Thursday, June 18, 2009

Blame the Naked Chick

A Nudist has to do what she has to do, but sometimes it gets me into trouble. It isn’t so much the literally naked stuff, which people seem to expect by now, but the figuratively naked stuff, that seems to have consequences. In other words, I can’t seem to keep my mouth shut. Oh, I know… quiet observations leads to better decisions in the long run, but there is some deep-seeded part of me that feels it isn’t ethical to keep my opinions to myself. You think I’m kidding, don’t you? I heard somebody snort. See, it’s like this. Shutting up when I feel something strongly feels like manipulation to me, like I am colluding in some scam in which people deceive each other through some ‘appropriateness’ filter—better to lay it all out there. In this networking thing—Facebook, blogging, now Twitter (sort of), I have friended some people in the business. A few fellow writers have been EXTREMELY gracious (thank you Beth and Elizabeth)—responding kindly when I can’t seem to keep my mouth shut, and nobody has been disparaging or rude. But I am a little worried about the perceptions of the agents involved. Before I get to it, I should probably clarify that it was an agent blog that STARTED this whole string of events. She said in her blog that she had a Facebook account specifically for this kind of networking so I friended her. (I definitely need to thank her, too—Thank you Jessica!) She accepted my friendship and then I proceeded to browse her friends for people who either had writing related statuses, posted something on her page about writing blogs, or had bookcover images that looked really intriguing (and not Romance—I have a strong suspicion there is a whole subculture there that I completely couldn’t grasp). But mystery—great—my book I’m working on now is sort of a mystery. Fantasy, fine. I read a lot of fantasy. Mainstream, fabulous. That is my Confluence market. Then they told two friends and they told two friends… you get the picture. All in all this seems to be working beautifully. I’ve had friend requests from people who I’ve had conversations with on OTHER peoples’ posts. It is all feeling far more manageable. Enter nudist tendencies. Somebody posted a blog asking about the age of recommendation for reading Twilight and related books. Now I’m learning one of the most offensive things a writer can do is criticize a book that actually GETS PUBLISHED. Why? Well apparently because there is a long string of people involved in the decision and process and to call something a bad book is to put all of them down. So let me just get this out there. Twilight may be a bad book, and Stephanie Meyer, I believe only has limited talent—but it is all MARKETING GENIUS. There was definitely a need and it was filled and a lot of people are getting rich… does that absolve me of all but the crime of putting down the writing skill? But I digress. My point is that even though I KNOW all this, I can’t keep my freaking mouth shut (or fingers in this case). I can’t just walk away. And then yesterday FABULOUS Jessica, who I have to thank for any networking successes I’ve had, posts a note about writers complaining about query letters, chastising us for saying the process will keep fabulous books from getting printed. I should raise my hand here… I’ve complained of the process in this very set of blogs… I hope, in fact, it wasn’t me who inspired her. I ADORE Jessica, because I think she ascribes to my ‘lay it out there’ philosophy, and we (writers) definitely need somebody to be honest with us about an agent’s perspective on matters—coddling will not help us. But I STILL can’t keep my mouth shut… so I responded, ultimately suggesting something along the lines of GoogleAgent where the process is still one of queries but the number is greatly reduced because we could then query the RIGHT agents for our book… I am just hoping that my streaking hasn’t offended her… I did make a writer friend in the whole thing, though, so I suppose being the Naked Chick isn’t all bad…

3 comments:

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

You know, I think it helps when you stand out from the crowd with your opinions. Too often on these agent sites (like BookEnds and Nathan Bransford's site), there are so many "ditto-heads"...to borrow a term. Why NOT spark a discussion?

This is a little off-topic, but have you taken a look at Agent Query?: http://www.agentquery.com/ ? It helped me out quite a bit when I was trying to figure out who to query.

Elizabeth
Mystery Writing is Murder

Watery Tart said...

Thank you, Elizabeth. For a long time I thought I'd try to be proper and professional, but it really isn't me, so you are reassuring me it may not be disastrous to be myself.

I've looked (searched) Agent Query, but probably need to take the time to really understand what all I can do. I get impatient and just dive into search (and get hundreds of agents)

At the moment though, I am reading a book on writing a better query so I can approach THAT piece differently, and I have asked a good friend who is a book junkie and has read my book for some help in placing it within what is out there. Hopefully then I can come at this fresh...

Marjorie said...

It was Francis Bacon who said, "Silence is the virtue of fools." Francis Bacon was a wise man, and you are clearly not a fool.

I agree with you about Stephanie Meyer. Her writing is not brilliant BUT the story is. To me a good story is a good story no matter who is writing it. I personally enjoyed the story A LOT. You are entitled to your opinion, and I don't think people should be angry with you for stating it.