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On The Asking of Favors From Established Writers

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18Rabbit



Joined: 21 May 2008
Posts: 1734
Location: WTF is wrong with you?
On The Asking of Favors From Established Writers  Reply with quote  

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2009/09/15/on-the-asking-of-favors-from-established-writers/

John Scalzi wrote:
It looks like itís time to do a little more head-knocking regarding the life of a writer, so letís just start knocking heads, shall we.

Dear currently unpublished/newbie writers who spend their time bitching about how published/established writers are mean because they wonít read your work/introduce you to their agent/give your manuscript to their editor/get you a job on their television show/whatever other thing it is you want them to do for you:

A few things you should know...


He's got a pretty detailed list of 8 things that you should know before you go and ask a published author for a favor. Smile

Post Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:22 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
sgt_steve



Joined: 18 Jan 2005
Posts: 5197
Location: Michissippi
 Reply with quote  

Read the earlier posts, too. He's been working his way up to a helluva rant. Somewhere in one of the earlier ones is a link to a screenwriter's similar rant titled "No, I Will Not Read Your Fucking Screenplay." As one commenter said in Scalzi's blog, the responses to the screenwriter make find grist for a psychology class.

Post Wed Sep 16, 2009 4:35 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
chris
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Joined: 02 Mar 2004
Posts: 3833
Location: People Republic of Northern California
 Reply with quote  

Perhaps he hit the points in earlier posts, but he doesn't emphasize the huge: "Don' t have time to do it if I wanted to" aspect,

nor the "OMG! You stole that Jesus story idea from me!"

(When I was writing Lamb, and my agent knew I was writing Lamb, he told me about several query letters from writers about Jesus/comedy books, which he refused to read so as not to put him/me in the position of having ever seen them.)

There really are stories that sort of leap out of the ether and suggest they be written once you learn certain bits of information. By example, in addition to myself, Emperor Norton has been fictionalized by Mark Twain, Bret Harte, Neil Gaiman, R.L. Stevenson, and I'm told, in an episode of Bonanza. I suspect none of these people were aware that the others used the character. Yet, if, say, Mark Twain had sent me the manuscript for Huckleberry Finn, and I'd read it, then written Bloodsucking Fiends, he could have been all, "Hey, you stole the Emperor from me! You owe me huge portions of the seven dollars you made on that book!" He'd never win in court, because he's dead and whatnot, but it could be disconcerting enough to interrupt my writing, and not a little costly to prove that I actually had the idea independently of his wussy little novel.

Just sayin.

Also, on any given day, I have at least a dozen galleys or manuscripts on my desk, sent by editors, for jacket comments, for books that are already accepted and are going to be published and I started saying NO to all requests well over a year ago. They still send them, thinking themselves the exception. And these are people who are in the business and know better. I don't even have time to read all the books my friends write.

Post Thu Sep 17, 2009 10:38 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
18Rabbit



Joined: 21 May 2008
Posts: 1734
Location: WTF is wrong with you?
 Reply with quote  

Would they stop sending them to you if you started giving them shit replies or are these people that you may need help from some day?

"This is the heaviest book I've thrown in the trash in recent memory"

"It sure was shiny, I wonder what it was about?"

"Had I read this, I'm sure I would have enjoyed it. Oh look, pie!"

"This is the seventh jacket comment I've written today and I can say with absolute certainty that it is the next to last one I'm doing today!"

"If books were pigs, this would make a fine football."

Post Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:47 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
LostInWalmart



Joined: 26 Jun 2006
Posts: 1900
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"This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force." (Dorothy Parker)

Post Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:04 am   View user's profile Send private message
mllefifi



Joined: 28 Jan 2006
Posts: 8964
Location: Deleoware
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"I just couldn't put this book down! ...
















... because it was hanging from the ceiling ...














... in a noose!"
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Post Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:01 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
Starchild



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 398
Location: quantum meruit
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No, I would never ask an author to read my manuscript. But I like it when writers reply to my emails. You have to remember who pays your bills. I disagree with the author of that article. You have a duty to your fans as well, not just your editor and your immediate family. Otherwise, why should anyone read your books? They might as well be reading dead authors. If you don't have time to answer emails, then you should go on a book tour and do a signing if possible. The days of writers being hermits shut up in a den are long gone. This is the digital age. If you can't meet your public in person, then you can do it on-line. It's just common courtesy. You can't bite the hand that feeds you.

Post Thu Feb 04, 2010 7:42 am   View user's profile Send private message
Sephonae



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 5218
Location: New York
 Reply with quote  

Starchild wrote:
You can't bite the hand that feeds you.

But you don't have to bend over for it when it wants to tickle your prostate.
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Post Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:03 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
DannyFerris27



Joined: 23 Jun 2010
Posts: 3
Location: Albany, NY
 Reply with quote  

Sephonae wrote:
Starchild wrote:
You can't bite the hand that feeds you.

But you don't have to bend over for it when it wants to tickle your prostate.


10/10
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Post Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:55 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
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