TNH owes me a new keyboard

A Snarkling commented below:

There's actually a nitwit out there who advises up-and-coming authors lie this in cover letters

Teresa Nielson-Hayden had a pretty good snark about what bad, bad advice this was. The author, in a mature, reasoned response to her criticism... moved his webpage. (I believe he also threatened her with legal action, but I stopped following the flame war after a while.) Bad enough that there's people out there who think this is a good idea. Worse that there's idiots encouraging them.

Im laughing too hard to properly punctuate my post. TNH is one of the most pleasant pull no punches bloggers in the world. I adore her. However, this was too much and there is now hot apple cider all over my keyboard. Next novel they buy from me will have a "keyboard replacement" line item in the payout line.


Bonnie S. Calhoun said...

All I can say is...Yikes...I did notice on his site that it was maintained by someone named Kerry Davis and it hadn't been updated since 5/1/99....and the Teresa Nielson-Hayden thread was from 2004.

It just goes to show you what kind of time-bombs are out there waiting for unsuspecting...uhh..newbies.

That's why Your Snarkness is such a boon to those of us who "wannabe".

Thanks for keeping us straight!

Unknown said...

My first response after reading his site was that it had to be a hoax; no other possibilty could enter my mind. Only the suggestion one should not mention how many unpublished books one had seemed authentic, but I assumed that one piece of good advice was just to make the rest of the hoax seem more plausible.

Then I read the IM's and was somewhat less convinced it was a hoax - but - still - it did not seem possible that any single person could become so horribly detached from the real world the rest of us inhabit.

But then came the proof that was the case; the writer revealed he was... a graduate student.

Case closed.

Anonymous said...

Don't you know any new words besides nitwit? Come'on, a clever agent like you should have more ammunition in her arsenal of vocabulary cut downs than a few worn out nouns.

How about I help you; doofus, sounds like a new way to address people who displease you.

Desperate Writer said...

Wow, I've known about literaryagents.org for awhile, never visited it religiously or anything, But how interesting that this is the same guy. If he says it's okay for people to LIE, even a little bit, how credible does that make him?

Harry Connolly said...

Making Light is a gold mine for writers.

Most recommended:

On the Getting of Agents


Both are long, long threads, but anyone who hasn't read them should read them all the way through. There's a lot of information in there.

Anonymous said...

This was posted in May of 2004. It caught a lot of flack on the blogs. I wonder why it is being

Dave Kuzminski said...

It never hurts to bring up such topics in light of the fact that there are plenty of new writers who don't have a clue and desperately need one.

Kat said...

Desperate Writer: He's not credible at all - he's clueless. His agent listing contains several scammers. I personally don't trust anything on the site.

Sand Storm: What Dave said. I mention this post a lot, just as I've made the "this agent is asking you for major money, this agent is not an agent" post and the "self-publishing is not the same as publishing and you will not make a million bucks" post on so many bulletin boards and blogs that my boyfriend has suggested I save a copy of both and paste it in where needed. And yet there's still people out there who will send Agent Iam Scam their live savings in full confidence that he'll get them published, people who will give their books to PublishAmerica because they believe it will make them the next Stephen King, and people who will innocently send a BS query to an agent because Todd Pierce said it was okay.

Repetition is not always a bad thing, not when it gets a point across.

Anonymous said...

Um, because it was just discovered by this blogger and seemed to be of interest? I'd never read it before, but seeing as how an industry friend of mine was invovled in a major case of submissions lies not so long ago, I don't think this issue is dead and buried.

People: DON'T LIE.

Internet misinformation is rampant. I read "advice" from "an agent" on the internet not so long ago that claimed the only agents who don't charge fees are once that are just starting out and have no clients. Right. Tell that to ICM. How do people think they can get away with that crap?

Bernita said...

Soft and fuzzy - like bunnies.
"Nitwit" has hard consonants,but more elegant than Tod Goldberg.
Don't listen, Miss Snark.

under appreciated said...

That isn't the first time I've heard advice like that. I once read a book on writing proposals that advised you to 'stretch-the-truth', ie: if you were the editor of your high school newspaper, write: 1990-1994: Editor of the Flossmoor Times

Linda said...

I think this is one of those tongue-in-cheek "backwards" advice pages. Every line of advice is the opposite of what you should do. I suspect this could have been part of a larger piece, or was inspired from something that's not referenced, so people are taking it seriously, when it wasn't meant to be. :)


Bunneh said...

Lawdamercy, my flabber is gasted.

I'm suddenly hugely, phenomenally glad that (a) I didn't go to FSU when I was accepted and (b) I didn't major in creative writing.

And he's now TEACHING at CLEMSON.

This is even worse than the creative writing teacher who gave the following advice to his students: Don't pay attention to grammar and punctuation, because it gets in the way of the creative process. *headdesk*

Bonnie S. Calhoun said...

I agree with bernita...stick with nitwit...it makes me smile :-)

Anonymous said...

Three guesses who that first "anonymous" poster might be?


Anonymous said...

It wasn't tongue in cheek. He showed up in the comments thread on tnh's second post to tell us that it wasn't. In gruesome, lawyer-threatening detail. Silly boy. :-) (The full comments thread is well worth reading.)

Teresa wrote something for Neil Gaimen to post in his blog which included a list of annotated urls for her useful-to-writers posts. Lots more useful and entertaining stuff handily bookmarked in this post.

And while I'm delurking: thank you, Miss Snark, for *your* extremely entertaining and useful blog.