Author Topic: Thoughts about new member reviews  (Read 12717 times)

Wolfe

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Re: Thoughts about new member reviews
« Reply #45 on: April 01, 2014, 02:07:55 PM »
Actually, I'm afraid Wanderer is in the minority, and let me explain why. If you ask for this:
 
I will be very pleased for help for I can't afford to pay an editor.

members tend to read it as your desire to seek publication. If you intend to have your work read only by your family, why would you need to hire anyone?

That sentence set the tone. It implies you want an in-depth review. And, as Ma100 later pointed out, if that member had only stated otherwise, it would not have been as in-depth as requested. To the point, even Hillwalker wouldn't have bothered to say anything since it wouldn't matter.

The entire notion that somehow older members mistreated and run off new members is beyond ridiculous. It makes me think some of you live in an Ivory Tower. The truth? New members run themselves off. They're not ready to remove themselves from their prose.

That's fine. They can come back when they're ready. If ever.

And, again, what does it matter in that member's case? She's writing for her family. Only they'll read it. Was she going to stay long-term and help the community? Hardly. As Clarius indirectly stated, "She wanted us to be her editorial bitches." And then she would be gone.

So, for the love of God, open your eyes.

If this environment was so hostile, so unwelcoming, I would be the first person to speak up. And have. New members have arrived to hear further feedback, thanked us, and have stayed around to improve their work.

Again, if anyone feels the current posters who offer feedback do such a piss-poor job, I ask you to step up to the plate and do better. Show us how it's done. Otherwise, I suggest you put down that stone because you're living in a glass house.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2014, 02:44:08 PM by Wolfe »

Wolfe

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Re: Thoughts about new member reviews
« Reply #46 on: April 01, 2014, 02:31:53 PM »
And about rejections? Some of you have been very lucky not to get a response from an agent or editor who's having an off-day. Case in point, and I changed a few details to protect a former co-worker:

Dear -----,

Thank you for your interest in ---- --- ----- of May 26th. After careful consideration, I regret to inform you that your novel --- -- ----- does not interest us. Sadly, you appear to lack the ability to form a cohesive sentence. Because of this, I'm unable to offer you a contract because, if I did, your work wouldn't sell and I'd be out of a job.

Despite your outstanding credentials, none, I believe you have a future in self-publishing. But, as far as mainstream publication, you may want to consider something more realistic. Therefore, please stop wasting our time.

Best of luck with all your future rejections.

Sincerely,

----- -- -------


Yeah, I'm still considered the "soft-touch" editor from that era.  8)

Need more examples?

Sylvia Plath: There certainly isnít enough genuine talent for us to take notice.

Rudyard Kipling: Iím sorry Mr. Kipling, but you just donít know how to use the English language.

J. G. Ballard: The author of this book is beyond psychiatric help.

Emily Dickinson: [Your poems] are quite as remarkable for defects as for beauties and are generally devoid of true poetical qualities.

Ernest Hemingway (regarding The Torrents of Spring): It would be extremely rotten taste, to say nothing of being horribly cruel, should we want to publish it.


Yes, it's ugly out there. But certainly not ugly here.  ;)
« Last Edit: April 01, 2014, 02:41:24 PM by Wolfe »

Offline heidi52

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Re: Thoughts about new member reviews
« Reply #47 on: April 01, 2014, 02:36:33 PM »
That's one worth framing.  :D :D :D

Jo Bannister

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Re: Thoughts about new member reviews
« Reply #48 on: April 01, 2014, 03:57:26 PM »
Or perhaps, Wolfe, in publishing as in life, the more courteously you treat people, the more likely they are to respond in kind. 

If a writer submits a well-presented, well-worked typescript (or a prťcis, or the first three chapters, or whatever is asked for) to either a publisher or an agent, why would they turn nasty?  What's in it for them?  Bad days? - we all have them, we just don't all let them colour our professional dealings.  It's quicker and easier to write, "No thank you, it doesn't really fit our list" than to reach for the psychopath's thesaurus.

Nor is it a matter of which side of the Atlantic you work.  My main publishers these days are in New York, and they couldn't be more courteous.  That doesn't mean we agree on everything; but we try to help one another out, we're tactful about what we see as one another's failings, and we keep in mind the fact that we're all working towards the same end: the best book we can make. 

   


Wolfe

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Re: Thoughts about new member reviews
« Reply #49 on: April 01, 2014, 04:27:49 PM »
In a perfect world? Sure. As a writer? Good for you. Now, let me tell you how certain hopefuls react when you send them a rejection letter. Like assholes. And again, here's the bottom line: No one here was treated badly. Certain posters just didn't like what was being said when they asked.

The lesson here is this: In no way, shape, or form should posters expect to be treated better than they treat us. This is especially true if you're brand-spanking new and asking for help. You want to show your ungrateful ass? The door is that way. You want to show tact? Stick around and stay.

I don't give a damn how well-presented any manuscript is if the author acts like an ass. And neither does anyone else in the business if you're a debut novelist. No one is going to work with you. Period. End of story. No more questions asked. And that's what we got served recently.

And the kicker part is everyone was trying to help, but she wasn't hearing none of it. So, she exited stage left. And good riddance, I say.

You're all looking at this from a writer's point of view. Now, think about how well this would go over if you were an agent or editor. Blacklists exist for a reason. Don't ask to work with us, and then turn your nose up when suggestions and advice to improve your prose are offered.

Didn't think I needed to spell that out again, but here we are.

« Last Edit: April 01, 2014, 04:30:47 PM by Wolfe »

Offline heidi52

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Re: Thoughts about new member reviews
« Reply #50 on: April 01, 2014, 04:41:19 PM »
I think you may be exagerating just a tad, or else I'm remembering a different review thread.

I think you need to remember that MWC is not only for people with the goal of becoming a published author. Some people just like to write, to amuse themselves or friends and families. Or they just like words and want to hang out with folks who do too. That has to be ok here as well.

We talked about percentages before, well, I'll bet only 10% of the 10% who stick around, learn and contribute ever get mainstream published. I'm pulling this out of my hat but you know what I mean.

We all appreciate your insider information and wealth of good advice but I think the harsh publisher's viewpoint can be overkill for someone who is just starting to write. The flip side of that is I totally agree with you if they ask for criticism they should be prepared for what they will get. And they would have if they had read the introduction stuff like they should have.

But hey, it's not a perfect world is it?  :D


Wolfe

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Re: Thoughts about new member reviews
« Reply #51 on: April 01, 2014, 04:55:12 PM »
Oh I agree completely, Heidi. That's the reason why Ma100 made the suggestion for the hopeful to state her intent. And of course, she got bent about that too. Heck, I even had one member, who shall remain nameless, tell me Ma and another poster was rude to even ask the question. And I quote, "It wasn't her place." No, I cannot make nonsense like that up. Again, if that poster stated, from the start, that her intent was purely for family, I wouldn't even have said a thing. You're right, my opinion wouldn't be worth the text typed out.

Obviously.

But, when you state you don't have the money for an editor, I tend to think your aim is mainstream . . . not mother's bedroom.

Oh trust me. I'm not exaggerating. A lot of White Knights came out of the woodwork, in PMs, over this nonsense as I said earlier. What everyone saw in public was no where near the entire story.

And it still isn't.

It's the number one reason I pick and choose what feedback I do and don't offer anymore. This level of stupid, and forgive me for saying so, is a lot of poison put into certain ears. Again, if posters don't like the feedback given to hopefuls, don't get bent about it.

Offer better.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2014, 04:57:16 PM by Wolfe »

Offline Dawn

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Re: Thoughts about new member reviews
« Reply #52 on: April 01, 2014, 05:26:00 PM »
All of the rejections you quoted, Wolfe, were from quite a long time ago. Could it be that time has just moved on? That the publishing world have become more tolerant and professional in nature? I have to say, the few I have had dealings with, I have found to be very pleasant.
Time to take it serious and get the job done

Offline wanderer

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Re: Thoughts about new member reviews
« Reply #53 on: April 01, 2014, 05:39:01 PM »
Just for the record, I did not send Wolf any PM's.

I don't mind having a minority view and just express what I sincerely think. In some professionals a minority view is actually a great asset.

Offline ma100

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Re: Thoughts about new member reviews
« Reply #54 on: April 01, 2014, 05:58:09 PM »
Bless ya Bill. :-* You just carry on being you.

The two publishers I had dealings with were so gobsmacked at my tut they didn't even bother answering me. ::) I was quite ticked off at one because they said all stories would get some feed back. I got sod all. :'( Yes this was a few years ago, but not that long I haven't forgotten.

You will get both sides of the coin in the publishing world, I would imagine. Just as you would here. You will get thin skinned people and thick skinned. Ye Gods, that's what makes the world go round isn't it. We can't all be the same.

You will get people that are so precious about their work, that even to tell us a piece of work is for family and not a story, causes them offence. You will also have the get down and boogie on my work, the harsher the better types and they will drink in every bit of advice.

We as writers on a forum cannot read minds, even through a screen, so it's always best to ask for the feedback you want, but keep in mind what you ask for might not be what you want to hear. ;)


Wolfe

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Re: Thoughts about new member reviews
« Reply #55 on: April 01, 2014, 07:16:46 PM »
All of the rejections you quoted, Wolfe, were from quite a long time ago. Could it be that time has just moved on? That the publishing world have become more tolerant and professional in nature? I have to say, the few I have had dealings with, I have found to be very pleasant.

That's the Internet's doing . . . not agents and editors getting nicer.  ;) And, the pond is overflowing with fish because of technology. So, generic rejections or complete silence are the norms now. Snail mail is not. Besides, if you knew some of the things said behind closed doors, you wouldn't think it was more tolerant nor professional.

Just more secret and closed off for view.

After all, no one wants to be that person in history who called the next name a talentless hack. Or have a disgruntled writer post it on their blog. But, it happens. An agent told Gemmell to keep driving a lorry truck. And another told Tan she couldn't write to save her life. All recent, or at least within the last twenty years.

There's a reason Miss Snark stayed anonymous. And so have I. Imagine the hate mail I would get through my website if some of these posters knew who I really was.

More tolerant. (chuckle) You never laughed until you've heard an editor call someone's work a slimy piece of dog shit she wouldn't wipe her ass with in a board room. Nope. Unprofessional and something that does get said, or similar, behind closed doors. Instead, you'll hear the sanitary and stock responses like these:

https://suite101.com/a/examples-of-novel-rejection-letters-a339021

No one wants a wannabe turning into a stalker. Believe me . . . I have experience with that too. Both here and out there. ;)
« Last Edit: April 01, 2014, 07:20:48 PM by Wolfe »

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Thoughts about new member reviews
« Reply #56 on: April 01, 2014, 07:25:31 PM »
Sounds like a school/college staffroom . . . though of course no one in there would ever really say anything negative about your delightful and charming offspring -- that's just what fiction writers do to make it seem more interesting, add a dash of drama, you know how it is. ;) You can always trust a teacher. ::)

Wolfe

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Re: Thoughts about new member reviews
« Reply #57 on: April 01, 2014, 07:28:40 PM »
Bingo.

On that note, I hope no one feels rubbed the wrong way about any responses in this thread. If I've come off like I was sharpening my teeth on anyone, my apologies. It's an excellent thread with a timely topic that did need to be discussed.

Really . . . I'm a lamb.

Don't make me break out that picture again.  ;D

Offline Gyppo

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Re: Thoughts about new member reviews
« Reply #58 on: April 01, 2014, 07:36:12 PM »
Not the lamb picture.  Please.  That's scary.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2014, 07:37:51 PM by Gyppo »
My website is currently having a holiday, but will return like the $6,000,000 man.  Bigger, stronger, etc.

In the meantime, why not take pity on a starving author and visit my book sales page at http://stores.lulu.com/gyppo1

Wolfe

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Re: Thoughts about new member reviews
« Reply #59 on: April 01, 2014, 07:36:35 PM »
Too late!