Tuesday, September 08, 2009

I'm Speshul!!

Wow. Okay, so I left for Show Low on Friday and came back to almost 150 entries!! Wow!

Hey, wait a second, I didn't even get that many entries for a contest for MY book! What gives, James!!! *glares* No, I'm totally kidding. This is a book worth 150 entries!

And without further Ado, the lucky winner is . . .

Molly! (As in the Molly who has a blog called Utterly Absurd and only made it to comment on other people's blogs. Love that!)

Molly, please email me at aprilynnepike at gmail dot com with your address and I will get this well-loved copy of The Maze Runner in the mail to you asap so you can enjoy it and gloat to your friends as far ahead of publication as possible.:D

Big thanks to everyone who entered!!!!

Okay, I have managed to cool down about this, but now that I am getting ready to write about it, it's kinda ticking me off again.

Okay, I read a blog called Editorial Anonymous. She's great. She is a children's book editor and she gives some really great advice and insight into the industry. I adore her. The other day she put up this post. (Language alert.)

And it has sixty comments, half of them informing this editor that she is wrong.

Now, she may be wrong (I highly doubt it) but the point is, most of her readership are aspiring authors, and they are given a piece of advice and the first thing that pops into their heads is, "Well THAT'S just WRONG!" and they are so convinced that they are right, and she is wrong, that they say so on a public blog.

In any other industry, people would laugh at you.

Let's take my husband's industry for example:

Law Professor: *expounds upon some rule of law* When you do X, Z happens.

Law Student: *raises hand* No, that's wrong. You're wrong.

Law Professor: You're kidding, right?

Law Student: Well I know this person who broke X law and Z did NOT happen, so you must be wrong.

Law Professor: *thinks student is a moron*

Other Law Students: *think student is a moron*

When you are an amateur, you should listen to the professionals. I'm not saying the professionals are always right--they aren't--but you should listen. And then consider. And then try to be really, really honest with yourself.

Do you just think they are wrong because their advice goes against your book? No seriously, ask yourself that again.

Editors are not perfect. And there are always exceptions to the rules. But feedback from an editor, always, always has value.

And if your first reaction to a post like that is "I'll show her how wrong she is!" I'm fairly willing to bet that you are not published and, without changing that attitude, you never will be.

Maybe your book is speshul. Maybe it's the next JK Rowling/Dan Brown/Bible, whatever. No one is going to know that if you don't take a little advice from professionals and learn how to work within the system instead of this bull-headed determination to make the system work around you. It rarely works that way.

And if your first though upon reading that statement was, "Well, I know a guy who . . ." you need to read this entry again.:D



Demon Hunter said...

LOL. Exactly. Sometimes people need to just shut up and listen. Sheesh. :-D Great post...

Tracy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tracy said...

Well I for one AM speshul, but I mustn't be very smart because I never would've thought to write a story about an inanimate object - who knew? (Apparently not me, haha). I'm going to take that as a sign that I'm on the right track. At least I'm doing something right!

Natalie said...

Yeah, writers are weird. The whole subjectivity thing allows the crazies to ignore advice and bring up the one single time in all of history that a certain concept worked.

Just smile and nod at the speshul writers:)

Chad Aaron Sayban said...

LOL! Very true. I love it when authors insist that their book 'transends any single genre.' That's another way of telling an editor 'nobody will ever buy this book.'

If I had a nickel for every self-published book rejected by editors that I ended up reviewing which turned out to be a great book, I would only have a nickel (Eragon was the lone exception).

Jessie Oliveros said...

I liked your law school analogy :)

Tara said...

I think many writers fail to learn the rules and to master them before they try to break them. Thanks for the post.

Jenn Johansson said...

Agreed. Writers who aren't willing to take criticism and advice shouldn't be writers... 'nuff said.

Tina Lynn said...

Okay...just a thought...if this had been an ARC of Spells you would have been flooded!--yes, flooded! with comments:)

April Wilde said...

Well, I know a guy who gave me awesome advice, I told him he was wrong, and .. ate my words later.

He was very right. It's hard for some people (including me) to take any sort of criticism. And I don't have a posse of dedicated folks to read my stuff and really rip it apart. They're all more happy to say "this is great, write more!" rather than give me any sort of constructive criticism. But I don't know ... how to find a posse to help me out like that. My husband is shy about tearing my stuff apart because he doesn't trust himself.

I can understand -why- people would say "that's wrong!" but.. they're usually not wrong.

Editorial Anonymous said...

Thanks, A!
It's important to hear from the people who get it, because sometimes I wonder if I'm doing anything with that blog other than riling people up.

tomdg said...

You're absolutely right, of course. But it's not just writers. It amazes (and worries) me how many people I know who think they know more about health than the entire medical profession. We live in a post-modern world, people don't believe that expertise exists any more. They are, of course, wrong.

*Kara* said...

Great posts! :) Loved reading both of them...

Pandah said...

I agree with you on the advice stuff. People should be greatful that someone is willing to help them in such a public way!

The Novelist said...

You are a wealth of good information as usual!