Monday, September 24, 2007

MMWUC for September 24, 2007

EXERCISE: James Frey walks into the classroom. Students stare. The shackles of his past impede his progress. He leans forward in an exaggerated manner as though Jacob Marley's chains drag behind him like an anchor. The arrows of outrageous fortune stick to his back like porcupine quills. A large O is branded on his cheek and an editor's arm dangles from behind, the fingers clutching the torn pocket where the memory of his wallet stains his pants. Mark Twain waits for him at the lectern stone-faced. As Frey takes his place in front of the students, Twain clasps Frey's shoulder. "The truth is a harsh master, but you're a master of good writing." Frey straightens his posture and faces the students. "Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and relax. For the next ten minutes, write from a protagonists POV, 'The mirror reflected...'."

MUSINGS: It must be Writers Angry With Anyone (WAWA) week. I've run into a plethora of postings, articles, complaints, and tear-stained web pages with writers angry at agents, publishers, geckos, critiquers, editors, parents, significant others, reviewers, and mailmen. I've been known to vent a bit about the frustration of getting published, but I've never asked a million people to come read my weak writing so I can prove something to an agent and disguise it as some sort of helpful venture for other writers. Yep, the owner a self-serving site to which I won't link believes that one nasty agent needs to feel this writer's wrath by having a million people visit the site in 90 days. I visited and offered constructive suggestions to a first chapter that was serviceable but in need of an editor. I'm sure I will be ignored. I've learned with rejection, that in reflection, it's yourself that needs writing maturation. I doubt any agent will be humbled by any writer's web-based retaliation.


Anonymous said...

I think some people spill too much in their blogs. Why would you want to show the world your flaws? And true, what agent is going to change their mind because anonymous bloggers said he should?

Jason had a point when he said that since blogs are free, people tend to go overboard with them (or words to that effect). I enjoy the community they create, and with mine I'm able to keep my friends current with what I'm up to. But if I wander into self-serving or whiny, you have my permission to shoot me.

Austin Carr said...

What's wrong with self-serving?

Rick Bylina said...

Considering that most blogs and websites are self-serving, there's nothing intrinsically wrong with it. Combine it with a vengeful nature and a dubious lottery (disguised as an altruistic endeavor), it takes self-serving to another level that I find distasteful in general and unhelpful to writers in the long run. Demonstrating how editing could make his story stronger or how it evolves over time would be instructional and maybe get him an agent a lot faster in the long run than carping about it in cyberspace and wasting valuable time doing so.

Yust mi too sense.