View Full Version : Give Me A Break.....

10-22-2006, 04:49 PM
(Lest anyone think I am not serious about this, this will be posted publicly on my Blog Cobwebs Of The Mind (http://teddygross.blogspot.com/) during the day. I know many of the AW'ers out there will not agree with any of this but such is life!)

You know what I love. I love people who for some reason think their wit and humor made at the expense of others is just so damn good, so out of the ballpark, so incredible, that they can post anything they would like on the Internet, as long as it is done under an assumed alias. They want to get away with it. The want to be "cool". They want to be Miss Snark.

And I love the Miss Snark imitators out there. They are an incredible force in adding to the overall image, knowledge-base, and understanding of humanity. They are just so good, so smart and so wise that they are incredible additions to the the vast array of knowledge garnered by the human race.

So first let us get Miss Snark's Blog out of the way. This woman, whomever she is, is the genius of a new form of communication. She is a literary agent, who decided, for what can only be assumed as purely Altruistic reasons, to help the writing community. I have written about her blog for authors and writers before, what is good and what I personally do not like. It makes no difference in this case what my preferences on how Miss Snark approaches any subject are. She offers incredible advice, does it in an entertaining style and certainly has no gain but that of possibly bettering the writing community as she goes. Whoever she is, she has my total respect. In short the only thing one could say to Miss Snark is: Go Woman Go!

But as many know in the world of publishing, you get many imitators. I can only imagine how many Davinci Code book-alikes were written and rejected sight unseen. I can only imagine how many Stephen King wannabes are out there trying to sell their version of one of his books. Or Kellerman. Or whomever. Who knows? Every art form has its own imitators.

So it should not surprise anyone that Snarkville has its own plethora of imitators as well. The problem herein lies in the fact that they are really horrible imitators. They are people who seem to be doing this from altruistic reasons, and yet, they also are having Blog orgasms on the power trip they have ventured upon.

Okay, I am not someone to keep my mouth shut. Of course, many of you authors out there will tell me I am absolutely nuts for doing this because you believe Literary Agents have this secret cabal. They meet in a dark room on some island once a year, where there is no press and the place has been sanitized for bugs. At this meeting among other things, they create a black list of authors who have pissed them off. These authors are placed in a secret database protected with algorithms from the NSA and during the course of the next ten years, if any liteary agent gets a query letter from an author listed in the database, said author is sent the most demeaning form rejection possible. This is called "The Great Convention of The All-Powerful Literary Agents". Beware, because they usually meet right after Thanksgiving and before Christmas. And you do not want to be blacklisted.

Well, I guess I am just not politically correct, and since I have known a few literary agents in my travels through life, I do not fear them.

I need them, I require them, I respect some or many of them. I do not fear them.

Thus, when Miss Snark, whom as I have said, has my total respect, recommends a blog to go see and read, I click on the link and read it. When I see this blog mentioned in Absolute Write as well, then I further have the desire to see what wisdom is going to presented here. And therefore the other day, a blog called "The Rejecter (http://www.rejecter.blogspot.com/)" came to my attention. (And yes there is the link for those who wish to add to their erudite knowledge and wisdom.)

At first reading The Rejecter fairly amused me. Oh not because of the funny witticisms whoever this woman is placed in her blog. It amused me, because a glorified junk-pile reader, has borrowed a bit of Snarkville's idea, and is attempting to use a blog to create a "voice" on the Internet. So I read. I scratch my head thinking I have just taken stupid pills. I think again and again. Trying to find the wisdom being offered here. The most telling statement I can find is telling authors that a rejection form letter or any other rejection is a rejection. This said from a professed "junk-pile query letter reader" (a new job description to add to my knowledge), who is obviously vying and positioning herself to become a literary agent. Snarkville now has another house which seems to blow Blog orgasms every day at the wealth of letters being written to find out just how to write a query letter and why it is rejected. The genius of it all. The wisdom. The professionalism. The ultimate good of writing. The Rejector has found her rightful place in the history of writing. And this year they will give her a guest of honor seat in "The Great Convention of The All-Powerful Literary Agents". She will be given her due.

Oh please! Give it a rest. Find some other crowd of sad disgruntled people to go throw out your wise comments. Leave writer's alone. Give it a break.

So now as authors we have yet another line to cross on the march towards Rome. As if we didn't know this already. Now in order to glean wisdom, we go from the Rejector, to Agent Blogs and Websites to reading Miss Snark hoping we can find some post that fits our situation. (Not to even mention the amount of money we throw out on books telling us how to write, create proposals, make up query letters and our own doses of valium!) Then we must sit and write a query letter which the very intelligent Rejector will not reject and pass it on to her boss. Then the boss has to play the same game we play, albeit more sophisticated, with the publishers. Then we must sign the contract get the book out and do our own marketing. Therein lies the conundrum.

Next we will find some publishers assistant putting out a blog on why they reject manuscripts from agents. And then we will find Blogs by the marketing division at X Publishing House on why they will not market X book. And then we will find a Blog by an employee at Barnes & Noble in Zanzibar on why when I go into the store and ask for X book they will insist on selling me Z book. All anonymous blogs btw. All full of wisdom and knowledge. All under assumed names. All done for purely altruistic motives. Blog orgasms all over the Internet.

Somewhere along the line someone has got to stand up and say: Give Me A Break.

The Rejecter hides behind a made up persona possibly believing this is all you need to be Miss Snark #2. Stop imitating Snark. Stop presenting your incredible genius in some type of need to create a power base for would-be writers. Go prey on some abused dogs and cats and get them to the ASPCA. The only message the Rejecter has is this. Write a good query letter. TYVM for the message now can we please move on. Pretty please, to something a bit more important in the scheme of things.

In other words Miss Snark wannabes, cut the bullsh!t. And yes, I know when my query hits the desk of The Rejector, the great secret Database will throw out my name and the rejection will be sent with a sparkle in her eye by special delivery - because GASP! I do not hide under an assumed name. And even so, I say, Cut The Bullsh!t. Give Me A Break!

(edited name Rejector to Rejecter cause of Siddow...! Anyway that is the way she spells it.)

10-22-2006, 05:49 PM
Hi Teddy, I don't read blogs and I have trouble imagining people so vain they clog the internet with their particular thoughts. Who cares? We all have our thoughts and opinions and are entitled to keep them - unadulterated. I used to be able to do genealogical research on the internet using Goggle - unusual last name so any hit was a good lead; I can't do that anymore because a nephew has clogged the internet with his personal blog about his life - who the H cares to read about an egotistical twit who thinks he's God's gift to something or other?

As far as query letters go, I've thought about all the directives to do it this way or that way and I've come to the conclusion that what this does is create Pablum - a hundred query letters that read almost identically. If I were an agent or publisher, I'd look for originality and creativity instead of sameness. So, maybe I too will end up on the dreaded black list.

Final thought, Socrates said "Know thyself"; Shakespeare followed that with "This above all; to thine ownself be true" - and I have to wonder whether in jumping through all the hoops we're deviating too far from those pearls of wisdom. Puma

10-22-2006, 05:53 PM
It's so easy to just not visit a blog you don't like.

I share your dislike of that blog, but for a different reason. I couldn't get past her spelling it 'rejecter' instead of 'rejector', even though my dictionary assures me both are correct. I spell it Rejector, you do, MS does...

I'm so shallow.

10-22-2006, 05:55 PM
yeah but now i have to correct the post...sighs...sheesh :D

Julie Worth
10-22-2006, 06:02 PM
I found the Rejecter to be intelligent, clear and to the point. Rather than lambasting a literary assistant for having the impudence to compete with Miss Snark (who strikes me as older, quirkier, but not necessarily wiser), one ought to thank Rejecter for giving her insight. After all, she’s the person rejecting 95% of the queries at her agency.

10-22-2006, 06:46 PM

As I said in my first post, most AW'ers would probably not agree. But as usual I stick by my guns. :D

Be that as it may everyone is entitled to their own opinion. :)

10-22-2006, 06:55 PM
Well, I'm the one who posted The Rejecter's blog on AW so I must like her, mustn't I, and I do!
I have to admit I'm rather addicted to agent blogs. Most of them seem to be more about the business than personal stuff. I suppose there will come a day when I'll grow tired of it all and say enough, till then...
I think for all of us still in the submission process there's a certain greed for info - even though we know it can't shorten the process, we just have to read anything to do with queries and manuscripts and what-to-do-to-get noticed. I enjoy most of the agent blogs, each seem to offer a different perspective.

10-22-2006, 07:06 PM
Aruna you know how much I respect you...so there is no argument here. And you can be as addicted to you like to agents blogs, web sites etc. That is what you choose and it is all cool.

I just must question, when the presentation of information is no longer knowledge or perspective and becomes just plain good ole bull that has been presented ad-nauseam. I just question why anyone here would listen to a "junk pile query letter reader" without knowing the first thing about this woman's background, education or professional ability. I just question just how easy it is to hide behind some idiotic catchy name to present yourself to the world as an "expert". I just question to what depth we have fallen sometimes that reading over and over and over and over and over and over again - the same information and then placing wannabes on a pedastal of literary genius.

Not my cup of tea thank you very much. You want to show me your expertise. Then tell me please - name, background, education, professional ability. For goodness sakes all you may just guess about this woman is that she just got out of Uni. and landed a job in a literary agent's office to pay the bills. Or she is just, which is my suspicion, laying her own professional road on the backs of want-to-be authors.

Yep this is one person who says straight and to the point. I am tired of nameless people who hide behind idiotic names giving out advice without having in any way to be called on to defend it.

Miss Snark is the exception. Because she literally invented the idea. And she is truly being altruistic. Anyone after that - is just playing wannabe and trying to get attention.

MHO as cynical as it may be

Julie Worth
10-22-2006, 07:19 PM
Miss Snark has a link to The Rejecter (misspelling the name Rejector as Teddy did), which says:

1. Not snarky but shows GREAT promise.
2. Good info on how lit agencies work particularly at the first point of contact.
3. She doesn't like MFA programs almost as much as I don't.

10-22-2006, 07:22 PM
Yes Julie that is where I first saw it.
And the lesson is:

Just goes to show you, that even the great Miss Snark from time to time can get it wrong. Such is human fallibility. :D

10-22-2006, 08:08 PM
I might be a Heretic looking for the Pot of Gold, or a fool on an errand, but blogs don't typically interest me in the least. I limit my visits to Miss Snark and one other agent, that's it for me. So your words aren't lost on deaf ears, just underutilized.

I'm just a Benjamin...;)

10-22-2006, 08:13 PM
Spooks manages to deliver the message without a telegram...very clever!

10-22-2006, 08:25 PM
I don't care how many people go around dispensing critiques and advice or snarky comments about manuscripts or query letters. I don't go to any of those sites or read any of the comments, so they are free to imitate Ms Snark as far as I'm concerned. I just don't need the negativity. I can create enough of it on my own.

Variant Frequencies
10-22-2006, 08:59 PM
2. Good info on how lit agencies work particularly at the first point of contact.

This is why I took a look. As the first reader, the first point of contact, she has a unique perspective and I think that's valuable, whatever her credentials might be. If she didn't know her stuff, I doubt she could fool Miss Snark.

10-22-2006, 09:32 PM
When I was just beginning to consider looking for an agent, I read Miss Snark and a few other agent bloggers. I took notes. I felt as if I was going into battle prepared. Well, it wasn't quite a battle, but I was prepared. Now I find those blogs redundant, esp. The Rejecter. I visit Miss Snark's blog from time to time to get a good laugh.

10-22-2006, 09:39 PM
This is something that's been going through my head for quite a while, but have been afraid to mention because of the way everyone idolizes these crass bloggers who think they're pretty damn cute for being obnoxious.

Is obnoxious and condescending the hot new literary style or something?

They just seem to try way too hard. It gets old really fast. And nine times out of ten they do not have any real advice that you couldn't have gotten from someone without a major insecurity complex.

A message for all the cute, "edgy" bloggers: Contrived cynicism and sulking attitudes are NOT a sign of superior intellect.

Seriously, there's all the "advice" out there that anyone could possibly need without blogs. The only thing these people offer is "you all suck, and I'm so great because I somehow have a permit that says my opinion actually matters."

In fact, I bet I could start one up right now, even though I know nothing of being a literary agent, put some false name on it like CRAPPO-KILLER X-19 SUPERAGENT BLOWFEST, and paraphrase random articles from other agents, while in the end saying absolutely nothing of value and naive writers who need to look up to someone would flock to it and think it was the best thing in the world.

Christine N.
10-22-2006, 10:11 PM
I get Miss Snark. She reads tons and tons of query letters by clueless newbies, and is trying, in her own way, with her own style, to help. Probably with the hope her job will become easier, and the nitwits of the world will get a clue or move on.

I get her on two levels, as a writer AND as someone who has to deal with slush. With all the information available to writers out there, you'd think some of them would use seek it out and, I dunno, use it. I've read some pretty terrible stuff. And when I see a bunch of the same mistake, I might make a point of it in my blog.

Remember, when you submit, you are but one of a multitude. The agent/editor/assistant has to read all that stuff. After a while, the cluelessness gets annoying. Like spellcheck your query. Or at least re-read it before you hit send or print. And so the blog.

I'm not into all the blogs - I pretty much read Miss Snark, Agent Obscura and Anna Louise Genoese (editor at Tor), because they're all different but have good information, and are usually entertaining. And I check in with Jane Yolen, because she's such a dear.

I haven't looked at The Rejector. But hey, it's probably very cathartic for whoever it is to rant about it. No one says you have to read it. (ETA: Ok, I took a peek; not that bad actually. I've read much worse.)

10-22-2006, 11:46 PM
I enjoy reading Miss Snark. But as for the rest, I have to agree with you Teddy. Enough is enough.

We are flooded with so many blogs of useless stuff. It's all a bunch of people piggybacking someone else's idea to see if they can get the same online fame as the original.

Chrisitine, you are right, blogging is a good way to get frustrations off your chest. But I don't generally find other people's diaries to be very interesting.


10-23-2006, 01:59 AM
TeddyG, I don't read Miss Snark nor do I read blogs. I waste enough time each day as it is. I was a bit taken aback by your dislike of anonymous postings, though. Prior to WW I, anonymous reviews and commentary were the norm. Newspapers and literary magazines carried them regularly. Think of "Elia." The internet is more pervasive and more easily accessible (being free to the reader) but it's essentially the same thing.

10-23-2006, 02:48 AM
Maybe I'm skeptical or cynical or something, but I could have written that blog using the info I've absorbed reading Noah Lukeman's or Renni Browne/Dave King's books. In fact, I could probably put together something similar in about, oh, say 3 hours.
Meaning, I see no reason to assume the claim "I am an assistant at a literary agency" is true. Nor do I find any of the information to be new or enlightening. Another literary agent/assistant/mail clerk's blog isn't going to become my be all, end all Holy Grail path to publication.

I used to be "the first line of defense for my boss" --back when we were called secretaries, so I guess I'm not impressed.

10-23-2006, 03:01 AM
How do you people find the time to read blogs, live life and write? I spend too much time on AW as is, and can't imagine searching out further compelling websites to eat away at the minutes allotted to a day? Amazing.

Remember two select standard canards of writing:

Good poets borrow, great poets steal.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

10-23-2006, 03:36 AM
How do you people find the time to read blogs, live life and write?

I read very quickly. My husband tells me I just hold books up to my head and scan the contents like a barcode. The same goes for blogs and such.

Does this mean I'm a Cylon?

10-23-2006, 03:48 AM
So now as authors we have yet another line to cross on the march towards Rome. As if we didn't know this already. Now in order to glean wisdom, we go from the Rejector, to Agent Blogs and Websites to reading Miss Snark hoping we can find some post that fits our situation. (Not to even mention the amount of money we throw out on books telling us how to write, create proposals, make up query letters and our own doses of valium!)

I read Miss Snark for the occasional bit of insight into the way agenting works, the same way I read true crime for insight into how law enforcement works. Good writing, professional presentation, and occasionally, good timing are what gets a book published. It's not voodoo or stumbling over the exact right blog post or reading dozens of "industry-certified" blogs daily.

Next we will find some publishers assistant putting out a blog on why they reject manuscripts from agents. And then we will find Blogs by the marketing division at X Publishing House on why they will not market X book. And then we will find a Blog by an employee at Barnes & Noble in Zanzibar on why when I go into the store and ask for X book they will insist on selling me Z book. All anonymous blogs btw. All full of wisdom and knowledge. All under assumed names. All done for purely altruistic motives. Blog orgasms all over the Internet.

Are you saying that, because a few people in the publishing industry are writing blogs, eventually everyone in the publishing industry will be writing blogs, and... this will be bad?

I'd say this would be a good thing, if not particularly a likely one. I'd like to hear why a publisher's assistant would reject a particular manuscript. Not because it would help me get published -- no doubt the reasons, by that point, usually lie in the "how're we going to market this?" or "we bought one of these already" areas -- but because it'd be interesting to know.

The anonymous thing is a trade-off of technology outstripping society at the moment. A blogger makes that choice based on what he is comfortable with; I then make the choice as to whether I'll accept their words at face value or take them with a grain of salt.

If anyone is foolish enough to worship at the altar of an anonymous blogger, well, they do get what they deserve, don't they? But nobody is forcing anyone to kneel down.

10-23-2006, 09:04 AM
Only a tiny minority of agents are writing blogs. Most don;t, and, I believe, most won't. I read a few; not all every day, but every couple of days. What I don't do is worship at the altar of any blogging agent, or at any alter for that matter, save the right one.

10-23-2006, 09:31 AM
I agree with aruna. Blogs are something no one is forced to read and can be very useful to someone new to the submission process. I have obtained a lot of good information and have answered questions that others have asked because it was something I had direct experience with.
I have made contacts and networked with people I could never hope to meet otherwise.
I think it is a waste of effort to rail against something you do not find useful but have no control over.
People like to blog.
Blogging is voluntary and perusing blogs is voluntary.
You GO Miss Snark and all you imitators!
If I decide to worship the altar of a blog it is my choice.
I still enjoy Teddy ranting...reminds me of my great uncle complaining about those damned kids!

10-23-2006, 09:41 AM
I still enjoy Teddy ranting...reminds me of my great uncle complaining about those damned kids!

Those young whippersnappers :D

Teddy rants cause no one else will. Teddy rants cause when Teddy sees stupid things Teddy gets really pissed off. Teddy rants cause there is a limit to Teddy's tolerance for BS. Yeah and Teddy rants cause one thing life has taught me - grovel and beg at the seat of a plebian, and you aint never gonna make it to stand and bow before the throne of the King.

And I am thinking of making a Blog called ... "Bestsellerdom" - My profile will be "Best Selling author who remains nameless will post every day another hint as to how to publish, live, eat, breathe and publish again."

Of course then again "a sucker is born every minute". :D

Choose where you take your advice from real carefully. Even crazy old uncles sometimes have wisdom.

10-23-2006, 09:59 AM

10-23-2006, 10:12 AM
Nyah nyah nyah TeddyG:

(from Miss Snark's blog)

Miss Rejector! We adore her!

I adore this blog.
Particularly this post.

She still spells rejecter wrong though.

10-23-2006, 10:20 AM
You GO aruna.
I guess just you and I are here to defend Miss Snark's and rejecter's honor!

10-23-2006, 10:39 AM
I think TeddyG is in love with Miss Snark. He won't stop ranting till she has replaced G.Clooney's photos with his.:tongue

10-23-2006, 10:55 AM
Actually i am not in love with Snark...as I have said in quite a few posts..
but the fact that Snark quotes someone...for me is just another element of BS

Dont you guys see what you are doing?
One nameless anon. voice quotes another...

Without joking I would seriously consider just where your reality base is...
Snark is good...she is but one agent among thousands...
She too is at times full of BS and wrong
But I will not insult my own intelligence by giving credence to this endless roll call of nameless people ... there is a limit to this...and a limit to my acceptance of this stuff...

I think a lot of people had it correct...these blogs are good for entertainment...Snark gets points for being altruistic...beyond that...
anit worth the bits and bytes it takes up cause it is all one nameless to another .... one "deep throat nameless" source quotes another..

People you are insulting your own intelligence...

10-23-2006, 12:48 PM
Aw Teddy... I was only teasing.

10-23-2006, 01:54 PM
Aruna I know you were, I wrote that in haste cause I had to run out to an appt. I see how it sounds now....I know you were teasing :D

10-24-2006, 06:04 PM
I could not resist! (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=44621)