Hello Cruel World
Saturday, April 11, 2009
QueryFAIL: Responding to some of the discussion
[This is still too long, but I can't get blogger's code to use "expanding posts", so you only see the full entry if you go to its separate page, to work on my blogs.]
From Making Light: On QueryFAIL
nielsenhayden.com/ makinglight/ archives/ 011160.html
A summarised summary by Jim Macdonald, Making Light moderator
Apparently a group of agents designated Thursday, the 5th of March, 2009, as official Queryfail day. Throughout the day they’d Twitter those little 140-character descriptions of the worst queries they read (either that day, or had ever gotten in their careers).My comment (#103) on one aspect of this discussion:"A group of online agents, book editors and periodicals acquisition editors are posting about their queries in real time. The idea is to educate people about what exactly it is in a query that made us stop reading and say “Not for me.” We’re being very careful not to include personal identifiers of any kind. The idea isn’t to mock or be intentionally cruel, but to educate."To what should have been no one’s surprise, authors who found out about it got upset ... Amid stories of authors planning to boycott the agents who took part in the first Queryfail, a second Queryfail is apparently being planned for the end of the month."Last week, literary agents blogged about failed queries on Twitter—generating a query fail feed, an agent fail thread, a GalleyCat post, and an emotional debate."and"after hearing from several writers who were upset by the event, I have removed the specific entries. Instead, I’ll focus on what I learned by following QueryFail.See also: AgentFail, WriterFail.
I apologize to those writers who felt disrespected. My intention in reposting was to share what I thought was good information. I still think it’s good information. But if you know me personally, you know I’m an empathetic soul and I don’t wish to cause another writer distress."
Cat Meadors (#93) "Don't be crazy" isn't at all useful, and seems to be what 99% of the "advice" boils down to. Crazy people won't listen, and non-crazy people don't need to.)
Help with defining or examples of crazy and non-crazy, and how one thing can be seen as both in different circumstances could be very useful, though Miss Snark (misssnark.blogspot.com) could be a better source.
Now I think I'm 98-99% non-crazy; feedback says maybe only 90-95%. So I've had to, with much struggle and still not always successfully, modify my (identifiable) public behaviour, writing and media output to make it more acceptable. I am rather angry and bitter about that, still sensitive on certain points — another bit that needs to be controlled (so I can understand, if not accept, some reactions). Honest feedback, even overhearing you being criticised between two other people, can be useful, if hurtful.
Many times I've heard people being mocked, called crazy, weird or otherwise unacceptable for expressing thoughts or behaving in ways I've found truthful or very understandable. It hurts, but it does show how I need to mask and modify to be acceptable (and perhaps try to argue or express those thoughts in ways the 'mainstream', 'normal' (mundane?) culture can digest); and, sometimes, consider the rightness of my thoughts <g>.
OTOH: Lotsa crude, rude, stupid vapidity (IMO) in lotsa comments (and blogs) in lotsa places. Lotsa baaad writing. Sturgeon's Law? It's wearying to get to the good bits
[Disclaimer: I make no claim to be a good writer, and have little authorial ambition. I do like to read.]
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