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Niceness engines running on fumes.


I ask people not to comment in that thread right now, or I'm going to freeze it. I link not because I want people to jump in and argue (I most emphatically don't) but because it demonstrates the way people prefer to find faults in others instead of themselves.


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 15th, 2009 12:30 am (UTC)
Oy. The ego defense is the triumphant last resort of the person who doesn't want help.
Jun. 15th, 2009 05:10 am (UTC)
Especially if they wish they didn't need it.
Jun. 15th, 2009 12:42 am (UTC)
To be fair?

She didn't discount any of your actual comments or criticisms themselves; I think she felt slighted. And given the number of people who read her very long essay and took away mostly that she looked down on icky genre -- many of whom I could point out on LJ -- when this was not really the sum of what she was doing... I think it's a good example of that sensitivity tick that many, many writers have when it comes to the work their own range falls into.

Your response was exasperated, but completely dead on; I suspect, at this point, that she has never worked with a crit group, or at least not a crit group that looks at market viability. And niceness engine? You've done yeoman's work here, and in spite of her defensive response, you've been far more helpful than she would have a right to expect.
Jun. 15th, 2009 01:00 am (UTC)
What She Said.

If she wants more critique, I'd point her to Absolute Write's SYW forums. The Query section is especially good. My only warning to her would be that the SYW folks are both thorough and blunt.

(I'd volunteer myself, but I'm not a regular reader of women's fiction, so my reactions and suggestion would be off, I think.)

Jun. 15th, 2009 05:33 am (UTC)
How well do you think the "cooties" stuff would have gone over at AW?

I have to admit, I pulled back from most of the message boards there because of time, and have barely visited in weeks. But judging by the content of that first anti-agent post of hers, I don't think she's ready to get notes from the great unwashed of the internet.
Jun. 15th, 2009 12:37 pm (UTC)
Oh, she'd get ripped for that comment, sure. Whether she gets beyond the sensitive stage is anyone's guess. I've seen other writers, new to workshops, go through the usual bad reactions to critiques. Some never improve their attitude, but others do learn how to read critiques without lashing out.

She'd get some great feedback, though. You have to winnow out the not-so-great critiques, but from what I've seen, the ratio of signal-to-noise is quite good. There are quite a few writers who pay forward on SYW.

Jun. 15th, 2009 05:23 am (UTC)
I'll admit that I started a much more stinging response, but being on kiddie patrol (with a little buddy over for a playdate) gave me time to think about it, and I realized an angrier response would have embarrassed me. So I did this instead.

And yes on the genre trashing thing. A great many people jumped on that with her initial post. It's very much the My Favorite Argument Syndrome, where certain people can not have a nuanced discussion of a topic because they try to turn every conversation back to an argument they've made many times and feel safe continuing.
Jun. 15th, 2009 01:49 am (UTC)
I told you you were being nicer than I would have.

You should have crushed her like a bug, told her she DID have cooties, and that when the sacking and pillaging started she'd be first against the wall!
Jun. 15th, 2009 05:35 am (UTC)
I'd have to hook up my iSwatter first, and I'm way low on open USB ports.
Jun. 16th, 2009 08:48 pm (UTC)
I'll gladly do it for you. Mine's Firewire (for the Burn part of Pillage and Burn).
Jun. 15th, 2009 02:11 am (UTC)
btw, dude, if you ever need me to list up all your faults for you, I'm right there!
Jun. 15th, 2009 05:35 am (UTC)
Like you need to be prompted.
Jun. 15th, 2009 05:55 am (UTC)
oh wow.
Jun. 15th, 2009 08:26 am (UTC)
I read that as genuine, actually...
Its a reaction we see in our crit group. I don't think she's used to people from outside her genre. I thought your explanation was a good and fair one.

If I *were* to post on the thread in question, it would be to add that some of the best crits I've had were from people who actually hate my genre, since they are not blinded by expectations, and take nothing for granted.
Jun. 15th, 2009 04:06 pm (UTC)
Re: I read that as genuine, actually...
The funny thing is that she doesn't think she writes in a genre. Her comment that her writing isn't "commercial" enough to be called chick-lit is telling, I think.

And I hear what you're saying about out-of-genre beta readers. Everything has it's up- and down-sides.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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