The Fight Against Failurism

What are the writers of your time like?

Friday, September 22, 2006

A Case of Carrots & Cabbages

Having established (see my previous three posts) that quality of writing and standard of story are not the decisive factors for a publisher/agent, it is only fair to say that - unless your parents are in publishing (think of Eregon) - there is a requirement for a very basic standard of writing (must use words and finish sentences).

But if talant and creativity are not required for publishing, what is?

Find out tomorrow in my exciting fairly regular blog!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Reasonable Rejection - part 3!

What's worse than rejection?

Yes, indeed, as one of my followers pointed out - no reply at all.

My deepest condolances to anyone in that position, published or otherwise.

The truth of the matter is that a lot of lies and misinformation is printed on this subject. Think of every book you have ever read on getting published - without exception, they all say publishers want well written prose, strong plot and dialogue, interesting and well developed characters... But what gets published?


Mediore pedestrian prose, with cartoon characters and cliched dialogue, incoherent and trite plots, often incredibly sensational and ridiculous.

But what happens?

Some of these atrocities become best sellers, movies are made, games are invented, books about them are published...

Is this phenomenon just due to the old adage, "mediocrity sells"?

I don't think so.

The public buys rubbish because they're told it's good - they would buy good stuff too, if told the same thing.

You all know the type of books I am talking about so I'm sure you have plenty of ideas on the subject - feel free to share them with the other reader(s) of this blog.

Tomorrow I will tell you my own well substantiated theory.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Reasonable Rejection - Part Deux!

One thing to watch out for, following yesterday's post:

If you can, avoid unnecessarily irritating editors, publishers and agents by making public your opinion about them.

It doesn't matter that you speak the truth when you say Agents couldn't recognise the no. 14A if it ran over them, let alone a good story - they don't like it, and they take it out on me! I mean, on whoever is foolish enough to talk about them in public (be it on a soapbox or - em - on the web).

Tomorrow, I may discuss this topic further...

Monday, September 18, 2006

Reasonable Rejection

There's no such thing!
Rejection is always unreasonable - hey, I went to a lot of trouble to pu together this submission or proposal! I don't appreciate you rejecting it out of hand! And yes, that is coffee - a stain which testifies to the long nights and early mornings that were poured into my work (along with the coffee). So what if I've mis-spelled some words - I'm a genius, and it's my thoughts, ideas, feelings and story that is important here! Editors exist to correct typos - are writers expected to do their job too???????

Really, editors, agents and publishers have a cheek - expecting writers to do everything for them. these days - they don't have to worry about deciphering long hand or having to typeset it from scratch - we writers do all that work for them by providing a word document of our masterpieces!

They have it so easy - we even have to earn the money for them - the parasites, living off percentages!!!

More on this subject soon!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I'm Back!

Yes, indeed, back from fighting Failurism in the eastern regions of Europe. (You'll be glad to know that the natives no longer avoid traipsing through the field with the landmines so that they can get to the water well.)

One of the factors of Failurism that I had observed during my years of study is what I like to call The Risk Factor. In other words, what risk am I taking, what have I got to lose by undertaking a certain action - eg risk of rejection might prevent you from submitting to an agent, or fear of being blown to pieces might prevent you from going to the well for water.
To counteract the risk factor, you need to invoke what I like to call The Loss Factor. What am I missing out by not undertaking the action - eg the chance of being accepted for publication, or the opportunity for a life saving drink of water.
Therefore, don't prevent your thirst from being quenched (or your life being saved) by a fear of a landmine - or, to put it more strongly, don't allow a fear of rejection prevent you from posting off that manuscript!

Tomorrow I will discuss a new topic on my course - Reasonable Rejection. In other words, occasions when you can reasonably expect rejection and therefore should not walk through the mine field - typos, poor spelling and coffee flavoured stained paper!