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djf881
02-12-2013, 12:37 AM
People have probably asked you what made you want to write a book, and I am sure you have some pre-packaged answer for the question. Don't try to use that line with me, though. You and I both know the truth: you have no social skills and you're desperately lonely, so you spend a lot of your free time locked in a room by yourself, making up stories about your imaginary friends.

But writing a novel is still an accomplishment, like constructing a 1/18 scale model of the Notre Dame cathedral entirely out of earwax, or carving a perfect kouros statue from a block of granite using only the erosion caused by your endless flow of tears. So, when you send your novel out into the world to try to earn the legitimacy and validation you crave, you don't want to be tripping over the same set of social inadequacies that caused you to start writing in the first place. Publishing, for some sick reason, requires you to deal with people. This is terrifying.

To help you out, I am providing some advice about how to behave while querying or on submission. And my advice is: hunker down. And shut up. Shut up. SHUT UP.

You probably think I'm being mean, or that I am joking. I'm not.

1. Want to follow-up? Maybe you should SHUT UP.

You're trying to trick people into liking you. Annoying them is counterproductive to this goal. And you don't want to send written communication to anyone who is evaluating your writing without editing it very carefully.

Following up on a query is probably a harmless mistake, since an agent's failure to respond to your query probably means she's rejected you. However, following up with someone who has requested a partial or a full manuscript can be dangerous. After sending a manuscript and verifying its receipt, you should not attempt to contact the agent again until she has had your manuscript for more than two months.

The best way to follow up with an agent who is holding your full manuscript is to inform them of another offer of representation, so if you need to vent your query-process neuroses, do it by sending out more queries instead of bothering people you've queried previously.

2. The Internet is a great place for SHUTTING THE F' UP.

Let's imagine that an agent is reading your query. She gets 150 queries per week, and requests zero to 2 manuscripts out of that pile. Yours might be one of five or six queries she's considering requesting, but she only has time to look at one manuscript.

She Googles you, and finds your blog. The first six posts are about all the rejections you've been getting. Do you think she is going to assume that her colleagues are wrong? Or is she going to defer to the conventional wisdom which you have been kind enough to share with the world?

I'm asking rhetorical questions right now, because I assume speaking to you in your native tongue will make you feel more at ease. I think we know both the answers.


The first rule of rejection is: do not talk about rejection. In fact, while you're querying and submitting, maybe you should just delete your blog and your Twitter feed. Your manuscript is your best work, we must assume. You might not want your non-best work out there in the world where people can find it.

The more an agent learns about you, the less likely she is to represent you. Because we both know you're just awful. Try to de-emphasize that aspect of yourself while you're querying.

3. Once you have an agent, it's time to SHUT UP EVEN HARDER.

Your agent's job is to make you seem marketable and appealing to editors. The only way for her to do this is to lie to them. You do not want your agent to get caught in a lie. So, don't put stuff on the Internet that will make your agent look stupid for saying nice things about you.

Specifically: don't tell anyone when you go on submission. Don't post it on Facebook. Don't talk about it on writers' forums. Don't Tweet about it. If you have to have a second wave of submissions, you don't want those editors to find out that they're part of a second wave. Your agent is lying to all of them, telling each one that they're the first editor she thought of when she read your manuscript. Don't let editors find out otherwise!

You certainly don't want editors considering your book to read a comprehensive, dated log of your rejection history, complete with the reasons other editors passed. So maybe it's not a good idea to post a thing like that on the freakin' Internet.

Honestly, even the celebration post you put on your blog when you signed with an agent can let an editor know that your book has been out there circulating for a while. If you've noticed the tendency of the publishing industry to follow "trends" like mash-ups or dystopian YA, then you know publishing houses have a pack mentality when it comes to acquisitions. If editors think everyone else is passing on your book, it makes their decision very easy.

Your agent is lying as hard as she can to convince these editors that they're up against a ticking clock to buy your book before a rival snatches you off the table. Don't ruin that effort by publicly revealing everyone's thundering indifference to your submission.

In summary, good luck, happy hunting and STFU.

Maryn
02-12-2013, 12:44 AM
Wow, just... wow.

Maryn, not amused--was she supposed to be?

veinglory
02-12-2013, 12:49 AM
I wonder if one should also shut up, rather than posting a long rather hostile post about shutting up?

There may be some good advice under all that but... wow. It comes across to me as hostile.

Rhoda Nightingale
02-12-2013, 12:52 AM
What they said. I can't quite detect the irony level in this post, or even figure out whether there is one.

ladyleeona
02-12-2013, 12:57 AM
I'll agree with most of the advice (demands?) here, but the delivery is a bit...uh, aggressive? (Especially for it being given without provocation?)

Maryn
02-12-2013, 01:02 AM
I posit that Mr. Tinman has his undies in a knot about goings-on elsewhere. Just a shrewd guess, but I bet I'm right.

Maryn, who has a gift for such things

JoBird
02-12-2013, 01:07 AM
It seemed like good advice to me. I mean, it presumes that writers are ill equipped to handle social niceties, but I waved that off as self-deprecating humor on the author's part.

Anyway, it does touch on a topic I've been very curious about. An internet presence can reveal a lot about a person. How dangerous can those revelations be to successfully publishing your work?

For instance, is it bad to take a strong stand politically when you're just trying to get your foot in the publishing door? Doing so seems like it might discourage a lot of your potential readers. I remember watching an episode of Story Board (Rothfuss' hangout on Geek and Sundry's youtube channel) where Wil Wheaton was one of the guests. Wheaton mentioned that he would never read anything by Orson Scott Card because of Card's political position.

Ever since then I've been giving this matter a lot of thought. How much can your internet presence be a detriment to your overall goal of getting published? Or, for that matter, continuing to publish.

So much of what a writer has to do seems to revolve around PR. I guess a part of me really wants to engage in a dialogue about what that means, and how a writer can best position him/herself toward that end.

The Lady
02-12-2013, 01:07 AM
I liked it. 'Nuff said. :)

Papaya
02-12-2013, 01:07 AM
Wow, just... wow.

Maryn, not amused--was she supposed to be?
I second this.

To the OP: Why do you hate writers so much? Are you a writer, an agent, or a random person with ridiculous ideas of what it is to be a writer? If it is one of the first two options, it sounds like you are in the wrong profession. And I can tell you right now, you are dead wrong about the reasons I write. Even if every writer were as socially inept and despised as you posit, it would be much easier to be a drug addict or an alcoholic or a gaming addict etc. You might have some good advice buried under all your insults, but it doesn't matter as you lost your audience in the first paragraph.

benbradley
02-12-2013, 01:07 AM
Okay, I myself don't have Teh Best Social Skillz, but geez...

ladyleeona
02-12-2013, 01:08 AM
I posit that Mr. Tinman has his undies in a knot about goings-on elsewhere. Just a shrewd guess, but I bet I'm right.

Maryn, who has a gift for such things

I very muchly agree, given this: http://danieljfriedman.blogspot.com/2011/06/serious-query-advice-stfu.html

ETA--after reading your blog, I see your particular type of humor and believe the OP falls well in line with it. But I also get why people are going "WTF?", too: there's no context for it unless they scope your blog.

Gravity
02-12-2013, 01:10 AM
Agreed. There are some good points made, but they're drowning in all the vinegar.

To put such a phrase as "you have no social skills and you're desperately lonely, so you spend a lot of your free time locked in a room by yourself, making up stories about your imaginary friends" in the first graf seems ... overly harsh.

Anyway, it's none of my beeswax.

Or earwax, as it were.

Spell-it-out
02-12-2013, 01:10 AM
I hope your agent doesn't see this :D

benbradley
02-12-2013, 01:13 AM
It seemed like good advice to me. I mean, it presumes that writers are ill equipped to handle social niceties, but I waved that off as self-deprecating humor on the author's part.
Humor? Don't we have a subforum for that?

Anyway, it does touch on a topic I've been very curious about. An internet presence can reveal a lot about a person. How dangerous can those revelations be to successfully publishing your work?
I'd suggest starting a new thread. And I recall reading several already-existing threads regarding what a "writer's web presence" should be and look like and what a prospective agent would look for, perhaps in Ask An Agent.

veinglory
02-12-2013, 01:17 AM
My attitude is that of I post something online, I own it. Every author has to decide just how far they will go and what they will disclose.

thothguard51
02-12-2013, 01:19 AM
I suppose that posting in a place like AW and in which the member has his/her book as their avatar, and identifies the writer, is far different than posting on Facebook, Twitter or even our own blogs...

Of course, we all know AW members are special Snow Flakes, right? I mean, why else would Daniel give us such precious information with tone...

Of course, tone is subjective, as are Snow Flakes...

quicklime
02-12-2013, 01:23 AM
Anyway, it does touch on a topic I've been very curious about. An internet presence can reveal a lot about a person. How dangerous can those revelations be to successfully publishing your work?

For instance, is it bad to take a strong stand politically when you're just trying to get your foot in the publishing door? Doing so seems like it might discourage a lot of your potential readers. I remember watching an episode of Story Board (Rothfuss' hangout on Geek and Sundry's youtube channel) where Wil Wheaton was one of the guests. Wheaton mentioned that he would never read anything by Orson Scott Card because of Card's political position.

.


a lot depends on the depth of your conviction and its relative social palatability.

Card didn't get that flack for saying he believed in gun control, or school prayer....he got it for saying homosexuality was an affront to God and it was his duty to do all he could to prevent gay unions from destroying the country, or some similar ball of shit (I won't read the dickbag either after that.....he's entitled to his opinion, but if he intends to use my dollars to contribute to an agenda I find loathesome, I have no obligation to fund his douchery either). He very vocally placed himself on the fringe of a spectrum many people see as morally repugnant (fwiw I doubt many Evangelicals are buying Ellen DeGeneres' books either..if she wrote any?) and it happens.

If you are a Holocaust denier, it is probably best not to put that out there. If you believe Scott Walker helped Wisconsin balance its budget (I think he's a turd in a suit, don't get me wrong, and nothing would make me happier than the guy having a run-in with candiru or having to use his legal defense fund to avoid a lengthy prison sentence) or that we should maintain separation of church and state, I doubt your opinions are gonna sink you.

The Lady
02-12-2013, 01:25 AM
[QUOTE=JoBird;7962991]

. How much can your internet presence be a detriment to your overall goal of getting published? Or, for that matter, continuing to publish.

QUOTE]

In my early days on the Internet I once found the blog of the author of my most favourite book EVER. Great was my joy.

She-was-the-most-boring-twit-on-a-blog, I have ever endured. I began to wonder was she losing her mind. I googled her name to see was she well. She withering obsessively on and on and on and on about her two favourite topics. I mean, withered. Every day. Chronicles.

After two weeks I took her off my blog feed list. I had ordered one of her other books from Amazon because finding her blog made me remember to check out her back catalogue. I could barely read the book I had such a bad impression of her. I finally made it through the book and just thought it was, "meh." I'm still not sure if I would have thought that if I hadn't grown to dislike her so much from reading her blog. I will never be able to read any of her other books again.

I really, really, really, wish I had never found her blog, or that she had never written one. I still love that book but I think of it as something seperate from her now. I cannot put crazy lady from the blog together with that beautiful book.

I have only ever bought two books because I knew their authors from blogs and thought they were decent people and I might give their books a go.

I enjoyed one book. I did not particularly enjoy the other.I know there are many people whose blogs annoy me. I would not seek their books out. And in the meantime I continue to find books in the usual way, browsing bookshops, friend reccomendations, Amazon recs, Goodread friend lists, even book reviews.

So I am just not sure of the value of blogs as a book flogging tool. It seems to be a chicken and egg type situation, more that people like your book and find your blog, where you might then put them off future books, rather than people finding your amazing blog and buying all your books.

JoBird
02-12-2013, 01:25 AM
Humor? Don't we have a subforum for that?

Well, in fairness, a lot of posts in a lot of forums express humor to get across, or initiate, the point of the post. And whereas I felt this piece started with humor, I don't in any way feel it's sole purpose for existing is based on getting laughs.

I accept that a lot of people didn't find the OP's opening very funny. My point is, I, personally, didn't find it offensive to my own sensibilities.


I'd suggest starting a new thread. And I recall reading several already-existing threads regarding what a "writer's web presence" should be and look like and what a prospective agent would look for, perhaps in Ask An Agent.

I'm sure it's been discussed. In fact, I feel like the OP started this thread with that very topic in mind. As such, I chose to comment on it.

I suppose the suggestion here is that this is not the thread to have that discussion in though.

quicklime
02-12-2013, 01:29 AM
I second this.

To the OP: Why do you hate writers so much? Are you a writer, an agent, or a random person with ridiculous ideas of what it is to be a writer? If it is one of the first two options, it sounds like you are in the wrong profession.


while I agree the OP came across more than a bit bombastic, and probably didn't affect most folks the way the OP intended (been there, done that) I also sincerely doubt he hates writers as a group. In fact, I suspect I can think of the exact sort of folks he was referring to, it is a relatively small subset of writers, and I share most of his sentiments about that particular group.

Buffysquirrel
02-12-2013, 01:34 AM
Can't have it both ways. If authors are expected to have an internet presence, they can't possibly have one that won't piss some people off. Even one so bland that it can't possibly piss people off will piss some people off by its very blandness.

heza
02-12-2013, 01:39 AM
I must be in a twisted mood today because I thought it was hilarious. This is up my alley though, and I can separate the informative bits from the sarcasm pretty quickly.

I also followed the link ladyleeona posted, and I found some super hilarious stuff on there... I guess it's a certain kind of very irreverent humor, and (obviously) not everyone finds it appealing.


I'm still chuckling about the fart post...

Wicked
02-12-2013, 01:41 AM
I hope your agent doesn't see this :D


You made my imaginary friend snort soda out her nose. :tongue



And now I'd better get back to taping the cracks in my glass house.

Katana
02-12-2013, 01:44 AM
People have probably asked you what made you want to write a book, and I am sure you have some pre-packaged answer for the question. Don't try to use that line with me, though. You and I both know the truth: you have no social skills and you're desperately lonely, so you spend a lot of your free time locked in a room by yourself, making up stories about your imaginary friends.

OMG! You've been spying on me! I'm calling the police. :D

JustSarah
02-12-2013, 01:50 AM
I think this should go without saying, but I'll post it anyway:
http://www.critters.org/whathow.ht

The Op's post is a large reason I have to do a test run (Like an already completed work) before I trust anyone with a larger work.

suestrong315
02-12-2013, 01:56 AM
I thought it was a natural part of the writing and submission process to get numerous rejections. To jump for joy on FB that you've finally found your niche in the writing community should be something to cheer about to friends...i liked the post tho...

JustSarah
02-12-2013, 02:03 AM
I don't know about anyone else, but I personally love a nice tactful rejection slip. Even if its vaguely worded.:D

CharacterInWhite
02-12-2013, 02:09 AM
I am frankly surprised to see so many offended writers.

I thought we were notorious for having thick skins?

I liked his post. I liked the content, the delivery, the irony, and especially the vinegar.

Filigree
02-12-2013, 02:10 AM
There is actually some solid info buried in the OP, which I have seen given (more tactfully) in actual agent's and editor's blogs. I get that the OP's tone was meant to be harshly hilarious. Having had my snowflake moments, I ruefully understand being called out on them. In my case, most of them happened pre-internet, so I didn't damage myself too much.

That said, the confrontational tone probably isn't going to help the less rhino-hided among us.

thebloodfiend
02-12-2013, 02:24 AM
Tone is a magic word. Perhaps I'd accept this abrasive tone from Janet Reid or Mrs. Snark, but for a complete stranger I've never heard of, I'd recommend turning it down a notch. Advice isn't bad, but I can't say I care for the delivery. This is not your blog. You don't have a platform here, like other posters might have in QLH.

leahzero
02-12-2013, 02:35 AM
:popcorn:

taylormillgirl
02-12-2013, 02:37 AM
OP, I remember reading this on your blog last year and telling all my writer friends to "shut up" (in the nicest way, of course) when they went on subs. It's great advice.

jjdebenedictis
02-12-2013, 02:41 AM
Yeah, I thought this sounded like someone's blog post.

In my opinion, it works better as a blog post. Blogs are for espousing your opinion, with discussion being optional, whereas forums are all about the discussion. Posting a long opinion piece that doesn't invite discussion (such as the OP) is a poor use of this medium.

ladybritches
02-12-2013, 03:05 AM
I'm starting to doubt my ability to detect humor. I thought the OP gave good advice in a hilarious manner, and I was just about to ask him/her to marry me. How could I have been so wrooooong. :cry:

Gravity
02-12-2013, 03:07 AM
Tone is a magic word. Perhaps I'd accept this abrasive tone from Janet Reid or Mrs. Snark, but for a complete stranger I've never heard of, I'd recommend turning it down a notch. Advice isn't bad, but I can't say I care for the delivery. This is not your blog. You don't have a platform here, like other posters might have in QLH.

^^^THIS

And to come right out and state that all (read "all") writers are social incompetents is dispshittery on an epic scale. Guess he never heard of the Algonquin Round Table ...

Bartholomew
02-12-2013, 03:17 AM
Physician, heal thyself.

kaitie
02-12-2013, 03:20 AM
I'm starting to doubt my ability to detect humor. I thought the OP gave good advice in a hilarious manner, and I was just about to ask him/her to marry me. How could I have been so wrooooong. :cry:

I think everyone has a different take on humor. For instance, I don't find 99.9% of the internet funny (I seriously don't get memes and LOL Cats and what not), so if you find it funny and some of us don't, that's fine.

Honestly, though, I think an awful lot of the lack of humor (for me) is in that this is a forum, not a blog. Reading it on a blog, it would strike me more as on the self-deprecatory side (I read it in both places). It might not be the funniest thing I've ever seen, but I wouldn't be offended by it by any means.

On the other hand, this is a forum. It's a conversation, not random ramblings. The interaction is different. When I read it expecting a conversation, what I see is insults, not self-deprecating humor. Audience expectations matter with something like this.

I actually agree with some of what's being said here, but I think rather than just copy it directly from the blog, it would be better served by being written as a conversation starter.

benbradley
02-12-2013, 03:27 AM
:popcorn:
HEY, that's MY popcorn!

thothguard51
02-12-2013, 03:56 AM
I think everyone has a different take on humor. For instance, I don't find 99.9% of the internet funny (I seriously don't get memes and LOL Cats and what not), so if you find it funny and some of us don't, that's fine.



You don't like LOL Cats? Your fired...

johnhallow
02-12-2013, 03:57 AM
Come on guys!

It's fair enough if you bristled at the tone to begin with, but by the time the OP got going it was pretty easy to suss out that their post wasn't at all mean-spirited.

I actually thought it was quite useful :D

It made me consider some things that I otherwise wouldn't have, and even if though I do have social skills I can still relate.

djf881
02-12-2013, 04:11 AM
I dug this up because of a conversation I was having with another writer about people tweeting their rejections. This sort of thing used to go over very well on AW. I was really active here two or three years ago, and I guess the community here has changed a lot since then.

It's a really terrible idea to do this while you're on submission, especially if you tweet the names of the agents rejecting you. Even if they don't Google you, they'll Google themselves, and they'll Google each other. Knowing that a particular, influential agent has passed on your manuscript could poison any number of other agents against you.

Agented submissions to editors should not be discussed publicly at all under any circumstances, at least until you hit the NYT bestseller list. And while you're on submission it's permissible to email your agent as much as you want, so pour all your neuroses in that direction.

Alitriona
02-12-2013, 04:15 AM
you have no social skills and you're desperately lonely, so you spend a lot of your free time locked in a room by yourself, making up stories about your imaginary friends.



This is sort of me, except for the lonely part. Alone isn't lonely. I don't use some pre-packaged line when someone asks. I say I write because it keeps me sane.

Anyway. The advice is good. More common sense than anything. However, zero points for delivery. I get the OP is trying to be funny. I would have found it funny(in a dry wit way) if it was on a blog post. There is a time and place. A blog would have been a better place. :Shrug:

LJD
02-12-2013, 04:18 AM
It's a really terrible idea to do this while you're on submission, especially if you tweet the names of the agents rejecting you. Even if they don't Google you, they'll Google themselves, and they'll Google each other. Knowing that a particular, influential agent has passed on your manuscript could poison any number of other agents against you.

Agented submissions to editors should not be discussed publicly at all under any circumstances, at least until you hit the NYT bestseller list. And while you're on submission it's permissible to email your agent as much as you want, so pour all your neuroses in that direction.

I don't think people were objecting to the advice, but to the tone.

I agree with the commenters who said that this piece works better in a blog than a forum.

Layla Nahar
02-12-2013, 04:27 AM
I actually have really good social skills.

Polenth
02-12-2013, 04:32 AM
It's a really terrible idea to do this while you're on submission, especially if you tweet the names of the agents rejecting you. Even if they don't Google you, they'll Google themselves, and they'll Google each other. Knowing that a particular, influential agent has passed on your manuscript could poison any number of other agents against you.

It's not that the general advice to be careful what you say about rejections and submissions is a bad thing, but if you pad it out with insults, you'll reduce the number who read it. So you're left with the choice of whether it's more important for people to read it and heed it, or more important to make a few people laugh who share your funny bone.

If you choose the latter, you're going to get more people talking about whether it was funny than what you said. That's how it goes.

Paul
02-12-2013, 04:54 AM
Can't have it both ways. If authors are expected to have an internet presence, they can't possibly have one that won't piss some people off. Even one so bland that it can't possibly piss people off will piss some people off by its very blandness.
Well said, that cat.

BethS
02-12-2013, 05:24 AM
I must be in a twisted mood today because I thought it was hilarious. This is up my alley though, and I can separate the informative bits from the sarcasm pretty quickly.



Yeah, that was my reaction, too. It didn't come across as mean or angry, just very direct. It surprised me that so many people reacted negatively to it.

Also, he's right. There's a time to be vocal on the internet and a time to show some discretion.

JournoWriter
02-12-2013, 06:13 AM
I really liked it.

Blog, forum, printed essay - the medium really doesn't matter. Message counts for more. Harsh? Yes. Did it get everyone's attention? Heck, yes.

I do often wonder why people post so much detail in the rejection and SYW and QLH sections here when they're so easily identifiable. That would definitely make me wince were I a Googling editor or agent.

kkbe
02-12-2013, 06:22 AM
I just read the o.p.'s post. I found it astute. Woids ta da wise. Blabbing is never good form, esp. in this day and age when one's blab can float in cyberspace forever. Anybody can pluck it out of the sky. You have no clue who or what is reading your stuff so why would you compromise yourself by putting something potentially compromising out there?

I think it's a great post.

Mr. Anonymous
02-12-2013, 06:36 AM
I liked the OP too, haha. Might've hit a bit close to home on a few counts, but it's clear the intention is good. And the delivery made it a fun read. Agree though, that it would've gone over more smoothly on a blog.

BenPanced
02-12-2013, 06:39 AM
Come on guys!

It's fair enough if you bristled at the tone to begin with, but by the time the OP got going it was pretty easy to suss out that their post wasn't at all mean-spirited.
That's just it: not everybody did.

JoBird
02-12-2013, 06:47 AM
So, in the interest of being productive here, does anyone actually disagree with the basic message the OP is delivering?

Does anyone think it's a good idea to talk about getting an agent online? Or to talk about having submissions out? Or to talk about rejections?

The OP's advice seems really good to me. Sitting the tone aside, I'm wondering if anyone here would disagree with the meat of what he's saying.

ladyleeona
02-12-2013, 06:58 AM
So, in the interest of being productive here, does anyone actually disagree with the basic message the OP is delivering?

Does anyone think it's a good idea to talk about getting an agent online? Or to talk about having submissions out? Or to talk about rejections?

The OP's advice seems really good to me. Sitting the tone aside, I'm wondering if anyone here would disagree with the meat of what he's saying.

Hell no. I can't imagine anyone going and posting, "welp, just got rejected by THE Janet Reid and she said my book was utter crap," and thinking something GOOD could come out of it. Really? In this age, are we really that naive? I suppose some people think airing their rejections make them look down-to-earth, but to me it just seems unprofessional and massively counterproductive. On that the OP and wholeheartedly agree.

ETA-I always enjoy reading the 'How I got my agent' posts writers tend to put up once they sign with someone, but I consider that an entirely different animal from putting names of agents/houses and rejections together.

SomethingOrOther
02-12-2013, 06:59 AM
Any and all critiques appreciated.


So, in the interest of being productive here, does anyone actually disagree with the basic message the OP is delivering?

Does anyone think it's a good idea to talk about getting an agent online? Or to talk about having submissions out? Or to talk about rejections?

The OP's advice seems really good to me. Setting the tone aside, I'm wondering if anyone here would disagree with the meat of what he's saying.

Overall, I liked your post; the language is clear, and it touches on a point that no one else did. I think it's ready to submit!

kaitie
02-12-2013, 07:06 AM
Hell no. I can't imagine anyone going and posting, "welp, just got rejected by THE Janet Reid and she said my book was utter crap," and thinking something GOOD could come out of it. Really? In this age, are we really that naive? I suppose some people think airing their rejections make them look down-to-earth, but to me it just seems unprofessional and massively counterproductive. On that the OP and wholeheartedly agree.


I've seen people do exactly that. Gosh, we can all remember the Rejection Queen, too. But yes, I've seen quite a few writers with blogs who discuss their rejections, sometimes even giving text from the rejections. I especially see this for fulls or partials, which are more heartbreaking. It's not all that uncommon.

I think it's also worth bearing mention that agents submitting to editors don't want you to tell people that your book is on sub. I've seen several agents comment on that, so the OP is completely right, and yet how many people have you seen announcing on their blogs that the book is on sub? Some people even announce who the books are going to.

I think there's an assumption that there is a certain degree of anonymity on the internet which makes this sort of thing okay. People just don't realize how easy it is to discover who is behind what's being said. Especially when rejection letters are quoted.

lolchemist
02-12-2013, 07:07 AM
This is great advice! Thanks for sharing!

thebloodfiend
02-12-2013, 07:19 AM
So, in the interest of being productive here, does anyone actually disagree with the basic message the OP is delivering?Somewhat, yes.

Does anyone think it's a good idea to talk about getting an agent online? Or to talk about having submissions out? Or to talk about rejections?It depends on the situation. We have multiple threads here on agents and submissions, with posters getting support for going out on submission, telling others when a certain agent requested material and so-on and so-forth. Writing is a lonely profession. It helps knowing you aren't alone—knowing how fast particular agents are likely to respond, what kind of feedback they're known to give, and what kind of queries they're likely to reply to. Simply saying "shut up" isn't useful for all situations and might be counterproductive for some. Now, yes, spewing all of your business across the net like a five-year-old with a crayon will never do anyone any good, but trading information on submission times, statistics, and so-on is quite helpful.

Giving word for word the rejection, telling who said it, and tweeting who just rejected you seems quite stupid, IMO. So does lumping the former (tracking stats and announcing them) with the latter.
The OP's advice seems really good to me. Sitting the tone aside, I'm wondering if anyone here would disagree with the meat of what he's saying.I wonder if most people learn anything by being talked down to like they're too stupid to write and breathe at the same time. If you're trying to be helpful, you'd do best not to condescend to your audience. Especially when your audience has no idea who the fuck you are. That's my biggest complaint. I think it's okay advice.

I'm sure many of you would not appreciate me reposting some of my rather snarky reviews and posts from my various blogs, regardless of how helpful some of that advice may be because you were not the intended audience for those posts. I'm quite vocal with my assholish spite at times, depending on who I'm writing for. Rewriting would be in order. Or simply directing you to the blog.

Mr. Anonymous
02-12-2013, 07:19 AM
So, in the interest of being productive here, does anyone actually disagree with the basic message the OP is delivering?

Does anyone think it's a good idea to talk about getting an agent online? Or to talk about having submissions out? Or to talk about rejections?

The OP's advice seems really good to me. Sitting the tone aside, I'm wondering if anyone here would disagree with the meat of what he's saying.

I had an odd situation with my book, in that I sold in a foreign country before I sold in America. This happened like on Thursday or so. So I wrote up a celebratory post on face-book, talking about how long I'd been on submission, etc, etc. Monday, I get an email from my agent, telling me to that she'd been speaking with an interested American editor, who'd read my face-book post, and WOULD I PLEASE TAKE DOWN THE POST IMMEDIATELY?

The American Editor did end up making an offer, but all this is to say that, yes, the OP makes a very valid point.

Putputt
02-12-2013, 08:22 AM
Could be that I'm getting my hair colored and all the ammonia in this "ammonia-free" dye is making my brain shrivel up into the size of a peanut...but I enjoyed the post. I actually snorted and snerked all the way through. :D

...Even though my sig still reveals that I'm on sub...but whatevuh OP, my beauty and amazing intelligence will defy you!!

Shika Senbei
02-12-2013, 11:21 AM
I thought the OP was hilarious. I aso agree with the sentiment that people's online presence can have an effect on how their works are perceived. Heck, it even happens in real life. People who know me personally are usually baffled about how my writing is subued and soft-spoken, in stark contrast with my brazen, rough-edged personality. I think there's a little romantic girl inside me wanting to have her say.

Anna L.
02-12-2013, 01:21 PM
Man, the OP must really hate everybody who posts in the Bewares, Recommendations & Background Check forum.

Ken
02-12-2013, 03:14 PM
... some useful info in the OP, about not posting about rejections and submissions, etc. As to their generalization about writer's personalities, that's just plain insulting and stupid. Sure there are some writers like that. But come on. All writers? Many if not most are just average joes and janes, with families, friends, coworkers, etc. So quit the pigeonholing, and get real. You've got some good insight into the industry. Share that, and leave the biases be.

Phaeal
02-12-2013, 06:53 PM
Good points in the OP, though I prefer the tone of the author's second post. Snark directed at one's own community is a touchy thing. I prefer the Elizabeth Bennet approach of arch sweetness, but hey, as seen above, humor is the form of writing most subject to subjectivity.

Never ever ever good to name the rejecting agent or quote from the letter. I used to pop into Rejection and Dejection to note I'd gotten another one, but after a while I figured I was doing myself no good by the practice. Because a blog or Twitter account is exclusively yours, bemoaning rejections there is probably a worse idea, more likely to get agent or editor attention.

Bemoaning rejections to dogs is good. They really care. Cats don't, but they might pretend to if you dangle catnip while you moan.

Putting your editor submissions out to the public is the worst idea, I agree. This is between you and your agent. Putting up good news announcements prior to agent approval is also risky.

As for personal opinions, well. Think about the audience your book is likely to attract. If you're going for the Christian market, publically declaring you're an atheist is not the best idea. It declares that your books are wholly insincere, for one thing. If your opinions and your writing mesh, it's a less obvious call. When your personal hobbyhorses are likely to trample all over a wide swath of potential readers, you could be cannier to keep them to yourself. On the other hand, when your opinions have general approval with your target audience, you could cement your popularity by expressing them.

In any case, once you mount the soap box, a considered approach is almost certainly better than ranting.

And badmouthing fellow writers or reviewers or publishing professionals? That is the stuff of schadenfreude-fueled popcorn munching by the whole community.

Oh, and the one really good use of all those rejections you've received? When you achieve publishing success, there's nothing journalists like more than trumpeting the number of peeps who were TOO DENSE to accept your brilliant MS! :D

Jamesaritchie
02-12-2013, 06:55 PM
Pretty silly stuff, and completely inaccurate, but hardly offensive.

folkchick
02-12-2013, 07:08 PM
I cringed a few times while reading this, but it's pretty much true. I've often wondered if we should all be posting our failures and successes with such honesty. Agents are savvy, savvy people. And they scare the shit out of me sometimes.

DennisB
02-12-2013, 07:30 PM
Couple of thoughts:
I, too, have encountered blogs that are like fingernails on a blackboard. On and on and on... How the author thinks this is going to enhance their own popularity or advance the sales of their books is a mystery. So much of it is like Facebook--("I'm the star of this show and I'm going to tell you how I feel today, what I ate today, who I'm mad at today...").

Secondly, I'm one of the most people-oriented people in the world. I really don't have any imaginary friends. Perhaps that's why I have to force myself to write.

Susan Littlefield
02-12-2013, 07:41 PM
Some excellent posts points in the original post, though there are some silly generalizations about writers' personalities. Everyone handles the submission process differently. However, the overall message was about patience.

muravyets
02-12-2013, 09:17 PM
I love the OP's advice, and I think the tone was perfect. Some things need to be abrasive, like sand paper, callous removers, and reality-check/self-awareness advice. All such things will, if applied judiciously, produce that lovely, smooth, glowing finish that everyone wants and is attracted to -- but not without grating at the start.

As for vinegar, I love it, personally. Can't get enough. It's all a matter of taste. However, as an objective fact, vinegar is good for us, now and then. Acidic input helps us to maintain clarity and flow and balance, in life as in our diets. There is, of course, the old saying that one catches more flies with honey than with vinegar, but in reality honey is messy and fattening and flies prefer shit anyway.

I have no problem with a dose of the harsh stuff now and then, even if the very useful professional advice comes in the form of snark. I lol'd, but I also added this to the collection of sticky notes bearing "do not do" reminders to the outside of my WIP file folder.

James D. Macdonald
02-12-2013, 09:41 PM
I only announce sales.

kaitie
02-12-2013, 10:57 PM
I love the OP's advice, and I think the tone was perfect. Some things need to be abrasive, like sand paper, callous removers, and reality-check/self-awareness advice. All such things will, if applied judiciously, produce that lovely, smooth, glowing finish that everyone wants and is attracted to -- but not without grating at the start.


At the risk of derailing, I disagree completely on this. If you're offering advice, the thing that makes people most likely to take the advice is not an abrasive approach but an understanding one. If you're confrontational, you can either put people on the defensive or offend them. The first makes a person want to fight back against what you're saying. Advice works best with an open mind, not one that's pushing back against the message.

In the event of the second, if a person feels offended or insulted, they're less likely to listen to you. There's a loss of credibility.

Confrontational, insulting attitudes work best (IMO) in cases where humor is apparent and the author is able to give a clear understanding that the insults work both ways and that they aren't simply being arrogant. I honestly can't think of any advice or opinions I've read that are snarky and not humorous that I would ever consider. In fact, when I see rants like that, I leave the page and don't read that person again because I can find information that isn't angry or vile.

In this case, yes, there was some humor, but again by putting it in a forum setting made for advice in a conversational manner, it really doesn't fit expectations of the audience and comes across to many of us as insulting. I see the message in spite of the snark, rather than because of it, and even then the only reason I listen to it is because I've heard it so many other places. I have to admit that my automatic reaction was to look for ways to shoot it down, only to discover it was actually sound advice.

I think we've all had teachers or parents or coaches at some point who believed confrontation and abrasiveness were the best ways to teach. From my experience as a teacher and watching students in those situations, I can say that the only thing motivating them in those situations is fear (and most are not motivated at all). And fear only works when you're in a position of power and your opinion matters to the person you're trying to advise.

I love sarcasm and snark and have seen them used incredibly well. I've seen some rather popular people use them to their advantage even when I dislike the extent to which they go. But I truly believe that when you're offering advice, the best method is to be open and understanding and friendly. Humor works fine as long as the humor is apparent--in this case for most of us it looks like it wasn't (again, for reasons I still stand by that I stated earlier).

JustSarah
02-12-2013, 11:02 PM
Here is something I've noticed, cut to the bone humor insulting critique tends to work best in a purely visual format. You can see the person talking to you, you can tell they are being funny by the expression on their face, are sometimes they are dressed for the part. But the aim for a book critique is not to be funny.

The message was good, it was just delivered perhaps not the best.

Length is also an issue too, someone like Ms. Snark only has a short query she's applying red ink to. Your not going through a 3 pager that basically has absolutely nothing nice to say to you.

RedWombat
02-13-2013, 12:40 AM
Regardless of whether or not I wanted to blog about rejections, I think I might pause before writing a blog post suggesting my agent is in the habit of lying to editors.

Pippi
02-13-2013, 12:43 AM
You people are too sensitive ...

Maybe you should SHUT UP.


I'm only joking ;)

Papaya
02-13-2013, 01:06 AM
At the risk of derailing, I disagree completely on this. If you're offering advice, the thing that makes people most likely to take the advice is not an abrasive approach but an understanding one. If you're confrontational, you can either put people on the defensive or offend them. The first makes a person want to fight back against what you're saying. Advice works best with an open mind, not one that's pushing back against the message.

In the event of the second, if a person feels offended or insulted, they're less likely to listen to you. There's a loss of credibility.

Confrontational, insulting attitudes work best (IMO) in cases where humor is apparent and the author is able to give a clear understanding that the insults work both ways and that they aren't simply being arrogant. I honestly can't think of any advice or opinions I've read that are snarky and not humorous that I would ever consider. In fact, when I see rants like that, I leave the page and don't read that person again because I can find information that isn't angry or vile.

In this case, yes, there was some humor, but again by putting it in a forum setting made for advice in a conversational manner, it really doesn't fit expectations of the audience and comes across to many of us as insulting. I see the message in spite of the snark, rather than because of it, and even then the only reason I listen to it is because I've heard it so many other places. I have to admit that my automatic reaction was to look for ways to shoot it down, only to discover it was actually sound advice.

I think we've all had teachers or parents or coaches at some point who believed confrontation and abrasiveness were the best ways to teach. From my experience as a teacher and watching students in those situations, I can say that the only thing motivating them in those situations is fear (and most are not motivated at all). And fear only works when you're in a position of power and your opinion matters to the person you're trying to advise.

I love sarcasm and snark and have seen them used incredibly well. I've seen some rather popular people use them to their advantage even when I dislike the extent to which they go. But I truly believe that when you're offering advice, the best method is to be open and understanding and friendly. Humor works fine as long as the humor is apparent--in this case for most of us it looks like it wasn't (again, for reasons I still stand by that I stated earlier).
This

The actual advice from the OP seemed obvious to me. You have to be pretty naive to think otherwise. There was no need for the long rant or, (apparently), self deprecating humor.

Buffysquirrel
02-13-2013, 01:22 AM
I do often wonder why people post so much detail in the rejection and SYW and QLH sections here when they're so easily identifiable. That would definitely make me wince were I a Googling editor or agent.

Maybe because people know SYW and QLH won't show up on Google searches?

MumblingSage
02-13-2013, 02:05 AM
And the rejections section discussions are usually pretty nonspecific. Not to mention an agent would have to not only connect your name to your forum persona, but then track all the posts you've written, of which bemoaning rejections is (hopefully) a minority

That said, good point about doing this complaining on blogs. I always find blogs that are nothing but oh-pity-me posts rather depressing and don't hang around long.

And OP was clearly a blog post originally...but the tone is way, way off for a forum. Scalzi's law: the failure state of clever is a donkey-vacuum.

Also I am offended at the implied insults to a) my imaginary friends & family, and b) the kalos-statute sculpting abilities of my tears. Weeping-sculpture is a CALLING, my friends!

muravyets
02-13-2013, 02:23 AM
At the risk of derailing, I disagree completely on this. If you're offering advice, the thing that makes people most likely to take the advice is not an abrasive approach but an understanding one. If you're confrontational, you can either put people on the defensive or offend them. The first makes a person want to fight back against what you're saying. Advice works best with an open mind, not one that's pushing back against the message.

In the event of the second, if a person feels offended or insulted, they're less likely to listen to you. There's a loss of credibility.

Confrontational, insulting attitudes work best (IMO) in cases where humor is apparent and the author is able to give a clear understanding that the insults work both ways and that they aren't simply being arrogant. I honestly can't think of any advice or opinions I've read that are snarky and not humorous that I would ever consider. In fact, when I see rants like that, I leave the page and don't read that person again because I can find information that isn't angry or vile.

In this case, yes, there was some humor, but again by putting it in a forum setting made for advice in a conversational manner, it really doesn't fit expectations of the audience and comes across to many of us as insulting. I see the message in spite of the snark, rather than because of it, and even then the only reason I listen to it is because I've heard it so many other places. I have to admit that my automatic reaction was to look for ways to shoot it down, only to discover it was actually sound advice.

I think we've all had teachers or parents or coaches at some point who believed confrontation and abrasiveness were the best ways to teach. From my experience as a teacher and watching students in those situations, I can say that the only thing motivating them in those situations is fear (and most are not motivated at all). And fear only works when you're in a position of power and your opinion matters to the person you're trying to advise.

I love sarcasm and snark and have seen them used incredibly well. I've seen some rather popular people use them to their advantage even when I dislike the extent to which they go. But I truly believe that when you're offering advice, the best method is to be open and understanding and friendly. Humor works fine as long as the humor is apparent--in this case for most of us it looks like it wasn't (again, for reasons I still stand by that I stated earlier).
Different things are apparent or obvious to different people. I didn't have any trouble seeing the humor, but maybe that's because I enjoyed it. Still, I think there's room for all kinds of views and attitudes in the world, and just because a style of delivery does not appeal to everyone, that doesn't necessarily make it the wrong way to communicate.

For example, I don't enjoy it when I feel someone is sugar-coating everything. It makes me feel like I'm in nursery school, which I didn't enjoy even when I was in nursery school. I do, however, try to look past style to discern whether there is any substance, and if there is, I won't dismiss it just because I don't like the style with which it is delivered.

But that's me. As I said before, it's a matter of taste.

Papaya
02-13-2013, 03:03 AM
The title of the thread was: "Serious advice: Shut up about your submissions" which does not imply humor. Thus, I didn't click on the link expecting a sarcastic diatribe. If the title had better reflected the post, perhaps there wouldn't be so many ruffled feathers....

ladybritches
02-13-2013, 04:15 AM
Regardless of whether or not I wanted to blog about rejections, I think I might pause before writing a blog post suggesting my agent is in the habit of lying to editors.

I'm guessing he was exaggerating for effect.


The title of the thread was: "Serious advice: Shut up about your submissions" which does not imply humor. Thus, I didn't click on the link expecting a sarcastic diatribe. If the title had better reflected the post, perhaps there wouldn't be so many ruffled feathers....

The "serious" in the title was my clue that it wasn't going to be entirely serious, but I probably just thought that because I use sarcastic humor all the time. Makes me wonder how many people I've accidentally offended over my years of forum use. I do try to add the appropriate smiley so people will know I'm joking, but I think sarcastic humor is a dangerous thing to use on strangers.

benbradley
02-13-2013, 04:24 AM
I'm finding this thread more informative than I imagined.

J.W. Alden
02-13-2013, 05:05 AM
The failure mode of clever is "asshole."*



*Totally not calling OP (or anyone) an asshole. But the obviously-came-from-a-blog original post and the subsequent reactions on the first page of the thread brought that quote to mind. :rolleyes:

For the most part, I agree with the sentiment of the post. But if I'd read this on a blog, my eyebrows wouldn't have raised quite so high at the abrasive tone.

djf881
02-13-2013, 05:31 AM
This

The actual advice from the OP seemed obvious to me. You have to be pretty naive to think otherwise. There was no need for the long rant or, (apparently), self deprecating humor.

It's not obvious at all. The reason I went and found it in my archives is that people are tweeting about how many rejections they've gotten and which agents are rejecting them.

Arislan
02-13-2013, 05:32 AM
Loved the post, the message, the humour, wouldn't change a word. :-) One of my favourite posts on AW so far.

T J Deen
02-13-2013, 05:48 AM
i like the tough love approach in the first post. i need more tough love like that.

ishtar'sgate
02-13-2013, 07:44 AM
It's not obvious at all. The reason I went and found it in my archives is that people are tweeting about how many rejections they've gotten and which agents are rejecting them.

Despite the in-your-face attitude the core of your advice is good even though my eyebrows did crawl up into my hairline.

Finis
02-13-2013, 12:41 PM
:popcorn:

Also :popcorn:

I was not offended and thought it had solid advice. But then again, Reservoir Dogs is one of my favorite flicks and I am fond of saying things like, "why don't you sit down and have a nice glass of shut the fuck up"

Not that anyone gives a fuck about my opinions :)

Bec de Corbin
02-13-2013, 05:14 PM
The SO advised me when I first started writing not to post any kind of updates on Facebook: no end-of-chapter celebrations, no vaguely worded whining about rejections, nothing. I am beyond grateful that I listened to him.

As for the tone of the post, I thought it was funny and salient advice. Not sure why people are offended...

Buffysquirrel
02-13-2013, 05:45 PM
I don't think I'm offended. But as with the 'tired of writers' post that was linked to elsewhere, I didn't read far. Maybe that's my mode of offended: find something shinier elsewhere.

James D. Macdonald
02-13-2013, 08:48 PM
"Tough love" is another name for "abuse."

BethS
02-14-2013, 01:51 AM
"Tough love" is another name for "abuse."

No, it's not. I mean, not automatically. Tough love can certainly cross the line into abuse, but when administered wisely, it is ultimately helpful (or potentially so), not abusive.

Just to clarify, I'm thinking of tough love in parenting situations, or in relationships with friends. I don't think it really applies to the OP of this thread.

Xelebes
02-14-2013, 02:41 AM
No, it's not. I mean, not automatically. Tough love can certainly cross the line into abuse, but when administered wisely, it is ultimately helpful (or potentially so), not abusive.

Just to clarify, I'm thinking of tough love in parenting situations, or in relationships with friends. I don't think it really applies to the OP of this thread.

Eh, no. Tough love is a euphemism for abuse, so that abusers can cover up their tracks.

What we tend to put into the term is not what those who professed tough love wanted to excuse. Firmness is not tough love. Setting boundaries is not tough love. Don't throw that in with tough love. What I described is discipline. Tough love is hurling insults and expecting the person to lick it up, all in an attempt to demonstrate heirarchy. Tough love is tanning hides until the person submits. Tough love is abuse.

muravyets
02-14-2013, 02:44 AM
"Tough love" is another name for "abuse."
I disagree.

"Abuse" is a word that describes actions against others or another that produces specific effects. We can identify abuse either after the fact or by comparison to similar behavior patterns, though then we tend to say the behavior is "abusive" rather than it is "abuse," since the adjective can also indicate a condition of trending towards abuse.

"Tough love," on the other hand is a bullshit phrase that doesn't really mean much of anything. It's supposed to describe strict parenting that is aligned to an objective of positive growth in the child, but it is applied rather willy-nilly to just about any situation ranging from simple criticism to actual abuse. It is used so promiscuously, in fact, that it doesn't even deliver sarcasm when used sarcastically. Since it lacks a defining standard, the term is basically meaningless.

But merely using a harsh tone or caustic humor to deliver critical advice is neither "abuse" nor "tough love." It's a way of expressing oneself.

Finis
02-14-2013, 03:05 AM
I disagree.

"Abuse" is a word that describes actions against others or another that produces specific effects. We can identify abuse either after the fact or by comparison to similar behavior patterns, though then we tend to say the behavior is "abusive" rather than it is "abuse," since the adjective can also indicate a condition of trending towards abuse.

"Tough love," on the other hand is a bullshit phrase that doesn't really mean much of anything. It's supposed to describe strict parenting that is aligned to an objective of positive growth in the child, but it is applied rather willy-nilly to just about any situation ranging from simple criticism to actual abuse. It is used so promiscuously, in fact, that it doesn't even deliver sarcasm when used sarcastically. Since it lacks a defining standard, the term is basically meaningless.

But merely using a harsh tone or caustic humor to deliver critical advice is neither "abuse" nor "tough love." It's a way of expressing oneself.


Yeah, Uhm. What s/he said.

I was going to say all of that, but you said it first and better. So I will merely add that the definition of "tough love" and the implied meaning it has for one person are entirely irrelevant to the original post.

Dandroid
02-14-2013, 03:17 AM
I chuckled through the entire thing...that and I am only offended by things that I let offend me

MumblingSage
02-14-2013, 06:21 AM
I chuckled through the entire thing...that and I am only offended by things that I let offend me

Speaking of words that have been watered down to uselessness...what does it even mean to 'offend' someone nowadays? In the circles I'm in I see it more often used as an insult ("you're just offended") than an accusation ("that's offensive"). Which can mean anything from "I see my use of harmful stereotypes and slurs has hurt your feelings, you wuss" to "I see you don't share my sense of humor".

This situation seems to tend more towards the latter. It's not a crime not to share someone's sense of humor, and thus to have an unpleasant surprise when confronted with it unexpectedly.

While the OP did have some humor, and must have worked great as a blog post where it was accompanied by certain expectations, it has not worked so well for all people encountering it in this context.

I choose to let offensive things offend me so nothing foul slips past my guard, given people of my background are often socialized to be doormats. However, I don't think "different sense of humor" automatically equates with offensiveness, especially where the humor is also self-deprecating.

thebloodfiend
02-14-2013, 06:43 AM
Good for the people who find this amusing. Give yourselves a pat on the back for enjoying it. Now another pat for those of you who can't understand the concept of having a different sense of humor.

This whole "don't let things offend you," or "I don't understand how you don't find this funny" is ridiculous. You might not find Colbert funny. I don't find Comedy Central Roasts funny. Not everyone laughs at the same damn things. And when you're essentially calling your audience idiots, not everyone will think that's funny. Very simple concept to grasp, no? I don't see the people who don't find this funny asking how people find this funny or giving any variety of passive aggressive, "how dare you find this funny" comments. I am not offended by this post. I merely find it annoying.

To sum up: You laughed. We did not. Good for you. I think forums are for discussion, not taking a point and deciding to rant on it with no room for disagreement. You are free to not care. I don't care if you don't. But I now understand why Lisa Lampanelli is such a popular comic.

Given the 50/50 split on the humor scale, I'd advise the OP to dig harder with his jokes if he intends to repost another one of his blog posts here, or anyone who wants to do that, really.

#1 Rule of comedy writing: Know your audience.

Arislan
02-14-2013, 06:55 AM
#1 Rule of comedy writing: Know your audience.

How does this apply on a public forum where you have no control over who sees your posts and how they react to it? I think the OP did know his audience. It's just that more than just his audience saw it. ;-)

As Joel Hodgson once said, "The right people will get this."

SomethingOrOther
02-14-2013, 06:59 AM
I love it that the OP isn't even engaging anyone on the subject of whether his post was funny/appropriate/fitting/etc. Many in his place would've become indignant and wasted their time arguing with people. Thumbs up.

thebloodfiend
02-14-2013, 07:10 AM
How does this apply on a public forum where you have no control over who sees your posts and how they react to it? I think the OP did know his audience. It's just that more than just his audience saw it. ;-)If you're a frequent poster on this forum, you'll get a general idea of who posts here. Mostly writers seeking publication. That is the first step to determining this audience. Anyone can see anything online. That is obvious. But what I post on my various blogs might not fly here, though the advice would be very good for some. Because I know the audience for my blog and I know the members of AW and the overlap is slim at best.
As Joel Hodgson once said, "The right people will get this."I'm sure the right people will eventually find anything they like. I'm not sure fishing for an audience anywhere is a good idea. It's why sci-fi writers don't submit to the New Yorker and lit fic writers don't submit to Analog. I don't come here to read blog posts. I come here to discuss writing and politics and various other things. That is why I think a simple link would have been better. Then we would be discussing the content, rather than the tone. Complete difference of format.

But I am quite willing to drop this as long as no one else waltzes by to wonder why people are offended by the OP, or why they don't get his sense of humor. I don't sit around and wonder why people don't find the Key of Awesome funny, or why people find the Harlem Shake funny. We simply have different senses of humor. Though I do wonder if it was wise to post this with no room for discussion whatsoever.

ladyleeona
02-14-2013, 07:15 AM
How does this apply on a public forum where you have no control over who sees your posts and how they react to it? I think the OP did know his audience. It's just that more than just his audience saw it. ;-)

As Joel Hodgson once said, "The right people will get this."

This public forum is meant for discussion of topics, and there's not much room for any discussion in what I get from the OP. He does mention good points, yeah. Everyone gets that.(Though the implication agents are all liars is less than desirable, imo.) Because there's nothing to discuss, posters moved on to grey area of delivery. Hence the 'I don't see why you don't get this' crap.

This a know your platform issue--the OP works much, much better as a blog post.

ETA--sorta crossposted with fiend-y one.

Rhymes with Clue
02-14-2013, 07:22 AM
OP was both hilarious and very good advice. Really, very good advice.

I don't really understand why anyone would be offended. (Except agents, possibly, but even then, they're trying to put the best possible spin on your work and trying to get you the biggest advance. So maybe they lie.)

Also I would say the OP knows whereof he speaks. He's got a debut novel out, and it's been nominated for an Edgar.

I didn't even find it overly abrasive, since it didn't single any one person out and was directed to the whole forum.

I don't think he means "Shut up about your submissions" here, or on your local critique group loop. It's the same thing as not going on your blog and venting about your horrible boss in a place where you boss could conceivably find it and you could get fired. It's professional advice.

ladyleeona
02-14-2013, 07:28 AM
I don't get why everyone's not purple.

It's my favorite color, purple is.

Bartholomew
02-14-2013, 07:47 AM
I like kitties.

kaitie
02-14-2013, 08:22 AM
How does this apply on a public forum where you have no control over who sees your posts and how they react to it? I think the OP did know his audience. It's just that more than just his audience saw it. ;-)

As Joel Hodgson once said, "The right people will get this."

I agree completely with Bloodfiend on this one. And for what it's worth, I think the problem here is ENTIRELY caused by the audience on a forum not being the same as for a blog.

Even aside from the whole conversation vs. just random ramblings that I mentioned earlier, the number one rule on this forum is respect your fellow writer. Mocking other people isn't in good taste here, period. The author has been around long enough to know that, and IMO, the correct thing to do would have been to simply restate the information from his blog to be more in line with expectations here. This isn't to mention that I don't think members are allowed to copy full blog posts in the first place. I've seen people have it removed for spamming in the past.

And I was waiting on someone to just imply that all of us who disliked it are just too easily offended by things that aren't politically correct.

I can find something unfunny without being offended. I do it all the time. Hell, my boyfriend just showed me a series of Puritan Valentine's Day cards that I didn't even chuckle at while he was rolling on the floor, but I wasn't offended.

I'm not even sure offended is the right word for what I was with this. What I was was turned off. And I felt like I was being insulted. I've been insulted plenty of times. I had a student who was pissed at me the other day insult me and I seriously don't give a damn. But it does turn me off, and it does make a negative first impression, and it does make me question what follows it. And honestly, I don't much like being insulted when someone is trying to offer advice.

benbradley
02-14-2013, 08:53 AM
I love it that the OP isn't even engaging anyone on the subject of whether his post was funny/appropriate/fitting/etc.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSHr4ubuD64

muravyets
02-14-2013, 08:57 AM
Good for the people who find this amusing. Give yourselves a pat on the back for enjoying it. Now another pat for those of you who can't understand the concept of having a different sense of humor.

This whole "don't let things offend you," or "I don't understand how you don't find this funny" is ridiculous. You might not find Colbert funny. I don't find Comedy Central Roasts funny. Not everyone laughs at the same damn things. And when you're essentially calling your audience idiots, not everyone will think that's funny. Very simple concept to grasp, no? I don't see the people who don't find this funny asking how people find this funny or giving any variety of passive aggressive, "how dare you find this funny" comments. I am not offended by this post. I merely find it annoying.

To sum up: You laughed. We did not. Good for you. I think forums are for discussion, not taking a point and deciding to rant on it with no room for disagreement. You are free to not care. I don't care if you don't. But I now understand why Lisa Lampanelli is such a popular comic.

Given the 50/50 split on the humor scale, I'd advise the OP to dig harder with his jokes if he intends to repost another one of his blog posts here, or anyone who wants to do that, really.

#1 Rule of comedy writing: Know your audience.
I think I missed the posts where people who enjoyed the OP said that they couldn't understand how other people didn't find it funny.

I did see a few posts suggesting that it is simply not funny, in the face of people saying they did find it so, but I didn't see anyone saying that other people should have found it funny just because they/we did, or that it is incomprehensible that other people wouldn't find it funny.

I'm also not seeing how people are ranting, on either side of the response line. I do see a bit of give and take between early respondents who criticized the OP's style, and later respondents who defended it, but give and take is not the same as standing on a position and ranting.

As for knowing one's audience, this one seems pretty mixed, so I don't think the OP was that far off the mark. He seems to have reached a fair percentage of respondents -- as you point out, 50/50. For that kind of delivery, I think that's a pretty good return on the gamble.

True, he probably should have rewritten the blog post to be more of an opening for discussion, but I disagree with the idea that his tone was so wrong for a forum, or even this forum in particular, given what a variety of readers and writers post here.

muravyets
02-14-2013, 09:09 AM
This public forum is meant for discussion of topics, and there's not much room for any discussion in what I get from the OP. He does mention good points, yeah. Everyone gets that.(Though the implication agents are all liars is less than desirable, imo.) Because there's nothing to discuss, posters moved on to grey area of delivery. Hence the 'I don't see why you don't get this' crap.

This a know your platform issue--the OP works much, much better as a blog post.

ETA--sorta crossposted with fiend-y one.
How much help do we need to enter a discussion? The OP presented both advice and opinion.

Here's how I read the post:

Advice: Do not post a lot about your process of writing and submission before publication, especially negative things or things that (a) reveal your inexperience in the profession and/or (b) contradict or undermine what your agent is saying about you.

Opinion (and this is where interpretation of the OP becomes subjective because his opinion is implicit in his tone rather than explicit in his words): The culture of over-sharing that flourishes on the internet leads to rampant displays of unprofessional conduct by writers trying to break through. People need to remember where they are and what they are doing and stop talking about themselves so much.

So there we have two lines of discussion:

1) Do we agree or disagree with his advice about not discussing WIPs and/or submissions? What supporting or alternative advice or experience do we have to offer?

2) Do we agree or disagree with his view of people being unprofessional in their use of social media, blogs, and web sites? What supporting or alternative views or experience do we have to offer?

Discuss!

As I said before, everything he said makes sense to me, and I have added this advice to my list of reminders of what not to do as I take my career to the next step.


OP was both hilarious and very good advice. Really, very good advice.

I don't really understand why anyone would be offended. (Except agents, possibly, but even then, they're trying to put the best possible spin on your work and trying to get you the biggest advance. So maybe they lie.)

Also I would say the OP knows whereof he speaks. He's got a debut novel out, and it's been nominated for an Edgar.

I didn't even find it overly abrasive, since it didn't single any one person out and was directed to the whole forum.

I don't think he means "Shut up about your submissions" here, or on your local critique group loop. It's the same thing as not going on your blog and venting about your horrible boss in a place where you boss could conceivably find it and you could get fired. It's professional advice.
I agree, except that I can easily imagine agents reading the OP and sighing a grateful "Yes, please!", if they find themselves having to do damage control on clients who undermine their own images.

ladyleeona
02-14-2013, 09:39 AM
So there we have two lines of discussion:

1) Do we agree or disagree with his advice about not discussing WIPs and/or submissions? What supporting or alternative advice or experience do we have to offer?

2) Do we agree or disagree with his view of people being unprofessional in their use of social media, blogs, and web sites? What supporting or alternative views or experience do we have to offer?

Discuss!

At risk of speaking for more people than just myself, I think the 'issue' (it's not really an issue, but I've got to call it something) is there's not much of a dissenting opinion on the main information/advice.

A specific supporting post offered by Mr Anonymous was, uh, supporting....

Good people, I think this might be the first time in AW history everyone's (standard error of 1/2 a poster) agreed on post informational content.

Quick, someone summon a troll! :D
*goes invisible*
*dribbles out troll bait*

Yep, that oughta do it.

Papaya
02-14-2013, 10:22 AM
I'm guessing he was exaggerating for effect.
Makes me wonder how many people I've accidentally offended over my years of forum use. I do try to add the appropriate smiley so people will know I'm joking, but I think sarcastic humor is a dangerous thing to use on strangers.
I so agree with you on that. I have a very dry, sarcastic sense of humor, but generally only in person. If I do attempt to joke around the same way in writing form, then I always make sure to lighten it up one way or another so the person knows I'm joking. I think the lesson here, if there is one, is that this kind of humor can easily backfire if you try it on complete strangers without making it really clear, one way or another, that you are joking.

LindaJeanne
02-14-2013, 10:25 AM
As others have said: great blog post, lousy forum post.

It's the difference between a radio personality going on a rant on the air, or someone cornering folks with the same rant at a cocktail party.

thebloodfiend
02-14-2013, 10:33 AM
I think I missed the posts where people who enjoyed the OP said that they couldn't understand how other people didn't find it funny.I suppose you did indeed miss the posts suggesting we were choosing to be offended, or had thin skins, or various other odd things like being bristled by his tone.
As for knowing one's audience, this one seems pretty mixed, so I don't think the OP was that far off the mark. He seems to have reached a fair percentage of respondents -- as you point out, 50/50. For that kind of delivery, I think that's a pretty good return on the gamble.If you say so. As this discussion is hardly about the content, I'd say there's a rather wide fail margin here. When Scalzi wrote his rather inflammatory post about teen writers, no one decided to quibble about his tone or his audience. It was all about his content. And his content pissed people off. But that's it—they were discussing the content. Tone should be irrelevant if your message delivers. If you're trying to tell people not to do something, you don't want them arguing about the way you told them not to.
True, he probably should have rewritten the blog post to be more of an opening for discussion, but I disagree with the idea that his tone was so wrong for a forum, or even this forum in particular, given what a variety of readers and writers post here.And we will have to agree to disagree. I'll probably be desubscribing to this thread, as I should've done yesterday. Real life, and idiots in motorcycle accidents, are too distracting at the moment for me to fully invest myself in this. And while I really could go on this for a while, if thoroughly tempted, I will simply say goodbye and goodnight.

Maxinquaye
02-14-2013, 12:28 PM
So, in the interest of being productive here, does anyone actually disagree with the basic message the OP is delivering?


Yes, somewhat. It is spreading a notion that writers should be afraid of agents, that writers are employed by agents, and that writers should be subservient to agents.

It is a message to tip the balance of power to the agent, leaving the writer as a mere contractor that shouldn't have any opinion about anything. Or in the words of the OP, the writer should shut the fuck up and go into his or her room. It's the message that the writer should be seen, well seen in a very narrow context, and never heard.

I've seen agents on twitter ridicule writers; spread tweets and messages from writers, having a good old laugh at them. It needn't be fools or deluded ones - it might just be writers inexperienced with the process.

I disagree with that. But then again, I'm not looking for an agent.

buz
02-14-2013, 05:28 PM
I like kitties.

Kitties suck.
Puppies kick ass.

http://i1279.photobucket.com/albums/y528/baufberi/cfa3e5b2-c364-4a46-b8e8-bca01d98308c_zps228502f2.jpg

:D

Rebuttal?

SomethingOrOther
02-14-2013, 05:51 PM
Ponies are better. This entry from Wikipedia should show how kick-ass they are:


In the wild, ponies mostly feed on larger and medium sized animals, with most studies indicating a preference for native ungulates averaging 90 kg (200 lb) at a minimum. Sambar, chital, barasingha, wild boar, gaur, nilgai and both water buffalo and domestic buffalo, in descending order of preference, are the pony's favoured prey.[27] (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7970171&postcount=115)Sometimes, they also prey on other predators, including other large species such as leopards, pythons, sloth bears and crocodiles. Ponies are thought to be nocturnal predators, hunting at night. However, in areas where humans are typically absent, they have been observed via remote controlled, hidden cameras hunting during the daylight hours. Successful hunts usually require the pony to almost simultaneously leap onto their quarry, knock it over and grab the throat or nape with its teeth.[28] (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7970171&postcount=115) An adult pony can go up to two weeks without eating but then can gorge on up to 34 kg (75 lb) of flesh at one sitting. In captivity, adult ponies are fed 3 to 6 kg (6.6 to 13 lb) of meat a day.

In other words, don't fuck with the ponies.

buz
02-14-2013, 05:59 PM
In other words, don't fuck with the ponies.

I try not to. Seriously. Ponies will fuck me up and I know it.

:D

But I think we can all agree that kitties suck in comparison to both puppies and ponies.

LindaJeanne
02-14-2013, 06:43 PM
I wish I had pictures of my cat with me that I could upload. She's a sweetie, and very affectionate.

Barbara R.
02-14-2013, 06:53 PM
a lot depends on the depth of your conviction and its relative social palatability.

Card didn't get that flack for saying he believed in gun control, or school prayer....he got it for saying homosexuality was an affront to God and it was his duty to do all he could to prevent gay unions from destroying the country, or some similar ball of shit

Card has been chosen by DC Comics as the new writer of its Superman franchise. Truth, justice and the American way my ass. Fans are threatening a boycott and why not? Everyone in the US is free to voice his/her opinion. And then they're free to take the consequences of voicing that opinion. Card chose to attack gender minorities; I choose not to support his work.

Barbara R.
02-14-2013, 06:59 PM
I dug this up because of a conversation I was having with another writer about people tweeting their rejections. ...It's a really terrible idea to do this while you're on submission, especially if you tweet the names of the agents rejecting you. Even if they don't Google you, they'll Google themselves, and they'll Google each other....Agented submissions to editors should not be discussed publicly at all under any circumstances, at least until you hit the NYT bestseller list. And while you're on submission it's permissible to email your agent as much as you want, so pour all your neuroses in that direction.

Yes to every word of this--and to the thrust, if not the tone, of the OP's post. The time to talk is when you have a signed contract. Till then, keep it to yourself. Nobody wants to see the sausage factory.

Phaeal
02-14-2013, 07:23 PM
In other words, don't fuck with the ponies.

My velociraptor pwns your pony. She also tweets every damn form rejection she gets, just before she visits the offending agency.

But most of us are not velociraptors, so the OP advice holds.

PS: Don't even start with how a herd of ponies would pwn my raptor, or I'll have to unleash the shoggoths of war.

LindaJeanne
02-14-2013, 07:25 PM
Ooh! Please do release the shoggoths of war! That would be awesome.

RedWombat
02-14-2013, 07:42 PM
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the shoggoths of the war:
They are glorping through the city where the Old Ones long were stored;
They are squishy and they're eldritch and by now they're pretty bored--
Shoggoths go marching on!


...sorry. Had a moment there. *gazes into middle distance*

Xelebes
02-14-2013, 08:21 PM
Rebuttal?

Let me grab my water here. . .

mccardey
02-14-2013, 08:42 PM
Mornington Crescent? Anyone?

ladybritches
02-14-2013, 09:02 PM
I've seen agents on twitter ridicule writers; spread tweets and messages from writers, having a good old laugh at them. It needn't be fools or deluded ones - it might just be writers inexperienced with the process.


I have too, and I take those agents off my query list because I don't want to work with assholes.

Phaeal
02-14-2013, 09:31 PM
I know I would hate to think of my agent publically ridiculing anyone. Luckily, I can't imagine him ever doing something like that.

SomethingOrOther
02-14-2013, 09:34 PM
I try not to. Seriously. Ponies will fuck me up and I know it.

:D

But I think we can all agree that kitties suck in comparison to both puppies and ponies.

Ponies are way better at being unicorns, too. Case study:

http://i.imgur.com/SjwSEVy.png

vs.

http://i.imgur.com/tG7de.gif

And this regime of puppy troops is pretty much dominating this cat:

http://i.minus.com/ibjobIDf7Kiszt.gif

Phaeal
02-14-2013, 09:35 PM
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the shoggoths of the war:
They are glorping through the city where the Old Ones long were stored;
They are squishy and they're eldritch and by now they're pretty bored--
Shoggoths go marching on!


...sorry. Had a moment there. *gazes into middle distance*

Apart from the fact that shoggoths hate the word "eldritch," I'm sure they will appreciate your anthem. Also, shoggoths never get bored. They have an insane obsession for their version of Paper/Scissors/Rock, in which they have to guess which body part the player is going to evolve next.

DeleyanLee
02-14-2013, 09:54 PM
I've seen agents on twitter ridicule writers; spread tweets and messages from writers, having a good old laugh at them. It needn't be fools or deluded ones - it might just be writers inexperienced with the process.

This is the first argument I've seen that actually makes me semi-interested in looking at Twitter at all. The whole social media thing just confounds me so I tend to ignore it all. But this might be worth watching and I hadn't considered that aspect.

Thank you.

RedWombat
02-14-2013, 10:12 PM
Apart from the fact that shoggoths hate the word "eldritch," I'm sure they will appreciate your anthem.

It's the old problem--trying to get "non-Euclidean" to scan is the great test of the Lovecraftian songwriter.

Bartholomew
02-14-2013, 10:17 PM
Ponies are better. This entry from Wikipedia should show how kick-ass they are:


In the wild, ponies mostly feed on larger and medium sized animals, with most studies indicating a preference for native ungulates averaging 90 kg (200 lb) at a minimum. Sambar, chital, barasingha, wild boar, gaur, nilgai and both water buffalo and domestic buffalo, in descending order of preference, are the pony's favoured prey.[27] (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7970171&postcount=115)Sometimes, they also prey on other predators, including other large species such as leopards, pythons, sloth bears and crocodiles. Ponies are thought to be nocturnal predators, hunting at night. However, in areas where humans are typically absent, they have been observed via remote controlled, hidden cameras hunting during the daylight hours. Successful hunts usually require the pony to almost simultaneously leap onto their quarry, knock it over and grab the throat or nape with its teeth.[28] (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7970171&postcount=115) An adult pony can go up to two weeks without eating but then can gorge on up to 34 kg (75 lb) of flesh at one sitting. In captivity, adult ponies are fed 3 to 6 kg (6.6 to 13 lb) of meat a day.

In other words, don't fuck with the ponies.


I try not to. Seriously. Ponies will fuck me up and I know it.

:D

But I think we can all agree that kitties suck in comparison to both puppies and ponies.


Kitties suck.
Puppies kick ass.

http://i1279.photobucket.com/albums/y528/baufberi/cfa3e5b2-c364-4a46-b8e8-bca01d98308c_zps228502f2.jpg

:D

Rebuttal?

Both are the inferior animal.

I'll let Mark Twain talk.


When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction.


A home without a cat -- and a well-fed, well-petted and properly revered cat -- may be a perfect home, perhaps, but how can it prove title?


A cat is more intelligent than people believe, and can be taught any crime.


By what right has the dog come to be regarded as a "noble" animal? The more brutal and cruel and unjust you are to him the more your fawning and adoring slave he becomes; whereas, if you shamefully misuse a cat once she will always maintain a dignified reserve toward you afterward--you will never get her full confidence again.

Xelebes
02-14-2013, 10:22 PM
Mornington Crescent? Anyone?

*slurp*

X'haaaaah!

Nah, we're good.

mccardey
02-14-2013, 10:26 PM
Kitties suck.
Puppies kick ass.

http://i1279.photobucket.com/albums/y528/baufberi/cfa3e5b2-c364-4a46-b8e8-bca01d98308c_zps228502f2.jpg

:D

Rebuttal?

You'll get nothing bad from me.

James D. Macdonald
02-14-2013, 11:34 PM
It's the old problem--trying to get "non-Euclidean" to scan is the great test of the Lovecraftian songwriter.When Great Old Ones arise
Heedless of pious cries,
Ghods save the Queen!
Evil they must begin
(They're non-Euclidean),
With eyeballs that flay off our skin,
Ghods save the Queen!

Jupiter
02-14-2013, 11:41 PM
Mornington Crescent? Anyone?


I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue. :D

mccardey
02-14-2013, 11:50 PM
Also :popcorn:

I was not offended and thought it had solid advice. But then again, Reservoir Dogs is one of my favorite flicks and I am fond of saying things like, "why don't you sit down and have a nice glass of shut the fuck up"Not that anyone gives a fuck about my opinions :)

I do. I love your opinions. Also Reservoir Dogs.

RedWombat
02-14-2013, 11:57 PM
When Great Old Ones arise
Heedless of pious cries,
Ghods save the Queen!
Evil they must begin
(They're non-Euclidean),
With eyeballs that flay off our skin,
Ghods save the Queen!

I bow my tentacles to the master!

Bicyclefish
02-15-2013, 12:44 AM
This whole "don't let things offend you," or "I don't understand how you don't find this funny" is ridiculous.


I think I missed the posts where people who enjoyed the OP said that they couldn't understand how other people didn't find it funny.
I believe it's comments like these BloodFiend is referring to:


I am frankly surprised to see so many offended writers.
I thought we were notorious for having thick skins?


Come on guys!
It's fair enough if you bristled at the tone to begin with, but by the time the OP got going it was pretty easy to suss out that their post wasn't at all mean-spirited.


It surprised me that so many people reacted negatively to it.


As for the tone of the post, I thought it was funny and salient advice. Not sure why people are offended...


I chuckled through the entire thing...that and I am only offended by things that I let offend me


I don't really understand why anyone would be offended. (Except agents, possibly, but even then, they're trying to put the best possible spin on your work and trying to get you the biggest advance. So maybe they lie.

BethS
02-15-2013, 05:27 AM
Eh, no. Tough love is a euphemism for abuse, so that abusers can cover up their tracks.

Tough love is hurling insults and expecting the person to lick it up, all in an attempt to demonstrate heirarchy. Tough love is tanning hides until the person submits. Tough love is abuse.

Try googling "tough love definition." The actual meaning of the phrase does not accord with what you just described.

Just because abusers co-opt the term as an excuse for their actions doesn't change its actual and original meaning.

muravyets
02-15-2013, 05:39 AM
I believe it's comments like these BloodFiend is referring to:
Then I still disagree with her, but I see this as just another matter of subjective viewpoints, just like our reactions to the OP. I don't see any of those comments as saying that other people are somehow wrong to be offended or that it is incomprehensible how they could be offended. I see them as saying exactly what they do say, that they are surprised by negative reactions or don't understand them. Only two of those quotes are urging other people to change their reactions, and those seem to be doing so in a somewhat humorous or teasing manner. So, like them, I personally don't see where the offense is. Is it offensive for me to say that? Of course not, and likewise I don't see people talking about their own reactions to other people's reactions as criticizing those other people. Clearly, BloodFiend sees it differently, but I guess the difference in our outlooks will leave us with no option but to agree to disagree, because I think that interpretation is just wrong.

I'd like to add the caveat that I don't know and am not saying that this is what she meant, because this is you talking and not her. I'm just saying that, because of my own subjective outlook on life and conversation, I don't see those posts as fitting her complaint.

MumblingSage
02-15-2013, 05:42 AM
Try googling "tough love definition." The actual meaning of the phrase does not accord with what you just described.

Just because abusers co-opt the term as an excuse for their actions doesn't change its actual and original meaning.

I'm not sure if the quoted individuals are saying seriously, as a fact, that tough love always means abuse, so much as that it's been co-opted so thickly that it cannot be trusted to mean anything else. In short, the word's become useless (in a way perhaps similar to, in a wildly different way, the word "gay" is no longer a useful term to express its dictionary definition of "delighted").

Though in general, the best understanding of a word is rarely gained with a definition found through Google.

muravyets
02-15-2013, 05:44 AM
Yes, somewhat. It is spreading a notion that writers should be afraid of agents, that writers are employed by agents, and that writers should be subservient to agents.

It is a message to tip the balance of power to the agent, leaving the writer as a mere contractor that shouldn't have any opinion about anything. Or in the words of the OP, the writer should shut the fuck up and go into his or her room. It's the message that the writer should be seen, well seen in a very narrow context, and never heard.

I've seen agents on twitter ridicule writers; spread tweets and messages from writers, having a good old laugh at them. It needn't be fools or deluded ones - it might just be writers inexperienced with the process.

I disagree with that. But then again, I'm not looking for an agent.
That's interesting, because it's not what I got out of it. What I got is writers pay agents to sell their work and to market their images. If we're going to pay these people a nice percentage of the income they help us generate, we shouldn't undermine the very job we are asking them to do by making ourselves look weaker while they're trying to make us look stronger. In other words, I saw it as saying we shouldn't undermine the value of what we're paying an agent to do for us.

As for agents publicly ridiculing writers, I'd say that's an example of unprofessional conduct on those agents' parts, and I would not want to do business with them.

muravyets
02-15-2013, 05:46 AM
I try not to. Seriously. Ponies will fuck me up and I know it.

:D

But I think we can all agree that kitties suck in comparison to both puppies and ponies.
*stuffs a couple of kitties down Bushidao's pants to test that hypothesis*

Gotta say, my money's on the kitties. ;)

Papaya
02-15-2013, 05:48 AM
Eh, no. Tough love is a euphemism for abuse, so that abusers can cover up their tracks.

What we tend to put into the term is not what those who professed tough love wanted to excuse. Firmness is not tough love. Setting boundaries is not tough love. Don't throw that in with tough love. What I described is discipline. Tough love is hurling insults and expecting the person to lick it up, all in an attempt to demonstrate heirarchy. Tough love is tanning hides until the person submits. Tough love is abuse.


Try googling "tough love definition." The actual meaning of the phrase does not accord with what you just described.

Just because abusers co-opt the term as an excuse for their actions doesn't change its actual and original meaning.
I hate the phrase "tough love" for all the reasons you stated, but she's right about the actual definition.

Papaya
02-15-2013, 05:49 AM
I'm not sure if the quoted individuals are saying seriously, as a fact, that tough love always means abuse, so much as that it's been co-opted so thickly that it cannot be trusted to mean anything else. In short, the word's become useless (in a way perhaps similar to, in a wildly different way, the word "gay" is no longer a useful term to express its dictionary definition of "delighted").

Though in general, the best understanding of a word is rarely gained with a definition found through Google.
Agree with you on this.

muravyets
02-15-2013, 05:51 AM
When Great Old Ones arise
Heedless of pious cries,
Ghods save the Queen!
Evil they must begin
(They're non-Euclidean),
With eyeballs that flay off our skin,
Ghods save the Queen!
You win.

buz
02-15-2013, 05:51 AM
*stuffs a couple of kitties down Bushidao's pants to test that hypothesis*

Gotta say, my money's on the kitties. ;)

Ha! I just gotta stick some puppies down there too...they'll take care of those little bastards.

muravyets
02-15-2013, 05:52 AM
Ha! I just gotta stick some puppies down there too...they'll take care of those little bastards.
Wait! Let me figure out the video thingy on this here phone gizmo.

Barbara R.
02-15-2013, 06:08 PM
I know I would hate to think of my agent publically ridiculing anyone. Luckily, I can't imagine him ever doing something like that.

Not publicly.

Everyone has to blow off steam occasionally. Problem is when they do it online.

Funny this came up. In my upcoming novel A DANGEROUS FICTION (http://www.us.penguingroup.com/static/rguides/us/a_dangerous_fiction.html), the owner of a literary agency fires one of her agents for mocking submitters on his blog. It happens.

kkbe
02-15-2013, 06:56 PM
This kitty bashing must stop. That's all I'm sayin' on the subject, except for this: kitty-bashing is nonsensical and cruel. All right, I'm done, almost. Anybody who purposely or unpurposely bashes kitties, literally or figuratively, is cruel and heartless, and should be concurrently drawn and quartered, or perhaps, quartered and drawn. And possibly flayed. Preferably with cat-o'nine-tails.

Swish, swish. Which is what my cat's tail is doing right now, whilst giving all of you the evil eye.

Phaeal
02-15-2013, 07:04 PM
This kitty bashing must stop. That's all I'm sayin' on the subject, except for this: kitty-bashing is nonsensical and cruel. All right, I'm done, almost. Anybody who purposely or unpurposely bashes kitties, literally or figuratively, is cruel and heartless, and should be concurrently drawn and quartered, or perhaps, quartered and drawn. And possibly flayed. Preferably with cat-o'nine-tails.

No worries. I'll call in the Cats of Ulthar.

MumblingSage
02-16-2013, 01:35 AM
No worries. I'll call in the Cats of Ulthar.

My favorite Lovecraft story, not gonna lie.

JustSarah
02-16-2013, 08:37 AM
Personally i would cross any agent off my list that does make fun of writers. Its one thing if they don't respond to a question, its another to make fun of a writer.