Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Suck long and Hard!

 This is like a huge mash up of all the advice I've ever gotten. Don't waste your time researching all this "How to write" crap because eventually it'll all start sounding the same. Save the hassle and just watch a few videos like this one and start writing, and keep writing.
Here's another from the same youtube channel, if you can't tell I really like these guys :P

and eventually we'll all become crazy playing out guitars and rambling about something while naked on our bed.


  1. Hey there,

    First of all, Nerdfighters FTW!

    Secondly, I was just reading through your blog and just wanted to offer a couple tidbits of unsolicited advice (take 'em or leave 'em):

    - I'd recommend using some of your designated writing time to research the publishing industry. When I was a teenager (which, for the record, was only a few years ago), I was pretty sure I was going to be a writer at some point in my life. However, I had a pretty realistic idea of my chances of being published at fourteen (I had a sense, as Maureen puts it, that I hadn't sucked enough). So I instead made it my task to learn as much about the industry as possible so that when the time came to start writing queries and selecting agents, I'd be well-prepared. Now that I'm in my twenties and have a finished book to query with, that research has really, really paid off. I know you're a bit older than I was when I made that decision, and I am in no way telling you not to try getting published as a teen or anything like that. Still, the research was useful to me, so I bet you'd find it useful too. If you're interested, I can definitely point you in the direction of some good sources.

    - You mentioned that someone had offered to publish your manuscript and hadn't asked for any money yet. However, you also said that you *think* this person found your manuscript on Inkpop, which I take to mean that you didn't submit it to them for consideration. This is a big red flag to me, and I'd highly recommend checking the website "Preditors and Editors" (http://pred-ed.com/) to see if this person's name shows up there. I'm truly sorry to be a Debbie Downer about the whole thing--believe me, I know how exciting it must be to get an email like that. However, my reasoning for being suspicious is as-follows (hopefully it'll make sense once I lay it out):

    You have to think of it this way: agents and editors of both big and small publishing houses are *inundated* with material from writers. On a daily basis, they can receive hundreds of query letters (not to mention unsolicited manuscripts), adding up to thousands per week. That's an incredible amount of reading--and that's on top of all the other in-house work that needs doing (like reviewing and editing requested and accepted manuscripts, making deals and phone calls, writing emails, attending meetings, etc.). Even small indie presses will get quite a bit of mail.

    My point is that legitimate editors and agents just do not have the time or energy to go trawling through a massive site like Inkpop, searching for the next big YA sensation. There's a reason HarperCollins editors only read/crit the top five entries every month: it's too much material to look through otherwise, and if the percentages work out anything like the rest of the publishing world, then most of it is not terribly well-written. The beauty of a site like Inkpop from the perspective of an editor is that the other site members essentially serve the same purpose as slushpile readers in a publishing house, singling out the best stuff and separating it from the chaff.

    At any rate, that was a long and ramble-y way of me saying that I urge you and your parents to research the hell out of this publication offer and make sure it's completely legit. And if you did somehow manage to get picked up by a real publisher, then some mad congratulations are in order. But first of all, be safe. :-)

    That's far too long a post for "unsolicited advice", but it's the wee hours of the morning and I'm too tired to go back and edit it down. Hopefully it comes across as friendly and well-intentioned, if nothing else. If I'm lucky, you might even find it useful. :-p

    At any rate, best of luck and DFTBA!

  2. OMG thank you so much. I found all your advice super helpful, I even pasted it in an Evernote so I can look over if later. What are some good places where I can learn about the Publishing industry? You made a good point that I should research that, because I haven't really thought about it. Thanks so much again, DFTBA :P

  3. You're most welcome--I'm glad it was useful!

    A few ideas to learn about publishing (warning: tons of reading ahead):

    - Go to your local library and check out a copy of Writer's Market and read all the little interviews and articles tucked in between the rest of the material. You can learn a lot from that. Also, if your library gets magazine subscriptions (as mine does) see if they have a subscription to a writing-related magazine like Writer's Digest or Poets & Writers and read them.

    - Read Nathan Bransford's blog. He's an author and former agent, and he's got acres of good advice to share. Just browse through it and read, read, read: http://blog.nathanbransford.com/

    - In general, read interviews with agents, editors, and authors who represent/publish/write the same sort of material you're interested in.

    - Join a critique site like Critique Circle or Absolute Write (the NaNoWriMo forums can be good for this too) and read through all the publishing-related advice you can (with a discerning eye, of course--not everyone knows what they're talking about, but the majority usually do).

    - Follow agents and editors on Twitter and read their blogs. Learn what they're looking for, what to avoid doing, etc.

    Ahh, sorry, I have to run here in a second, but I have a couple other useful sites posted under the "Links" tab on my blog (http://fuzzymango.wordpress.com), so you could also go look at that and see if any seem relevant.

    Hope that helps, and best of luck!