It’s About Me. Oh, Really?

A friend and I were talking  about the writing life and got on the subject of pitches.  You see, aspiring authors can sign up for a pitch-practice session with various “published” writers before they go into their real pitch with an agent and/or editor.  I think it’s a great idea of an aspiring to get some pointers before they put their best foot forward with their hopes riding high on their pitch.  HOWEVER, I also think it’s a waste of time to have your pitch shot down by someone who has their own agenda in mind. 

I’m not sharing any names, but stories like this perturb me because it happens more than you think.  You see, some authors have this idea that they think they’re doing aspiring authors a favor by tearing their work apart while elevating theirs at the same time.  But yet, they think they’re judging your work as an editor would. 

Maybe I’m naive.  Maybe it’s because I don’t know anything about working with editors despite having work with them for the last five years.  But if telling someone “that will never sell” when they’ve only gotten four words out of their mouths is supposed to help, then I’d rather get a critique from a one-eyed monkey who’s slinging shit due to it being their nature than out of maliciousness.  But that’s just me.

Whenever I critique someone’s work, I do my best to give both positive and negative criticism.  Trust me.  If you’ve worked your butt off and love your story to pieces, then I’ll find something I love about it and will be sure to point it out.  That’s how I believe in critiquing.  The things that bug me about your work, you’ll know about those, too.  Now whether something is unpublishable or not, I’m not one to say because I’m not an editor and I don’t pretend to be.  Perhaps those “it’s all about me” authors should remember that the next time they think they’re doing an unpubbed a favor by gracing them with their presence.  They need to leave their diva at the door when they’re facing your readers, too.  

Have you ever encountered any divas in your reading/writing travels?

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4 thoughts on “It’s About Me. Oh, Really?

  1. Everybody has such different tastes. I don’t see how anyone can say what an agent or an editor would like. I have had friends help me rephrase a pitch to sound more natural or interesting. That’s probably the intent behind the practice sessions and not telling the author what will or won’t sell.

    I’m sure I’ve encountered divas, but they haven’t stayed in my mind. If they were there, I shooed them out. lol

  2. I really haven’t encountered any Divas. I am really selective with who I share my work with. I have a beta reader and now a critique partner. I also belong to a critique group. I am in the process of choosing a professional writing organization to join this year.

    Writing is hard enough without Divas. I try really hard to surround myself with encouraging like minded writers.

    I did join one group that I am now inactive in because the first response to my writing was not constructive, it was down right nasty. The person who responded seemed to hold himself in extremely high regard. I checked out his website and was not impressed. But, I did not respond to him in kind. I was very gracious and thanked him for his input. Which is not what I wanted to do but, I choose to take the high road.

  3. This was a huge problem for me when I first started writing. I liken bad critiques to a toxic relationship. Just get out. The worst was a critique by a published author I “won” in a contest. Lucky me. 🙂 I am certain she thought she was being helpful, and she was, if I wanted to write a book in her voice in her genre.

    I saw you in the new GIAM loop and wanted to stop in and say hi. Your blog and website look great.
    Cindy
    http://authorcindyleigh.wordpress.com

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