Sunday, January 18


Wolf-Spider has gone to Three Crows Press. I haven't done much more work on selkie (though I've significantly rewritten the first third - the second third has a chunk in the middle that requires it to be rewritten, and hopefully the third third is alright). After posting on the SYL forum at AbsoluteWrite (which keeps crashing at the moment) I've found a new approach to Asylum. Which also requires it to be completely rewritten.

I have drunk about half of Friday's tea-punch (about three quarters of a litre).

Not just now; since friday. It's delicious. It's absolutely delicious.

The SYL forums conform with most of my previous experience with online crit groups (not all - the_literatzzi actually works). You have to really thoroughly prod people to get constructive criticism - to be fair to the person I prodded, she responded quickly and relatively thoroughly - beyond "work it some". One crit forum seems to be entirely full of people being lovely to each other with almost no suggestions at all. Once prodded, they come up with a list of things, which is what's most annoying.= - if you saw those things before, why not mention them?

On the other end of the scale, the feedback on Asylum was... condescending. It was correct (I hadn't got the aim of the piece across, which is my own fault, hence why I'm trying a new approach) but the phrase "I'm not even going to bother going on" got my goat up a little. His own acknowedglement that his tone might put me off taking his advice shows he knew he was being rude. Comments like that (and it's not just one individual, but something you see across the internet) suggest the poster is providing crit of pieces not to help a person but because they feel better about themselves when putting down pieces inferior to their own. I deliberately stopped myself from checking out any of my critter's work - I didn't need another reason not to take good advice.

It really didn't help me swallow my pride that his post was riddled with spelling and grammar errors, either, but I'm learning to accept that even people in the industry don't apply the same standard to their internet posts as they do to their professional work (a terrible advertisement for themselves, but that's their call). It baffles me a little, especially when it's editors and agents. What they do reflects on their business; would you buy from a publication if you weren't confident in their ability to maintain professional editting standards? If not, why would you submit to them? This is true for writer's as well, but since so few authors are picked up from what they post online compared with what they submit, it's more of a concern after publication than before. Not that it doesn't raise my eyebrows every time I see a published author who sees no reason to use punctuation or capital letters.

There is a word I am thinking of, but the closest my mind can call up for me is "profriterole". Um.

Maybe some tea punch will help!


katey said...

Really excellent post that you've no doubt already seen from Nathan Bransford on this phenomenon of writers overestimating their own worth and being rude and condescending. It's pointless and disappointing. You almost have to do it with people you know... but how does one get to know people without groups?

Anyhow, awesome about Wolf-Spider! I always feel somehow accomplished after I send something off. No idea why, but I guess I'm easy like that.

nkkingston said...

I didn't have his blog on rss, so I'd not seen that. I am deeply amused by the frequency with which the blogs on my rss feed reference each other. It really shows up the closeness of the industry (and why you should never do what this guy did...).

I think it takes a very particular personality to acknowledge you're being rude, and that it's unhelpful, and to keep going regardless. It's a step above even those who write query letters beginning "I think you will find this a cut above the kind of junk Tor usually publishes". I mean, at least the rude person was honest, but it produces a great deal of eye-rolling.