don't know at this stage of my career than that I do know. I hope that some of you fine people will be willing to give a gentle nudge in the right direction.
And, Colealpaugh, you would be crazy to think it couldn't happen. I have met a LOT of devious folks in my life...

djf881
05-16-2010, 09:53 PM
I hereby decree that this thread is officially hilarious.

Incidentally, the design for my time machine was much easier. I was standing on my toilet, and I was hanging a clock, and I fell, and I hit my head on the sink. And that's when I came up with the idea for the Flux Capacitor.

Amadan
05-16-2010, 10:02 PM
The thing is, even if you do have a brilliant idea, there is no idea so brilliant and original that all by itself it screams, "Instant bestseller!" Everybody has good ideas. Any fourteen-year-old can come up with original ideas that would make a good trilogy, or a Hollywood franchise... if someone can write it. When writers suffer writer's block, it's not lack of ideas, it's lack of ability to put words on paper. Your brilliant idea won't "save" another writer. On the rare occasions where intellectual property theft does occur, it's not the high concept idea summarized in a 250-word query letter that gets stolen, it's an entire manuscript/screenplay, or large chunks of it, because producing that is the hard work that someone in desperate circumstances might be tempted to steal -- and even that happens a lot more rarely than you seem to think.

Art Wright
05-16-2010, 10:13 PM
That's why I joined AW, sober, rational info about the writing industry. I hope my "brilliant" idea is backed up by at least adequate writing. I am seven chapters into the book, and just over 14,000 words. Time is my enemy, as I still have a very well paying day job, where I have no possibility of working on my novel. I spend ten hours plus a day working and driving to/from work in Maryland. I live in Virginia...

Mishell
05-16-2010, 10:17 PM
One of the first bits of advice I give to people just starting out in writing is, "Even if you're desperately afraid that someone is going to steal your ideas, never never say so aloud where professionals can hear you." I don't mean to be cruel, because you have no way of knowing this. But honestly, it is a flashing sign around your neck that says "amateur" and although amateurs can break in, they only do so by appearing NOT to be amateurs.

Once you've given that impression, agents will not take you seriously no matter how brilliant your idea is, because they don't want to work with someone they have to explain the very basics to. One of those basics being:

No one wants to steal your idea.


What the floundering and failing writers want to steal is the months and years and talent and sensitivity and skill it takes to write and revise a salable novel. And that's just tough luck for them.

eqb
05-16-2010, 10:30 PM
Art: What's your estimated length for the finished project? And would you consider posting the first scene or two from your opening chapter on the Share Your Work feedback forum? When you're ready for feedback, of course.

Toothpaste
05-16-2010, 10:32 PM
Okay. Let's work with the premise that someone actually does want to steal your idea (which is utterly absurd and you seriously seriously don't need to worry about like the other posters here have explained in detail, and, like other posters have also said, even if someone steals your idea it doesn't matter, it's the execution of that idea that matters and that will always be unique to the individual writer).

Why are you sending out your work to agents that you haven't researched? See that's where the mind boggles. You can't get yourself in that situation if you have researched agents well enough. You need to make sure the agent you are submitting to has sales, recent sales, represents your genre, has been heard of by industry professionals and has relationships with editors at publishing houses. No one can fake that, because that is all traceable. And when you do find an agent you like, post his/her name here and people will chime in whether or not they've had experiences with him/her. With all the authors on this forum (as well as guest agents and editors) someone is bound to at least have heard of the agent. And if they haven't, don't send them your work.

The only way to get scammed is if you don't do your research. It's that simple.

colealpaugh
05-16-2010, 10:53 PM
I am 47 years old. How old is the plum to be calling me art wrong? I haven't heard that one since grade school... Yes, I am "green"; this is my first attempt at writing since high school. In my life experiences, I have been: a U.S. Navy Nuclear Power Plant Operator, a successful wedding and portrait photographer (until the recession, that is), cook and dishwasher, Equipment Maintenance Engineer for TI and Intel. etc. While none of that qualifies me as a writer, it doesn't hurt either.
And, Colealpaugh, you would be crazy to think it couldn't happen. I have met a LOT of devious folks in my life...

Just so you know, I wasn't calling you crazy, just flippantly tossing my two cents in to say that those specific worries were unwarranted. The stunningly lovely Toothpaste is also a brilliant adviser and is dead-on with her above comments.

And, btw, Art, a nuclear power plant operator? I'd really suggest not mentioning that too often. Jeez, if Homer Simpson can do it...










Just kidding and welcome to AW. Your concerns really are something you'll find can be easily mitigated by proper research. Good luck and don't hesitate to post in the Show Your Work thread. AW is an amazing resource.

JamieB
05-16-2010, 11:22 PM
Couple things to add:

First, it sounds like you're most concerned about revealing the unique method you've come up with for time travel in your novel. This isn't something that would go into your query letter anyway. The "nuts and bolts" of how your invention works isn't what you would include unless it's vital to the plot on the most basic level. Your query would focus on your main character and what is at stake for that person.

Second, if your query generates a request to read the full manuscript, that agent will have your ideas, your words, all of it. This goes back to research, as many have already mentioned. To put your work out there takes trust in people you don't know and faith that it's okay if they read your ms and then reject it. That's part of the process, so you have to come to terms with it.

Good luck! It'll work out!

thothguard51
05-17-2010, 12:25 AM
Art,

Welcome to the AW.

As a fellow Virginian, living in Manassas, I spent 20 years working all over the DC suburbs and I know what the commuting is like. Hell, it wasn't the 8-10 hrs days at work that wore me out, but the 2-3 hour drive home.

As to the AW, the only thing I can offer is that the folks here pretty much shoot straight on the advice they give freely. The information I have received here has helped me understand the realities of publishing verse's my naive idea's about how publishing works. Very eye opening...

The only advice I can offer about your writing at a part time level, is to be very realistic about how long its going to take you to go from rough draft to finished product. I know because during those 20 years I traversed 495, I only wrote part time because of career, family, husband & father obligations...

Just finishing your first manuscript, is a challenge and something to be proud of by itself. But then, at a part time level, you could take several additional years of rewrites, editing and tweaking your manuscript until it shines like a new car. But that is not enough, because you could then spend years making the query rounds, researching the agents and publishers to make sure you are submitting to the very best ones that fit your manuscript. You don't just submit to anyone.

You mention this is part of a trilogy. My advice, finish all three books before you think about going farther. Why? Because by time you finish the third book you are going to see plot wholes and stuff in the first two that you had not seen while writing them. Some will be big enough to drive a dump truck through. Most agents and editors don't generally want to hear about a trilogy from a new writer. They want that first book to be a total stand alone and if by chance it sells well, then they'll talk to you about books 2 and 3. Would you buy a three book series without knowing the first one is going to sell well?

Keep this in mind as you continue your journey. Writing for oneself can be considered art. but writing for publication is a business.

ChaosTitan
05-17-2010, 01:55 AM
That's why I joined AW, sober, rational info about the writing industry. I hope my "brilliant" idea is backed up by at least adequate writing. I am seven chapters into the book, and just over 14,000 words. Time is my enemy, as I still have a very well paying day job, where I have no possibility of working on my novel. I spend ten hours plus a day working and driving to/from work in Maryland. I live in Virginia...



Welcome, Art. :welcome: Your location made me chuckle, because I lived in Leesburg for five years before leaving VA.


AW is definitely a wealth of information on almost any question you could think to ask. But from reading this post, you're putting the cart before the horse. You're only 14k words into your novel and you don't have a lot of free time to dedicate to it, which means you're looking at many, many months (a year or two?) before you even have a complete 85-100k word manuscript. And then you have to take the time to edit and polish it to the best of your ability.

You shouldn't be thinking about agents until you've at least reached the editing stage. One of the biggest mistakes new writers make is querying too early. They either query before the book is finished, or they query before they've edited it and gotten beta feedback--and they inevitably regret doing both.

As for your fear of ideas being stolen, others have addressed that. But if you research carefully and use both AW and other online resources such as Preditors & Editors, you should be able to avoid the scammers.

BenPanced
05-17-2010, 01:57 AM
Art, the only writing a scam artist is interested in is the signature on the check you send them for their "services".

Art Wright
05-17-2010, 03:51 AM
Art: What's your estimated length for the finished project? And would you consider posting the first scene or two from your opening chapter on the Share Your Work feedback forum? When you're ready for feedback, of course.

Well, I'm editing as I go, so I have multiple versions saved by chapter/version. I took two days off of work last week, and I wrote three chapters. As I mentioned a few posts earlier, I have been thinking and recording stray, subconscious ideas which have been frequent and on target, fixing a technical point or dealing with a new use for the machine. I have been writing mainly by memory of the post it notes which I used at my job to record comments and ideas. After sorting them according to segment of the book (beginning, middle and end), AND sorting ones that were intended to go towards books two and three.
I have had some very nice and cogent replies to my query question. I have also had what I consider rude, arrogant and snobbish responses. I feel no shame at being a new author. You have to start sometime, no? As to your last question, I don't think I will be posting any of my work, not for any time soon. Not for fear of any kind, especially that anyone on here will steal my idea, but because many on this thread have shown a delinquency in their replies to my admittedly naive FIRST post.

Smish
05-17-2010, 04:15 AM
Finish your novel, Art. Don't worry about agents right now. You shouldn't query anyone until your novel is as good as you can possibly make it.

As others have said, it's very rare for ideas to be stolen. Do your research (the Bewares and Backgrounds section here at AW is a good place to start) and only query reputable agents. If an agent thinks the book will sell, they'll offer to represent you. If their career is tanking (and by the way, that's the sort of thing that should show up in your research. Simply don't query those agents!), they'll want to sell the book NOW. They won't want to wait a year for some other writer to write the darn thing, then spend months polishing it, and then spend months submitting it to publishers, etc. If you have the book NOW, there's no reason to wait for it.

Also, even if someone else has your exact idea, two writers aren't going to write the exact same book. And as someone upthread mentioned, you're not going to go into detail about the scientific elements of time travel in your query (at least, you shouldn't).

Lastly, you're really going to have to toughen up a bit if you want to make it in this business. If you can't take a little bit of criticism from strangers on a message board, having the novel you poured your heart and soul into rejected over and over again by agents, editors, and (hopefully) readers is going to break you.

Now, go WRITE. Then revise/edit/polish. Then find a few good beta readers. Then revise/edit/polish. Then start querying respected agents who barely have time to read your query, let alone steal your ideas.

Best of luck to you.

:)Smish

Calla Lily
05-17-2010, 04:26 AM
I have had some very nice and cogent replies to my query question. I have also had what I consider rude, arrogant and snobbish responses. I feel no shame at being a new author. You have to start sometime, no? As to your last question, I don't think I will be posting any of my work, not for any time soon. Not for fear of any kind, especially that anyone on here will steal my idea, but because many on this thread have shown a delinquency in their replies to my admittedly naive FIRST post.

*sigh*

1. Everyone was a newbie once.
2. When people replied that you had nothing to worry about and that agents aren't failed authors in disguise who are datamining, you played the "I have experience and smarts and now I shall make a snarky comment dissing you" game.
3. A very few replied in kind, and the majority gave you helpful advice, while welcoming you to AW and pointing you to the places here where you can find answers and help.
4. You then played the "You people aren't worthy to read my golden words.

One of the best ways a writer--new and experienced--inproves their craft is by listening and learning from other writers.

Good luck with your writing.

eqb
05-17-2010, 05:00 AM
Well, I'm editing as I go, so I have multiple versions saved by chapter/version. I took two days off of work last week, and I wrote three chapters.

So the short answer is: no, you don't have an estimated final length.

No shame in that--estimating the final length takes some experience--but do be aware that SF markets generally want in the range of 80K to 100K for first novels.


As to your last question, I don't think I will be posting any of my work, not for any time soon. Not for fear of any kind, especially that anyone on here will steal my idea, but because many on this thread have shown a delinquency in their replies to my admittedly naive FIRST post.

I would say you invited the snarkiness, but whatever. Imo, you will need to get feedback on your plot, prose, characters, and query letter before you approach an agent. If you aren't comfortable posting excerpts on SYW, you might check out the beta reader forum for a critique partner.

Best of luck.

djf881
05-17-2010, 05:13 AM
I can't believe this has gotten so many serious replies.

Art, the sober, rational information is available here and elsewhere if you take the trouble to look for it. The people who are being nasty and sarcastic are acting this way because you clearly have not bothered to read any of the useful information available here and elsewhere, and because you've come onto a forum populated by people who are fairly serious about writing to tell us all how groundbreaking and awesome the time-travel story you haven't written is.

But, in the interest of saving you from a rip-off:

A) You should not query for fiction you haven't written. Debut fiction does not sell on proposal. Anyone who offers to represent a novel that isn't complete is running some kind of scam. I think that is a rule with no exceptions. A novel is complete at 70,000-90,000 words.

B) The scams out there take advantage of the tendency of aspiring writers to be crazy or stupid or to fail to do the proper diligence. Don't be any of those things. People who are crazy and stupid often do not realize they are crazy and stupid. You must recognize any crazy or stupid tendencies you might have, and work to counteract them. This is very important. Do not disregard this.

C) Scam or phony agents are not interested in stealing your book or your ideas. Story ideas are easy to come up with, and they're worthless unless they're manifested in a very strong book. Scam/phony agents are looking to steal your money. They will ask for a reading fee or try to set you up with a vanity publisher. You should do research on agents before you query them, and know who they are and what they've sold.

D) A reputable agent is someone who has documented sales. An appropriate agent for your book is someone who has documented sales in your genre. This is who you want to query. You can find this information at agentquery.com and publishersmarketplace.com.

Theo81
05-17-2010, 01:54 PM
Hiya Art,

I sympathise with your lack of time to write. It's a problem for everybody and, short of omitting sleep, there are no obvious solutions. Are you able to get some kind of carpooling system going to help with your transport difficulties? Or else get public transport part of the way? Even if it's only half of your journey, that's maybe 90 minutes morning and night that you can sit and concentrate on your writing. You can write long-hand in the back of a car or on the train. It may not be your prefered method but it optimises your time.
Failing that, give up television, sports and seeing other humans at non-essential moments.



With regard to your concerns about your plot being stolen - the world is a large place; You have not come up with an original idea. I don't need to know your idea to know this. Somebody, somewhere, will have thought of it first. Others will come along and think of it also. Some of them may even be writing a novel about it. It doesn't matter.
In your posts it sounds as though you feel very precious about your writing. It's a hard thing to learn to stop doing, but you'll get there.

As others have said, write your novel - revise your novel - revise your novel again - query agents.

Good luck with it all. There may be snarky replies here, but none of them are deeply unfair. We're all writing and we've all felt the way you do about it. It's one of the reasons for the hillarity.

Theo

Kitty27
05-17-2010, 05:37 PM
LOL!

This thread is hilarious!

Everything has been done before. Just in different ways.

Your idea is safe. Even if someone swaggerjacked you,your book.is.already.finished. They would have to be one helluva fast writer to steal the idea,plot a story, characters, etc around it and write a query. Then submit it. I am fast but not that fast!


I don't think representing youself as an agent is advisable. I feel this will lead to you becoming the object of high lulz and ruining your potential career.

Write,revise,finish. Then take your time and research agents. This site rocks in providing information. Write a terrific query and then start sending it out. Reputable agents love books,want new authors and want to make grip. They don't want money upfront or be accused of stealing and whatnot.

Art Wright
05-17-2010, 08:14 PM
*sigh*

1. Everyone was a newbie once.
2. When people replied that you had nothing to worry about and that agents aren't failed authors in disguise who are datamining, you played the "I have experience and smarts and now I shall make a snarky comment dissing you" game.
3. A very few replied in kind, and the majority gave you helpful advice, while welcoming you to AW and pointing you to the places here where you can find answers and help.
4. You then played the "You people aren't worthy to read my golden words.

One of the best ways a writer--new and experienced--inproves their craft is by listening and learning from other writers.

Good luck with your writing.

callalily61 - I just reread this thread, and I admit to some of what you said. I have never been good on message boards; like smish said, I take things too personally.

As to other points brought up, thank you first off. I actually started looking for an agent due to an email from a NASA Engineer who has agreed to help me with orbital velocities, calculating travel time to Proxima Centauri, etc. He wanted to know if I was going to get an agent now or after the novel is finished. Thanks to all of you who have pointed out the way the agent game should be played. I was googling "Science Fiction Agents" and getting the phone book as a response. It was a little overwhelming, to say the least. I apologize to one and all of you for being a little d***head last night. I had been writing and editing all day, and I shouldn't have responded as I did under any circumstances, but especially due to my exhaustion. I will post my first two or three chapters when I get home tonight. I cannot access the internet at work, save for lunch and breaks, so please don't think I am blowing you off. The last time I wrote anything, there were still two spaces after a period...

Calla Lily
05-17-2010, 09:30 PM
Art, because of this gracious response I'll volunteer to dive back into SYW and look at your chapters. I've betaed SF before and know a decent amount about the conventions.

Welcome to AW. :)

kdbeaar
05-17-2010, 09:34 PM
Art, first off, welcome to AW. As you can see, there are some very knowledgeable people here dispensing invaluable advice.

Now I have a little piece of advice: Since you've already gotten two pages' worth of information in this thread regarding this issue, I think it would be nice if you removed the following question from Kathleen Ortiz' new "Ask the Agent" column:

As a life long Sci Fi reader, I am positive that my novel(s) contain one of a kind time travel treatment. How do I submit my already written query letter to agents without giving away my ideas? I mean, just because said person has hung out a shingle saying Agent: Query's Wanted - what if the person is data mining for story ideas to steal?

because I'd hate to see you piss her off before she even starts.

Art Wright
05-17-2010, 10:23 PM
Art, first off, welcome to AW. As you can see, there are some very knowledgeable people here dispensing invaluable advice.

Now I have a little piece of advice: Since you've already gotten two pages' worth of information in this thread regarding this issue, I think it would be nice if you removed the following question from Kathleen Ortiz' new "Ask the Agent" column:

As a life long Sci Fi reader, I am positive that my novel(s) contain one of a kind time travel treatment. How do I submit my already written query letter to agents without giving away my ideas? I mean, just because said person has hung out a shingle saying Agent: Query's Wanted - what if the person is data mining for story ideas to steal?

because I'd hate to see you piss her off before she even starts.

I will do so pronto! Thanks!

callalily61 - "I've betaed? Not sure what you were going for there. ;)

Art Wright
05-17-2010, 10:27 PM
All I get is a busy circle going clockwise when I try to edit that post.
Is it because I'm an old newbie (not all that old)?

Giant Baby
05-17-2010, 10:28 PM
callalily61 - "I've betaed? Not sure what you were going for there. ;)

She means beta read, Art. A beta reader is someone--preferably who does not love you--who reads your manuscript with a critical eye. You'll get used to some of the terminology as you stick around! Welcome!

Calla Lily
05-17-2010, 10:28 PM
LOL, it's a perfectly G-rated, actual word. It's short for "I've been a beta reader for [insert genre], so I have a clue." :)

Calla Lily
05-17-2010, 10:29 PM
All I get is a busy circle going clockwise when I try to edit that post.
Is it because I'm an old newbie (not all that old)?

Could be a slow Net connection. Hit Stop and try again.

Art Wright
05-17-2010, 10:29 PM
And I thought I was done with contracted words when I left the Navy... :)

augusto
05-17-2010, 11:18 PM
And I thought I was done with contracted words when I left the Navy... :)

They've only just begun, Art. Welcome!!

Art Wright
05-19-2010, 05:00 AM
Thanks August!

KathleenD
05-19-2010, 06:02 AM
Welcome. I just wanted to poke in my nose to say my better half commuted from Reston to Baltimore until we managed to sell our house and move. The horror... the horror...

However, he did plot out a brilliant fantasy novel during all that road time. People underestimate how productive a writer can be when he's already done the thinking before the keyboard session starts. You'll finish faster than anyone thinks you will ;)

Annayna
05-19-2010, 06:07 AM
I <3 AW!

Art Wright
05-19-2010, 06:23 AM
Thanks for posting! We share a love of photography (WWW.AJWPhoto.com).
And it looks like you have a book out or coming out soon. Cool beans! There are WAY too many people commuting around here. But, it is good to know that I am not the only guy driving around composing books while doing so! Any interest in being beta buddies?


QUOTE=KathleenD;4967991]Welcome. I just wanted to poke in my nose to say my better half commuted from Reston to Baltimore until we managed to sell our house and move. The horror... the horror...

However, he did plot out a brilliant fantasy novel during all that road time. People underestimate how productive a writer can be when he's already done the thinking before the keyboard session starts. You'll finish faster than anyone thinks you will ;)[/QUOTE]

mscelina
05-19-2010, 06:44 AM
Until you're finished with the novel, have revised it numerous times, rewritten it a few more and polished it until it shines, you don't need to worry about some mythical plot stealer taking your story and making a fortune off of it based from a query. First off, if you have that much information in a query, you'll never make it to an agent. Second off, no one can duplicate your thoughts so no one can replicate your story. Third off, there are no completely unique plots and/or story ideas. Fourth, no reputable agent will hire data mining staff who skim queries for ideas and then produce stories about them themselves. Fifth, this is kind of like bitching about who took the biggest piece of cake before the oven's even warmed up.

Write your story. Revise it. Rewrite it. Repeat. Then,several months or years down the pike, research literary agents who represent your genre and begin to query them, secure in the knowledge that you didn't waste ungodly amounts of time waiting for the leprechaun to hop out and steal your pot of gold.

Just write the story. The rest will happen when it's time. And whatever you do, do NOT query a fiction project that isn't completed.

Art Wright
05-19-2010, 05:27 PM
Can we officially put this dead horse to rest? I promise to archive this thread and PM to the next newbie who asks a silly query question. I thank each and everyone who posted on this thread! I learned something different from each of you. I would especially like to thank the published writers for their input further into the thread. I hope to join you, soon! I'm only at 14,000 words, but it's only been three months! And I'm working ten hours a day in Maryland. Oh, and thanks for the PMs; very informative. Thank you all, again!

Lucy
05-20-2010, 02:52 AM
This thread is hilarious. The idea of someone who admits that he hasn't written since high school has not even been fleshed into a genuine novel and he's worried about an agent stealing it? Not a chance.

If you finish the book, worry about getting an agent.

RedRose
05-20-2010, 06:51 AM
That's why I joined AW, sober, rational info about the writing industry. I hope my "brilliant" idea is backed up by at least adequate writing. I am seven chapters into the book, and just over 14,000 words. Time is my enemy, as I still have a very well paying day job, where I have no possibility of working on my novel. I spend ten hours plus a day working and driving to/from work in Maryland. I live in Virginia...



You have to make time, Art. The advice about starting early is great. I get up at 3 or 4 in the morning to write. Then, I get ready for the rest of my day. If I have to be somewhere very early that day, I get up an hour earlier. I make time.

Focus on finishing your novel to the best of your ability and then worry about how to get an agent. Writing isn't easy, otherwise everyone would be doing it. Turning an idea into a novel is hard work.

You're right to worry about your writing. You should place your focus there and how you tell the story, instead of whether someone will steal your ideas.

Learning how to write on your own is a mammoth task.

Art Wright
05-20-2010, 03:24 PM
This thread is hilarious. The idea of someone who admits that he hasn't written since high school has not even been fleshed into a genuine novel and he's worried about an agent stealing it? Not a chance.

If you finish the book, worry about getting an agent.

Where did you get the hate? I'll PM you if I ever run out... Oh, and where is your Opus, hmmmm?

Lucy
05-20-2010, 11:33 PM
My books are in bookstores.

Hate? I merely pointed out an obvious truth.

HistorySleuth
05-21-2010, 02:08 AM
Lucy, Lucy, Lucy ..... sigh. Poor Art here already conceded in the post before yours he was going in the wrong direction and asked, "Can we officially put this dead horse to rest?"

I'm pretty sure he is looking for constructive help. Welcome Art!

:deadhorse DEAD HORSE RESTING :D

Stanmiller
05-21-2010, 02:34 AM
Durn. And things were just getting interesting...

Lucy
05-21-2010, 04:04 AM
I don't acquiesce to the idea that Art is in charge of the conversation, that he has the ultimate control of the conversation.

I added my statement that he was being foolish. There was nothing inherently wrong with that.

Chumplet
05-21-2010, 04:39 AM
Lucy, I don't think you read through the entire thread.

Art, welcome. I noticed you mentioned a lot of notes and data. I hope you have it organized so you can easily access it. Your theory sounds interesting and the NASA colleague will hopefully help you keep on track.

As far as the writing goes, I didn't write since high school, but took it up at age 47. I wrote during Prime time while the rest of the family watched TV.

Try not to set all your hopes on your first book. Yes, many debut authors can hit the big time. Our own Jamie Ford and John Elder Robison and Cindy Pon are fine examples. They joined AW early in their careers and did very well.
Others cut their teeth on smaller pubs, honing their skills until they become better writers. I've submitted to SYW with chapters and queries, and although some critiquers can be brutally honest, they help in the long run.

Good luck with your book. I wish you great success.

Terie
05-21-2010, 09:04 AM
I don't acquiesce to the idea that Art is in charge of the conversation, that he has the ultimate control of the conversation.

I added my statement that he was being foolish. There was nothing inherently wrong with that.

So you're saying that you think it's acceptable to call someone foolish when they've already admitted they were mistaken about something? That you think it's acceptable to call a newbie foolish, like, ever?

You might want to review rule #1 here at AW: respect your fellow writer.

Calla Lily
05-21-2010, 04:13 PM
Thanks, Terie. You beat me to it. :)

Art Wright
05-21-2010, 05:22 PM
Thanks for the feedback (good and bad). I had seen similar poor behavior and puppy training on other boards. Somehow I expected better than "Lucy" here. This is not to say I judge all of AW by "Lucy"; I would be no better than "her" if I did that. I am officially a lurker now. I will read if I have time, but no more posting.

Jamesaritchie
05-21-2010, 05:24 PM
I am 47 years old. How old is the plum to be calling me art wrong? I haven't heard that one since grade school... Yes, I am "green"; this is my first attempt at writing since high school. In my life experiences, I have been: a U.S. Navy Nuclear Power Plant Operator, a successful wedding and portrait photographer (until the recession, that is), cook and dishwasher, Equipment Maintenance Engineer for TI and Intel. etc. While none of that qualifies me as a writer, it doesn't hurt either. Also, I have been thinking about this time travel novel for almost fifteen years. I could never find a technology that was plausible enough to build my time machine around... Until now. I have done a year and a half of research, compiling notebooks and a big ol' pile of Post It notes that represent my subconcious musings that will become a trilogy.
I don't remember who posted about me trying to represent myself as an agent. It isn't true, and I hope someone just misread a post.
And, Plum, I take this seriously. There is more that I don't know at this stage of my career than that I do know. I hope that some of you fine people will be willing to give a gentle nudge in the right direction.
And, Colealpaugh, you would be crazy to think it couldn't happen. I have met a LOT of devious folks in my life...

I'd say two things here. One, if you really have a plausible technology for time travel, you should be writing nonfiction, not a novel. Darned few readers will ever care about the technology you use for time travel. A LOT of brilliant time travel books have already been written, and the technology used is seldom even mentioned because the story shouldn't be about the technology, it's about how time travel, whatever the technology used, affects people.

As for ideas, a famous SF magazine editor used to send the same idea to a dozen or so writers, and would then publish all the stories written from that single idea. Readers generally had no clue that all the stories used the same idea.

This is why no one will steal your ides. Well, the real reason is that no one can steal what you don't own, and no one owns an idea. What they own is the specific result of the idea, the way they turn that idea into a novel. But no one will steal this, either, simply because, like it or not, it won't be worth stealing.

The simple truth is that your manuscript will be one of millions, and until it is published, until a BUNCH of readers buy it, not only will no one steal it, you'll be lucky if you could pay someone to take it.

This is not a statement of your writing, or the novel's potential worth, it's simply the way it is will any manuscript written by an unproven writer.

Books are stolen after they're published and become popular, not before.

Toothpaste
05-21-2010, 07:10 PM
Thanks for the feedback (good and bad). I had seen similar poor behavior and puppy training on other boards. Somehow I expected better than "Lucy" here. This is not to say I judge all of AW by "Lucy"; I would be no better than "her" if I did that. I am officially a lurker now. I will read if I have time, but no more posting.

This makes no sense. One person was a bit rude to you, many members come back to defend you and to tell her she was behaving badly, that she should go back and read the entire thread etc . . . basically you get nothing but support but because one individual, who you acknowledge you can't judge all of AW by, you still are just going to lurk.

When people here have been so supportive and helpful, you diss them by painting them all with the same brush as one person who acted not so great.

Stick around, keep posting, this is a great resource, and might also be just what the doctor ordered for you. It seems to me that the moment someone says something you don't quite like your automatic response is to get very defensive. This is something I can totally relate to. Being here at AW, dealing with many different personalities and people who may disagree with you, is a great opportunity to learn how to just let unpleasant comments slide. I know I'm much better with that (though far from perfect, I still take the bait every now and again :) ).

At any rate, don't leave because one person was mean to you. Stay because many people defended you.

Mishell
05-21-2010, 07:52 PM
I can sympathize a bit with Art, because really, if I'm at a party, all it takes is one person being rude to me and I'm ready to leave. I'm not sure it's our place to tell him what he should and shouldn't be able to endure. Everyone's personality is different.

If he's not enjoying himself here, then we're not doing any favors by trying to talk him into sticking his neck out over and over. Some people are just more sensitive to rude responses than others. There are other ways to learn about writing other than on message boards, of course. I learned 90% of what I know from reading books.

Art, if you're still reading, check out Writers Digest books... that's how I got most of my writing education, including all this stuff about "no one is going to steal your idea." And the books almost never said rude things to me. :)

Toothpaste
05-21-2010, 07:59 PM
Fair enough. I don't want anyone to be unhappy, and it's harder to learn stuff when you're unhappy.

I guess my point was simply that the reason he wants to leave, might be the exact reason why he ought to stay. That staying would allow him to get better at dealing with those kinds of people, as I know it has for me. But of course I don't want anyone to do something that will just make them uncomfortable.

Art, do what you think is best. Mishell is right, forums aren't the be all and end all of research on the industry.

Lucy
05-23-2010, 04:55 AM
I was not mean! I was only saying that it is silly to think that some agent is just dying to get his/her hands on an ms. The fact that Art believes his idea is new makes me think that Art has not done enough reading of his genre to really know what is out there. I was not in any way intending to be insulting.

I've had this discussion before and every time, I get slammed for it (which is fine). But most people are just ignorant about writing when they start. Lord knows I was, and so are the vast majority of others. There's nothing shameful about this, but one must be humble. One must start from a position of questioning and learning. Assuming you're the coolest thing since MTV is only going to make you look foolish to those of us who have been working at our craft for many years.

I hope Art is successful and I would never want to silence someone just because I spoke my mind. Art, don't be so thin skinned. If you can't handle what was objectively a very mild comment, then how are you going to handle rejections from agents and editors? How will you handle it when an agent writes some truly scathing remark - not about your idea in principle ( as I have done) but about your idea for real, as it is written on the page?

Buck up, Art. Don't let me silence you. That was never my intention. I only felt that I was permitted to add my view, just as everyone else was.

I'm not sure why you put "her" in quotes, but I am a woman.

And please, you be a man. Don't take crap from anyone.

Toothpaste
05-23-2010, 08:06 AM
Lucy, I think the reason you came across as mean was because Art had already admitted to not knowing everything later in the thread, and then most humbly thanked people for their advice and apologised for his hubris in his first couple initial postings. Then you come along, as if none of that had happened and try to knock sense into him. This can happen when a person doesn't read an entire thread. And thus it came across as utterly unnecessary and a little mean. Like you felt a need to put that final nail in the coffin when the issue had basically already been closed, and apologies had been made all round.

At any rate, Art, I do hope you come back, but if you don't, good luck with everything!

Mishell
05-23-2010, 06:37 PM
Also, opening by talking about the OP in the third person and calling his concerns "hilarious" might have had something to do with it. He was standing right there. Figuratively speaking, anyway.

Lucy
05-23-2010, 09:00 PM
Yes, so what? It was funny to me. It was seriously hilarious. I wasn't trying to be mean or cute; I was simply saying the idea was so outlandish that it was funny.

For writers, there are some seriously sensitive people on this board. I've never attacked anyone (and never would) but I reject the idea that mindless support for any idea at all is "respectful" or even a good thing. Simply stating up front that Art was way off base (vis a vis the role of agents) was NOT IN ANY WAY AN ATTACK. I was not saying, "Art, you are horrible writer, you're stupid, give up."

I was saying nothing about Art at all - only his idea which was hilarious. I have stupid ideas all day long (as well as good ones). I don't have any problem admitting my stupid ideas or looking foolish when I discuss them. My only issue with Art was that he threw up his hands and ran away when someone bluntly told him that his idea was nuts. It makes me wonder how he's going to handle rejection - not just some random comment on the internet. Look at the Rejection and Dejection board. You'll see oceans of serious writers who are getting poured out every day. Every single person here on AW knows that rejection is a fact of life.

You shouldn't let me or anyone else tell you what to write. I would just caution Art that he sounds ignorant if he thinks his idea is brand spanking new. It makes him sound like he has no idea what he's doing.

I hope Art is madly successful. I hope every one is successful in life at whatever they want to do. And part of being successful is actually learning and respecting the process (learn by screwing up, get better, get rejected, get even better, still get rejected, improve some more, etc.) That's not my rule. I didn't make it up. But I've learned to respect it. I was only trying to point out that rule to Art. If I did less than artfully, that is my mistake. But there is not a single person who can say that what I wrote is in any way wrong.

Amadan
05-23-2010, 09:28 PM
But there is not a single person who can say that what I wrote is in any way wrong.

Well, since you're such a principled advocate of free speech and Keeping It Real and all that, you know that anyone can, in fact, say that what you wrote was wrong. You don't have to agree, but it's odd that you're so stubbornly insisting that you have a right to continue kicking someone after you've been told repeatedly that it's no longer necessary or constructive, but no one has a right to tell you that that's kind of a jerkish thing to do.

Terie
05-23-2010, 10:39 PM
But there is not a single person who can say that what I wrote is in any way wrong.

Walking up to someone who weighs 350 pounds and saying, 'Hey, you're fat,' isn't being factually wrong, but that doesn't make it right to do. Or polite.

frisco
05-23-2010, 11:43 PM
One of the downsides here is that people can tend to be a bit on the negative side, but that comes with being involved in the creative process I guess. I'm sure you have every right to be concerned over people stealing your ideas, but at the same time I do think it is a chance you would have to take. Its very important to get an agent, so taking the chance to discuss your work is a first step that needs to be taken.

I would mention a few things. First, a query letter is a very brief slice of your work. You will only be giving a tease as to what its about, so no one is going to be able to significantly steal anything from it. I'm sure the query for TWILIGHT was something like "girl falls in love with a Vampire!" and not much more. The idea itself is nothing new--its been done for years, but it sold a gazillion copies despite all the critics who lamblasted it.

I feel its important to research your agents. If someone is a legitimate agent than you will know what just by googling their name. If you have any doubts just send those queries out to agent who are affiliated with larger publishing houses.

Truthfully I wouldn't be worrying to much about sending queries when you are only 1/3 of the way through your first novel. You need to have it complete and you should have revised it to the point where it is ready to be shown before you send anything.

I wish you all the luck in the world.

eqb
05-23-2010, 11:44 PM
But there is not a single person who can say that what I wrote is in any way wrong.

No, but I can say that your timing sucked.

He acknowledged he screwed up. Then you came along and laughed. Explain why we should ignore your faux pas but not his.

Toothpaste
05-23-2010, 11:49 PM
Lucy, certainly you are allowed to share your thoughts (though the whole free speech mantra here only extends as far as "respect your fellow writer"), and I suppose if your sole purpose was to show up in this thread and have a laugh, then sure, beating a dead horse, and coming in laughing at someone who had just very humbly admitted he was wrong and that he looked forward to improving and had taken all our points very much to heart, is exactly the right thing for you to do.

If however your aim was to be helpful, you missed the mark. The mere fact that you thought coming in and addressing an issue that had been resolved alone shows you don't seem to have an understanding of what is helpful and what is not, but doing it in a slightly mocking manner (which, I have to say, rarely works as a teaching tool) was even more clueless.

But yes, you got to have a nice time. In the meantime you have made most people here think you are pretty clueless as to how to be helpful, and made one person who had just begun to learn some new things so offended that he felt he needed to leave (and I'm sorry, but the "thin skin" line is such a tired one - placing all the blame on the person for being offended and accepting no responsibility for perhaps having said something wrong. Here on writing forums we take responsibility for how we come across, you know, words being our thing and all). Obviously you think you're the cat's meow, shocking really how no one here agrees with you. It doesn't mean that, once we get to know you, we won't discover that you actually are indeed the cat's meow, I'm sure you're just delightful. But in this case, possibly, just possibly, you didn't come across as you thought you would. Instead of blaming all of us, as if somehow we all got together and decided to pick on you, maybe you can accept that some of what you said wasn't appropriate in the moment.


ETA: btw, you really ought to read this entire thread, I get the impression you didn't, as defending your right to point out certain things wouldn't be an issue for you if you had. Those certain things had already been pointed out, by many of us here. It's not that we don't agree with your points, simply in your manner of expressing them, and the unfortunate timing.

Lucy
05-24-2010, 01:18 AM
>>Well, since you're such a principled advocate of free speech and Keeping It Real and all that, you know that anyone can, in fact, say that what you wrote was wrong. You don't have to agree, but it's odd that you're so stubbornly insisting that you have a right to continue kicking someone after you've been told repeatedly that it's no longer necessary or constructive, but no one has a right to tell you that that's kind of a jerkish thing to do.>>

Keeping it Real? Free speech? I never even mentioned those things. This has nothing whatsoever to do with the First Amendment.

Once again, I am NOT saying that I have a "right" to do ANYTHING AT ALL, certainly not "continue kicking someone..." I am *NOT* kicking him at all.

I was expressing an opinion about his idea. I see no argument in your comment that my comment is wrong (i.e., it is ridiculous to worry about an agent stealing your idea, especially since you haven't written since high school and the manuscript isn't complete.) I defy you to show me one success story that features those elements.

Lucy
05-24-2010, 01:27 AM
Lucy, certainly you are allowed to share your thoughts (though the whole free speech mantra here only extends as far as "respect your fellow writer"), and I suppose if your sole purpose was to show up in this thread and have a laugh, then sure, beating a dead horse, and coming in laughing at someone who had just very humbly admitted he was wrong and that he looked forward to improving and had taken all our points very much to heart, is exactly the right thing for you to do.

If however your aim was to be helpful, you missed the mark. The mere fact that you thought coming in and addressing an issue that had been resolved alone shows you don't seem to have an understanding of what is helpful and what is not, but doing it in a slightly mocking manner (which, I have to say, rarely works as a teaching tool) was even more clueless.

But yes, you got to have a nice time. In the meantime you have made most people here think you are pretty clueless as to how to be helpful, and made one person who had just begun to learn some new things so offended that he felt he needed to leave (and I'm sorry, but the "thin skin" line is such a tired one - placing all the blame on the person for being offended and accepting no responsibility for perhaps having said something wrong. Here on writing forums we take responsibility for how we come across, you know, words being our thing and all). Obviously you think you're the cat's meow, shocking really how no one here agrees with you. It doesn't mean that, once we get to know you, we won't discover that you actually are indeed the cat's meow, I'm sure you're just delightful. But in this case, possibly, just possibly, you didn't come across as you thought you would. Instead of blaming all of us, as if somehow we all got together and decided to pick on you, maybe you can accept that some of what you said wasn't appropriate in the moment.


ETA: btw, you really ought to read this entire thread, I get the impression you didn't, as defending your right to point out certain things wouldn't be an issue for you if you had. Those certain things had already been pointed out, by many of us here. It's not that we don't agree with your points, simply in your manner of expressing them, and the unfortunate timing.

Please, let's get one thing straight. Show me where I mentioned Free Speech as an argument for anything I said. I didn't. I only mentioned it once in reply to someone else who levied the same accusation. This has nothing whatsoever to do with Free Speech.

Secondly, I'm not blaming anyone for anything; I am responsible for my own reactions. I enjoy reading the posts here, but I don't require anyone's devotion or utterances of love to sustain my sense of well-being.

Third, if my remark was unhelpful, I accept that. I even accept that my delivery was off.

Fourth, the "thin skin" comment is a slippery one. On the one hand, I can't be responsible for knowing the temperament of every person I talk to in the course of a day. (Or you, or anyone.) On the other, people should be kind.

Fifth, I'm not the cat's meow. My comment wasn't in any way meant to indicate that I am so much better than anyone else. It was the voice of someone who has done more studying than Art.

I find it nuts that Art decided he would run and hide after my comment. I hope he changes his mind.

Amadan
05-24-2010, 01:30 AM
I was expressing an opinion about his idea. I see no argument in your comment that my comment (i.e., it is ridiculous to worry about an agent stealing your idea, especially since you haven't written since high school and the manuscript isn't complete.) I defy you to show me one success story that features those elements.

That had already been pointed out, repeatedly, and the OP acknowledged the point.

So this thread went something like this:



OP: I'm worried someone will steal my idea.

AW: That's silly. No one is going to steal your idea. You should worry about writing your book first.

OP: Oh, okay. Guess I was being kind of silly.

AW: No problem.

Lucy: HAHAHAHAHA! NO ONE IS GOING TO STEAL YOUR IDEA! WOW, YOU"RE SILLY! YOU SHOULD WRITE YOUR BOOK FIRST!

AW: We already said that.

Lucy: YEAH, BUT HE"S BEING SILLY! NO ONE IS GOING TO STEAL HIS IDEA! SOMEONE NEEDS TO TELL HIM THAT!

AW: We did. You can stop now.

Lucy: WHY ARE YOU TELLING ME TO STOP? I'M RIGHT!

AW: ...

Lucy
05-24-2010, 01:32 AM
No, but I can say that your timing sucked.

He acknowledged he screwed up. Then you came along and laughed. Explain why we should ignore your faux pas but not his.


Fair comment. I'm not asking you to ignore anything. Judge me however you wish. It makes absolutely no difference to me. You should feel the same, and so should Art.

I have no idea why everyone's assumption is that I think you should be somehow extra special sweet and nice and send me hearts and flowers. I honestly don't care. I don't know any of you. Some of you have great ideas, and really interesting experiences, and I enjoy reading about them. That's as far as my emotional investment goes. I encourage you to feel the same way, not just about me but about everyone (except loved ones, etc.)

Honestly, Art is a stranger. I don't wish him ill. In fact, I've said openly I wish him great success. I hope he's learned what he wanted to learn and writes a great book.

Lucy
05-24-2010, 01:35 AM
Amadan, please re-read my comments.

I didn't say "but I'm right!" or anything of the kind. I haven't attempted to defend myself at all. I only added my voice to everyone else's in this.

eqb
05-24-2010, 01:48 AM
I have no idea why everyone's assumption is that I think you should be somehow extra special sweet and nice and send me hearts and flowers.

No one said you should be extra special sweet. We merely pointed out that your comments were ill-timed and unnecessary at that point. Best of luck with your own career.

Jamesaritchie
05-24-2010, 03:37 AM
Walking up to someone who weighs 350 pounds and saying, 'Hey, you're fat,' isn't being factually wrong, but that doesn't make it right to do. Or polite.

I'm not sure that equates. Though I'm not sure what's impolite about it? Nor is it an insult. It's not even an opinion. It's just stating the obvious. Such a person is, in fact, morbidly obese, whether you say it or not.

Now, if that same person is walking around claiming not to be fat, you have every right to say he is, polite or not.

My problem with questions such as Art's is that about five minutes of Google time would have answered it thoroughly, and without the need for anyone to be polite or impolite.

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
05-24-2010, 05:26 AM
I have no idea why everyone's assumption is that I think you should be somehow extra special sweet and nice and send me hearts and flowers. I honestly don't care.

Civil and polite would be a good start, however.

Art Wright
07-25-2010, 10:27 PM
Fifth, I'm not the cat's meow. My comment wasn't in any way meant to indicate that I am so much better than anyone else. It was the voice of someone who has done more studying than Art.

I find it nuts that Art decided he would run and hide after my comment. I hope he changes his mind.

How in the hell do you know how much studying I've done? And that you have done more? Arrogance, anyone? And the reason I haven't written since H.S. is because I didn't NEED to. I have talents that have enabled me to do quite well; now, in this economy, the obverse is true. I would think that any reasonable mind would not put someone down, nor look down your nose at anyone who is just beginning to write. You have no idea what I or anyone else is capable of. Run and hide? How about "not showing my jugular to everyone...

SJBell
07-25-2010, 11:02 PM
*pokes head in*

Is this thread still going? Eh? 0_o;;;;;;

shaldna
07-26-2010, 05:46 PM
I can't belive this is still going on.

But welcome back Art. Stick around this time, most of us are really nice.

Jamesaritchie
07-26-2010, 06:54 PM
How in the hell do you know how much studying I've done? And that you have done more? Arrogance, anyone? And the reason I haven't written since H.S. is because I didn't NEED to. I have talents that have enabled me to do quite well; now, in this economy, the obverse is true. I would think that any reasonable mind would not put someone down, nor look down your nose at anyone who is just beginning to write. You have no idea what I or anyone else is capable of. Run and hide? How about "not showing my jugular to everyone...

"Haven't needed to" is probably the strangest statement I've ever heard. What makes you think any of us write because we need to?

You write because youre a writer. There's nothing wrong with writing for money, that's why I started writing, but if you're writing because you think it's a good way to beat a bad economy, you're in deep, deep trouble.

It seems obvious to me that you haven't studied much at all, or this thread wouldn't exist.

Amadan
07-26-2010, 08:20 PM
How in the hell do you know how much studying I've done? And that you have done more? Arrogance, anyone? And the reason I haven't written since H.S. is because I didn't NEED to. I have talents that have enabled me to do quite well; now, in this economy, the obverse is true. I would think that any reasonable mind would not put someone down, nor look down your nose at anyone who is just beginning to write. You have no idea what I or anyone else is capable of. Run and hide? How about "not showing my jugular to everyone...

Dude, if you think writing is going to pay your rent because your 9 to 5 no longer will, you'd better get used to eating ramen.

shaldna
07-27-2010, 12:07 AM
Can I ask WHY you have started to write now?

And I really hope the answer is not because you thought it was an easy way to make money.

Eddyz Aquila
07-27-2010, 02:54 AM
Can I ask WHY you have started to write now?

And I really hope the answer is not because you thought it was an easy way to make money.

He is not the only one, rest assured. He's probably one of the few cases to admit it. Just look at the fantastic queries posted on Slushpile Hell and you will get an idea of how many.

PGaritas
07-27-2010, 03:33 AM
I spend ten hours plus a day working and driving to/from work in Maryland. I live in Virginia...



The important question here is, Redskins or Ravens?

shaldna
07-27-2010, 11:56 AM
He is not the only one, rest assured. He's probably one of the few cases to admit it. Just look at the fantastic queries posted on Slushpile Hell and you will get an idea of how many.


That is true. I hate telling people that I write, because they instantly assume that a) it's easy and b) you make loads of money doing it

Izz
07-27-2010, 12:09 PM
The important question here is, Redskins or Ravens?I'm going Dodgers, all the way.

shaldna
07-27-2010, 03:16 PM
I'm going Dodgers, all the way.


jammy ones?

Art Wright
08-01-2010, 01:06 AM
I'm writing now because, after fifteen years of on again thinking about it, mt Muse has finally found me. But, as each post I make brings out a new group of assholes (you know who you are), I'm heading permanently to Lurker land. If you hear from me again, it will be to feed some folks some well-deserved crow...

shaldna
08-01-2010, 01:45 AM
I'm writing now because, after fifteen years of on again thinking about it, mt Muse has finally found me. But, as each post I make brings out a new group of assholes (you know who you are), I'm heading permanently to Lurker land. If you hear from me again, it will be to feed some folks some well-deserved crow...


and here folks is how you make friends and influence people.

Grow up Art, it's a public forum and lots of people with different opinions mean that not everyone is going to agree with you or be nice to you. But calling them assholes is not a good way to assimilate yourself into the group.

thephoenix
08-01-2010, 02:21 AM
reading posts like this give me hope that i may actually have a shot of one day being published.

Old Hack
08-01-2010, 02:22 PM
Oh, good lord. I'm wincing to realise this has been going on under my watch and I've not realised, and have done nothing to stop it. Still, better late than never.

Art: you asked a question; we answered it; you didn't like what you heard, you overreacted, but later stepped up to the line and apologised. I appreciate that: it's a difficult thing to do, but you did it and I admire you for it. But why did you have to go and tarnish that with your "assholes" comment? Name-calling isn't allowed here, and if I didn't think you'd been heartily provoked I'd be down on you like a ton of bricks now. Instead I strongly advise you not to do it again; and I'd be grateful if you would consider what was said downstream and instead of leaving AW because one person has been rude to you, you stay with us because most of the people here have gone out of their way to help you. AW is an extremely valuable resource and I think you'll learn a lot if you stick around.

Lucy: however you try to justify your comments, they come across as rude. I don't buy your stance that you were just trying to help; nor do I agree that you weren't directing your responses to Art. You were snarky and mean to him and I won't have it. You've proved your worth on other threads here, and it's a shame you let this one get to you in the way it has. By all means continue to comment in this thread if you have anything positive to add but you stop, right now, with the poking fun and the supercilious attitude.

Mac H.
08-01-2010, 07:18 PM
Just a note of encouragement - I quite like sci-fi and would be happy to read of any interesting time-travel techniques.

I wouldn't worry too much if it wasn't new, though. It's just an interesting bonus if it is.

One thing that concerns me is the comment about the 'travel to Proxima Centauri' and time travel. One common way to time travel in fiction is to get a worm hole, keep one end on earth and accelerate one out to (say) Proxima Centauri and back. Then, due to time dilation, you end up with a worm hole with both ends on earth - but one is at a different point in time to the other.

It's been done quite a bit in recent years - it's quite a sci-fi staple. (Most make the point you have to use exotic matter to keep it open wide enough to be useful - others just use it for radio signals and information)

The combination of the two terms just made me worry that it was the secret method you were trying to keep close to your chest. If you want a great example of it, check out Brian Plante's "Letters of Transit" which came out half a decade ago.

I'd hate for you to be relying on the exact technique of time travel to make the story interesting - the rest of the book needs to be good even if the reader doesn't care about the technique!

After all - I still remember the details of 'Letters of Transit' after all these years because of the great ending - not because of the exact technique of time travel.

Good luck,

Mac