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?