Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Early-Morning Prompts & Stuff

Up at 06:00 (went to bed at 03:00) Oh JOY!

Had it been a brilliantly successful writing night I could feel pleased, but it wasn't. Instead I spectated what happened when an Internet "Literary Zine" posted to a writers site about its soon to be announced writing school.

One "teacher" was selling her "brilliant" approach-letter system. This system had got (she said, and don't forget this is her advertising!) 22 publishers/agents from 65 approached to look at her manuscript.

This resulted in (try not to get excited) another twenty or so rejections and the author eventually being taken on by an "agent".

The fact that the agent is "not recommended" by Predators & Editors and the fact that the manuscript remains resolutely UNSOLD, and the fact that this "teacher" has never sold ANY fiction didn't seem to worry these deluded folk.

Quite rightly, a few people on the board asked for some writing credits. The cheek, eh?

The result was the sudden appearance of strange new names chastising these ingrates for "flaming" and "negativity". Then along came a HEAVYWEIGHT, a masculine-sounding "big-name writer" with TWENTY YEARS EXPERIENCE and represented by an (alleged) big agency.

Surprise! After twenty years, this superstar had still not actually SOLD a novel, and "his" name did not actually appear on the agency listings "because the work wasn't sold yet".

A few minutes surfing revealed that this heavyweight author of twenty years experience had published a little bit of erotica (you too can join the website for $29.99 a month) and "women's short romantic fiction" (womag stories to you and me) under a pseudonym.

Now we all start somewhere. I love helping beginners. But these "beginners" are setting themselves up to TAKE YOUR MONEY as teachers. If I am going to pay someone to teach me I expect them to be damn good at what they do. In the writing world that means they should be published at a level as high and higher than the level I am aiming at.

This is the second time this year (and the year is ten days old!) that I've been canvassed by a very low-level ezine run by editors with appalling standards, asking me would I like to be taught (for money) by clowns who either cannot write at all or write cheap shit that sells on the web or appears in dreadful showcases.

Maybe I was lucky but my first query letter had a serious publisher write back and got me a three book deal. This was the first publisher I approached (Hodder-Headline in the UK) and I didn't have an agent.

Look Here

Boot Camp Early-Morning Prompts

The Teacher & the Internet

Grit Lit

Pastry and Other Distractions

Blame it on the Bossa Nova

On the Street Where You Live

A Long Way in a Mini

The Fraud, the Charlattan the Thief and the Internet Publisher



Four & Twenty Virgins and Mike Energy, East Grinstead

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