Miss Snark chided for cruelty to...well...animals I guess

Author's name. ISBN. Title. Lampooning a real human being on the World Wide Web. I don't know Miss Roth or her work, but seeing another person, even the foolish and ignorant, vilified in this matter is truly sad, and unprofessional.I've loved this blog. Please tell me this is a marketing ploy, Miss Snark, and you haven't gone from clever to cruel.

whaddaya mean "to" cruel? Like I've been nice before? You must have been reading someone else's blog.

This person wrote me this exact email. I emailed her back and said "You know all these emails go up on the blog, right?". And she ANSWERED, and said "yes, if you can't help me maybe someone else can".

I redacted her address and phone number and email. She didn't even have sense enough to say post this without that. Sometimes the ice cold bucket of disdain is the only thing that brings someone to their senses.

The thing is, she didn't query my agency, she queried THIS BLOG. At some point, you get what you ask for and this honey, is it.

No of course it's not kind. No it's not nice. Yes, it's cruel. So fucking what. This is not nursery school and you don't get a certificate for participation and a hug for remembering to flush the toilet. Bobby Knight throws chairs; I throw words. If you don't like it, go play for Notre Dame.


Elektra said...

Have I mentioned lately that I heart Miss Snark?

WagerWitch said...

Yeah, you've been nice... Sheesh...

Don't tell me you forgot last Christmas when you gave little Timmy that lump of coal?

(Just kidding - as an aside, you're probably one of the nicest people on the planet... But Shhhhh... don't tell anyone.)

No, seriously - if the author doesn't mind getting posted on the blog - and she did in fact email "THE BLOG" (which, by the way is NOT an agent - but is run by someone who is an undercover agent - who SPECIFICALLY SAYS "DO NOT QUERY ME - EVEN IF YOU ARE GOD") then, the author is open to ridicule.

However - I don't know that the crowd should always give ridicule... in a mob mentality - but the opportunity to throw rotten veggies exists when you put yourself in the limelight like this... not following the rules is certainly a way to be "pounced upon".

Long live peace, love and humor.

Lady M

justJoan said...

Go get 'em Miss Snark! :-) Wear your stilettos with pride and if they leave tread marks, so be it. Speaking your mind is what makes this blog interesting and unique. Don't change a thing . . . well, except your shoes if they don't match your outfit. :-)

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

These posts have made me uncomfortable.

Should I pity the author? She exposed herself to this, didn't she? Should I be upset at the responses? They're a bit funny and more than a little mean.

I was tempted to write a response and couldn't do it. I was raised to "protect" the defenseless, and I couldn't respond with humor and still carry my "social burden."

Okay, so I'm odd. I admit it. But we princesses have obligations, you know.

This entire business makes me cringe. I can see myself being hurt by this. I wouldn't like it, even if I'd volunteered for the hurt.

Miss Snark said...

They ARE mean.
I think this author is probably VERY hurt.

Am I sorry? I dunno. Maybe. Probably not. The thing that bugs me is that one simple google search "how to sell film rights" would have coughed up three or four clues. Reading the side matter on THIS blog another clue or two.

Is it better to beat the crap out of someone or say "not quite right for me" and leave them clue free...and loose on the agent population at large?

Well, you know what I decided.
I can live with myself.

Best regards to my favorite goat.

Inez said...

If uranitwit@wtf.com isn't a caveat
querier, I don't know what is.
Go Ms. Snark, go.

Elizabeth Krecker said...

So is this the blogosphere equivalent of a writer's workshop? I've been told to save my self-esteem and avoid writer's workshops.

It appears, then, as budding writers, we have two options:

1) Avoiding writer's workshops and the scourging of Miss Snark (not to mention her devotees), saving our self-esteem and never getting a contract for anything other than a regular gig mowing the neighbors lawn; or

2) Risking a battered, bruised and entirely abused self-esteem, learning a little something or two, and having a shot at a nice fat book contract, or even one fine sunny day...a real movie contract.

Call me silly...I'll take door number 2.

McKoala said...

I'm actually sorry. Sha'el has a point. I kind of assumed that this letter had been sent to Miss S in the real world, rather than here, where Ms Roth may come and read what has been thrown at her - little of it nice. That makes me feel really bad for her; all these people (me included) jumping on a bandwagon that's running over a real person's toes.

I am hoping that as Ms Roth sent the query to the blog that she does not actually read it, or surely she would have absorbed some of the principles, like don't query. You did give her the opportunity to withdraw...I would have taken that opportunity like a shot! Is she brave? Foolish? Who knows. However, I'd like to point out that she is one step ahead of some of us - she's published. So that query letter worked, even if this one doesn't.

Gina Black said...

Aw c'mon Miss Snark. Tell me you don't see this as the perfect vehicle for George Clooney? You might be passing up a great opportunity here...

Nikki said...

I've been lurking here for a while now. Miss Snark, the blog is brilliant! I was a bit surprised by the Ms Roth letter thing (at first I thought it was an email to Snark Central not the blog) also by some comments.

Miss Snark invited the Snarklings to comment. They had the choice...nobody had to be mean if they didn't want to.

Nell Dixon said...

Look at the publicity her book is getting - I wonder how many people will look at it to check if its as bad as it sounded?

Sue said...

Well, last night I was thinking:
devotion of snarklings
school of baracuda
Is there a difference?

Now, I admit, I participated in the carnage. Did I feel good about it afterwards? Not really, but, well, no buts. It's done.

However, having confessed my sins against my fellow man/woman, I need to point out that some people BEG to be belittled. This begging takes the form of constantly "not paying attention", "not following directions", "not knowing to look both ways before stepping out onto 309 in rush hour (which is scarier than you could imagine, except maybe stepping out on the Boulevard.)"

A one time guffaw is just that, but some people just don't get it and proceed to make fools of themselves. Perhaps this will be instructive to those bordering on foolhardiness to stop, think, then change your actions.

I think Miss Snark has been far more than nice and I don't know that her "meanness" is over-the-top or cutting. She's taken some of her own valuable time to tutor us in the ways and wherefors of the business end of publishing. Maybe we students need to step back and ask where we would be without her advice (and the advice of others via cons and writing boards and so on).

Now, having said that. I have to think that this barrage of stupidity (ie: that query) is a constant thing in the world of agents and editors and while it may be funny or quirky the first few times, it has to get OLD real fast. We writers buckle the FIRST time we are presented with the opportunity to "do harm", I think Miss Snark has shown incredible restraint.

Hmm, IRPOKEG seems appropriate

Epilogue said...

The first time I read this blog, I knew within minutes, that a) you don't query "Miss Snark," and b) she's not your friend.

litagent said...

Actually, all Miss Snark really did was to post the letter. (And the way things go in this nutty world, someone will probably track the author down and option her book for film). Most of the nastiness came from other writers. Although I generally try to be nice in responding to queries, there are days when exasperation gets the best of me.

Ms. Roth clearly hadn't done her homework, and there were responses that pointed that out to her in a more kind way. A "sorry this isn't right for me" response wouldn't have helped anyone, however polite it is. At least now she knows where she made her mistakes and will hopefully correct them. And everyone else knows how difficult Miss Snark's job really is sometimes.

I. Myte said...

Somehow, from what I've read, I don't see any provocation for ripping this person.
As for proudly comparing one's self to Bobby Knight. Wow. When he's not counseling women to lay back and enjoy rape, he's being the sort of person we don't need in any field of endeavor. Being bright and/or talented is no excuse for bad manners and bad behavior. A guy like Knight doesn't even deserve his Texas Tech gig.
How nice if more people would feel flattered by being compared to, say, Joe Paterno, than to just another, garden variety, egotistical sociopath. Niceness is a value, and one we could all use more of.

a-n-o-n-y-m-o-u-s said...

I don't think it's cool for writers to ridicule other writers. Fine for Miss Snark to do so - she's NOT a writer, and more to the point: this is her blog, and she can do and say whatever she wants. But for writers to join her in it feels a bit too much like cannibalism to me.

I post here occasionally using my real name, but I'm electing anonymity this time because I'm afraid of my fellow writers who also happen to be snarklings. After all, if they'd happily jump on the Snarkwagon to shred this poor woman, imagine what they'd do to me . . .

Sue said...

I can't stop myself, so I won't.

I know these people who won't listen or learn. It's like opening Outlook only to have your computer tell you that a dot dll has gone missing and you can't get there from here ... anymore.

My friend Walter likes women who are "fixer-uppers" (and I don't mean they are into DIY.) One of these women fancied herself a writer, was gonna make it big, lots of money, you know the type. Now both Walter and I had discerned some of the fundamental truths of publishing on our own. We knew money flowed toward the author, we knew you needed to write well, we knew all that stuff (and I can't tell you how we knew, but we did.) We just didn't know many detailes, though we knew we had to learn them.

This woman did not know these things and was drawn to the scam. Walter tried to educate her. She did not "believe" him, or "hear" him, or care to "listen" to him. So Walter brought me into the mix. The first thing I got was "I think this can make money and don't tell me to take a class in grammar because I intend on hiring an editor to work out the kinks." Err, lady, the grammar lessons you need I learned in third grade, and here are some more facts about publishing. In one ear. Out the other.

The sad thing is that she is typical of a segment of people out there who are missing some dot dll file and think THEY have got the next big thing, think that THEY are the talent to end all talent (and some may have talent, but I've met talent, failed talent, and I can tell you that talent without sweat equity is a seed cast onto concrete.) They don't learn. They won't learn and they seem drawn to every schemer and crook out there. Good people try to instruct, then they holler, and they finally resort to ridicule and belittlement, but it does no good, because in the minds of these people WE are the nitwits and THEY got the answers.

My personal prayer has always been, God don't make me so boneheaded that I need a two-by-four upside my skull to get my attention. Sadly, others don't seem to work this way.

My boss and I were just discussing consequences recently. While he does not believe in corporal punishment, he does believe we need to understand the consequences to our actions AND he acknowledges that when your child is racing into said traffic on 309 and ignoring your frantics SCREAMS to STOP, it is very appropriate, and attention-getting, to scoop them up and give them a good crack on the behind. Next time they will slow down and hopefully, pay attention, or think.

Now, I suspect, had this querier asked Miss Snark to post the query in order to get comments that would EDUCATE the writer, things would have turned out differently. Snarklings would have risen to the occassion, and if not, I have seen Miss Snark step up and scold commenters on their lack of sympathy. And curiously, the book itself might not sucketh (even if it does sound creepy). One of the amazon reviewers is the notorious Harriet Klausner. She is so notorious I have checked her out and must admit, I envy her ability to speed read (and wish I possessed it.) And, while her reviews all seem to be good (what? no bad books?), in her own blog she points out that she will not post unfavorable ones, just those that she can recommend.

Finally, I did equate the devotion of snarkling to a school of baracuda and for that I am not ashamed. We were. And we were good. However, I do not think Snarklings as a rule are cruel or mean-spirited people. I can point you to a few blogs where commenters have made me want to call them to the parking lot behind the school and give them a good "talking to". It's all a matter of perspective.

Thanks, Miss Snark, for giving me the time for this response.

Jan Conwell said...

Ms Roth is undoubtedly in shock, thinking a clever marketing ploy on Miss Snark's blog--widely read as it is--would draw a film agent to her project. "...if you can't help me, maybe somebody else can."

But she was warned. She basically did the Mashed Potato barefoot over broken glass. Are you going to feel sorry for her now because her feet are bleeding?

ilona said...

I didn't write the response. If I had, I wouldn't be sorry.

The work is derivative. More, it should not be pitched to literary agents who do not handle film rights. This person is wasting her time and the time of people who are going to reply to her through sheer ignorance.

Bottom line is: you are responsible for basic research. To query the blog in this way is a cop-out: it's easy. The blog is well known and right out there. Much easier than actually googling and reading and trying to learn the appropriate way to present and market your work. Much easier than actually bothering to poke about the blog to verify that the agent indeed handles the film rights.

I'm sorry, there might be shortcuts in publishing, but I haven't yet found any. Do the research. Identify the correct venue to query. Send your query out. Have a back up plan: know the next place you must query and have the envelope ready to go, so when a rejection comes back, you can head right back out to the post office. Rinse and repeat.

This type of thing really aggravates me, because most of the agented people I know had to do it the hard way. This person seems to be looking for an easy way out at the expense of other people's time. Sorry, life is too short.

Motherhood for the Weak said...

Oh, I suppose it _was_ mean and I too kind of feel bad.

BUT you know what? At the same time, my tolerance is kind of low for this.

It does not reflect well on aspiring writers when other writers fail to do the proper research or even bother to read the guidelines. If you can't read, likely you can't write.

This query was the equivalent of going to a writer's conference and asking the 'What are your submission guidelines? Do manuscripts need to be double-spaced?' question followed by a pitch of their novel. It's ignorant, smacks of desperation, and it wastes everyone's time. There are way too many writers who engage in this kind of unprofessional behavior.

There are so many books and websites out there with good information on how to do business in this industry that people who can't figure it out do not come across well. In my opinion, it's inexcusable to be so uninformed--do these people interview for their day jobs without researching their potential employer too? Take medication without checking Dr. Google? Not study for exams in college?

The idea that some effort and research is required to achieve our goals (i.e. a job, safe meds, a good grade) is prevalent in our society, which makes it all the stranger when writers completely abandon any common sense in trying to sell their projects.

So I'm sorry if Miss Roth's feelings were hurt, I really am. But I hope that this experience gives her some idea of what needs to change and what happens to people who don't make those changes--they don't sell.


wannabee said...

This was an elderly woman, who clearly did not realize what she had signed herself up for.

She queried Miss Snark - not her snarkalicious masses.

Had she been snarked by the master - fine - she opened herself up to that by querying the blog.

PT Dilloway said...

This whole thing has been petty and immature. I thought Miss Snark had more sense and class than that.

I was wrong.

a-n-o-n-y-m-o-u-s said...

Was Ms. Roth warned? Did she know what was going to happen when Miss Snark posted her letter? Did Miss Snark say, "I'm gonna turn my devotees loose and they're going to rip your letter to shreds on a widely read industry blog and you'll end up looking like a fool?" Somehow, I don't think so.

Miss Snark says this is who she is; this is what she does. If we don't like it, go somewhere else. I will, but not because she tells me to.

Mike Vecchio said...

What if - and I hate to say this - What if that letter was written by George just to test Miss Snark and her Snarklings? How will George feel about this? Hmm ...

Actually, in a way I found the whole experience very educational.

There was so much askew in that query that I didn't know where to begin. So, I put myself in a busy agents shoes. What would I do? My quick response - given 5 minutes time - "not right for me!"

But what does that really mean?

Then proceeded to detail very quickly what my real thoughts were as a busy person looking for good material to represent while I pounder paying the bills and rent.

Now obviously I can't quite muster up the continual disappointment that agents face. However, setting up that scenario gave me quite a bit of insight as to what my job as a writer "really" is, especially as seen from the agent's side. It gave me a whole new perspective as to what needs to be accomplished in a cold query. Was this the best way to accomplish this - truth seems always to be stranger than fiction. So "strange" in fact, that I once had a screenwriter friend of mine say to me, "Oh, yeah, I know that's how it works in real life - but that's not believable!"

So really, thanks for the education, Miss Snark. And I say that in the broadest sense - because in this blog education comes from all participaters. So, I've learned much - from the thinking of an agent to even possible remorse for the educational process chosen.

Kitty said...

When I needed an honest assessment of my work, I turned to Miss Snark's crap-o-meter.

I wasn't looking for hugs'n'kisses. I wanted the unvarnished truth. And I got it.

Deb said...

Although Ms Roth did subject herself freely to being Snarked, her publisher didn't. I didn't see where she asked anybody to comment on the splendor of the web site, the book cover, or anything else THB has offered or failed to offer.

That said: the THB authors have been kvetching about the web site for years. The publisher does update it once in a while, but they're busy publishing BOOKS, not web site designers. Maybe they'll take a bit of no-axe-to-grind feedback to heart, and make it rock like it ought to as a sales/marketing tool.

That's my take, anyway.


ril said...

I don't think Ms. Roth is a wily publicity seeker, I do think she is naive to the "traditional" publishing world, and certainly to the movie business. This book appears to be her first novel, and looks like it's a post-retirement project. She's published with a very small press (which could use some help with their web design and content editing, and book cover design IMHO: one of here testimonial blurbs is, gramatically, negative). She strayed into shark infested waters here, having barely learned to swim, and there was a feeding frenzy. I regret any hurt we, or I personally, may have caused her.

I don't believe, however, that any of the Snarklings would list excoriation of grandmothers as a hobby. In the most part, I think, people were just trying to be funny "being Miss Snark" on a snarky blog, and in the most part were not even thinking about a real person behind the misguided query.

I don't think anyone should beat themselves up over this: we're all one dimensional bit part players here anyway. Our words are transitory and unimportant and this is all too trivial to be taken to heart.

Some of the replies were witty and funny and had the letter been a fake, or a true nitwit, would have been truly worthy of praise. And still should be, because they are in fun and without malice and clever writing.

I wish no real, living, breathing, feeling person ill-will or harm. But when I write, I'm different people, and I'm fictional.


Quooquoo said...

Wait a minute.

No hug for flushing?

That sucks.

Writers' Block said...

Some practicing philosophers use a thought experiment called the 'perfect weapons" test. Its purpose is to separate different forms of intent.

Imagine any example nitwit. Now imagine that nitwit has "perfect weapons," which, for an aspiring writer would be a query guaranteed to elicit a contract at the best house for them, with the best agent for them, and a perfect manuscript, ready to go to galleys immediately.

Now, imagine how that nitwit would use their perfect weapons.

Out of a million example nitwits (a huge number), some will simply still not have the mental wheels, for a variety of reasons, to use their perfect weapons surgically. Some of these are malicious people, for whom writing is a form of aggression. Some are physically damaged or otherwise incapable, due to age, illness or mental limitation, or conjunctive permutation of all these, of using their perfect weapons in any but a scatter-shot manner.

Those who would use their perfect weapons perfectly, sending one query, one time, to one agent, do not need the Snarkling shock treatment.

Everyone else does, though it may not make the slightest difference. Kindness of voice is probably better than the fun we've had, but even in the rare event when the kind motive is there, it is very a difficult voice to render in electronic media.

Quooquoo said...

Ms. Roth, I went after you, and I'd do it again.

And let me tell you, if I put something on this blog... I'd expect you and other folks to go after me, too.

I might like you just fine out and about, and you might like me, too.

But on THIS blog... We don't post what we don't want "snarked."

Since you had been warned beforehand, you were happily "snarked." I'd say, you got what YOU wanted.

(Sometimes I want to post my stuff, too. I might be part masochistic.)

jaywalke said...

Nice? What a pathetic load of mouth-feel. This is a business. Capitalism has nothing to do with nice. The reality of the situation is that writers are a dime a dozen. If you can't hack it, kindly step aside so the throng behind you can take your place.

This is the way the publishing world works. You can make all the pretty noises you like to the contrary, but you won't change the reality. Due to the glut of willing sacrifices, there is absolutely no need for anyone signing the few checks available to hold hands or wipe noses.

No one can (or should) give you self-esteem. You either have it, or you don't. Writing, like all the arts, requires a difficult balance: absolute self-confidence, paired with a humility toward the work. On the specific question of Ms. Roth and Pile-Ons (now that's a good title for a polka-rock band), she got what she deserved, which was: A handful of free opinions from strangers of unknown qualifications who are not paying her rent. So freaking what? It is worth what she paid for it. If I were on the receiving end of the mean stick I would give it a scan for helpful comments and toss the rest. It would never even occur to me to have my feelings be hurt. Business hat = nothing personal.

Geez. Nice. Wake me when the group hug is over.

Sue said...

The guilt knob was turned up a notch after reading this comment: This was an elderly woman, who clearly did not realize what she had signed herself up for.

But the cynic/scientist in me said, check it out. I googled Ms. Roth and found this: Eleanor Roth has published many non-fiction magazine and newspaper articles as well as short stories in the romance genre. The fact that she is a world traveler is auspiciously reflected in her writing. Her interest in the paranormal realm was initiated while she worked as a journalist in Singapore. link

Ms. Roth, if the article reflects reality, is not new to the world of publishing and should know better. My former pain is dimishing.

Harry Connolly said...

In the end, it's all just words on a page... er, I mean screen. It may sting for a little while, but it's no big deal. It's not like anyone threw rocks at her house.

At least, I hope they didn't.

Ms. Roth should take what she can use and shrug off the rest.

a-n-o-n-y-m-o-u-s said...

Doesn't matter if the woman is six or sixty; if she knew what she was in for, or had no clue. Miss Snark said "Attack!" and 50-odd people did. I find that immensely disturbing.

Stacia said...

Excellent point, Sue. We're all assuming that because her query letter was lame and she's an elderly lady she didn't read the blog, or had no idea what she was doing.

We don't actually know that at all. It's very possible she thought having her letter here would garner publicity. It's also very possible she read everyone's replies and thought, "I need to clean up that letter. What did they not like? Let's fix it," and we'll all be seeing the big screen version of "Rainbow Dust" next year.

None of this matters, though, because the bottom line is, not everyone is your friend and the world doesn't owe you a damn thing.

Reggie said...

Lots of near apologies that turn into justifications.

From writers:

"Yeah, after Miss Snark pointed out the weird kid on the playground I helped beat her up, but she had it coming."

From agents:

"She had it coming. Writers have to learn to be professional in their dealings with us. We, on the other hand, can be as unprofessional as we like."

All comments on this blog are approved before they post. I've made my share of mistakes in my life so I still heart Miss Snark, but this time she messed up. Then she compounded it by not owning up. She allowed Miss Roth to be used as a punching bag. Not her finest hour.

This could have been avoided by removing the author's identifying information.

Cynthia Bronco said...

Now I feel guilty. I'd sent in an entry too which was fairly sarcastic. I have to say, though, it included one good piece of advice which was "change the title!" I hear "Rainbow Dust" and get images of a "My Pretty Pony" pegasus/unicorn and Barbie mermaids. It could be just me.

Cynthia Bronco said...

mtv's comment made me remember one point: I did read the Roth query critically, and tried to determine what was right and wrong about it to see what I have learned. I finished my novel a year ago, wasted 7 months waiting for one particular agent who had my ms, rewrote my synopsis and query letter many, many times, and learned an awful lot about the process. It has been a big learning process, and this blog has been a wonderful resource. Here we took the test; we found the errors in the document. Maybe Ms Roth will redo her cover letter as a result and find success. The exercise made it easier for me to see what might be wrong with my own queries and synopses.
Therefore, thanks to Miss Snark and Ms. Roth as well for being our guinea pig. Aren't we here in an effort to understand what an agent is looking for?

Carter said...

Ummm...OK, what part of "Snark" is so hard to understand?

Personally, I have zero patience with blithering idiocy, of which this query is a prime example. 5 minutes reading and 2 functional brain cells would have saved this writer a lot of grief. Anyone who writes to Miss SNARK (!!!) should expect what they get. I have certainly had my corm flakes peed on by Miss S and her Devotion (of which I am proud to be a member). In those cases, I richly deserved it, expected it, and took my lumps without complaint. It's part of the gestalt of this blog. Anyone who doesn't like it doesn't have to read it.

P.S. I am never afraid to publish my opinions under my own name.

none said...

Miss Snark did NOT say "Attack!" or anything like it. Go read what she wrote again.

And if you find what happened here disturbing, don't read about the Stanford Prison Study, whatever you do!

Greta LaGarbeaux said...

Kind-hearted softie that I am in most matters of normal life, when it comes to professional writing, I gotta come down on the hard side. If anyone here thinks this snarkling action was "mean," you haven't been reading enough book reviews. Speaking as someone who has taken it and dished it out abundantly, I can assure that that when it comes to criticism, you just cowboy up, take what's useful and ignore the rest. It also helps a lot -- a lot -- if you have the self-awareness to laugh at yourself a little bit.

firefly said...

Hey ... rtfm, baby. If I had a nickel for every college professor with a PhD who sent in a manuscript that blatantly ignored one piece or another of the Information for Authors on our Web site, or available by e-mail on request, I wouldn't have to work in this job any more.

Many of these people get comments from hard-nosed peer reviewers and just drop the manuscript right there, not willing to take any criticism at all. The ones who get published are the ones who hang on tooth and nail and make an effort to pay attention and respond. The audience is always part of the picture, but some people seem to think that their work must be perceived and admired in a vacuum.

We also get our fair share of vanity-press books for "review," ie free publicity, from authors and publishers who have not bothered to figure out that academic journals are not an appropriate venue for their material. And they go straight into the circular file.

Want to save yourself time, money, and shattered nerves? Then do your freakin' homework and make it easier for everyone involved.

Nightfahl said...

...I'm speechless...

Ok maybe not exactly speechless..I just don't know where to start.

I'm simply amazed by the 'mob mentality' so often prevalent in cases like this. Especially with writers. So much bandwagon jumping. So much criticism flying in every direction. Ms. Roth is criticized for her ignorance (rightly so imho, under the circumstances). Miss Snark is criticized for posting this in the first place. (come ON people this whole site is about criticism and learning from critiques). And those that jumped on the initial criticism bandwagon are now, in turn, being criticized for being critical and are having guilt issues.(refer back a couple lines to my comment about what this site is about).


True. Ms. Roth probably got more than she bargained for.

True. Many of the responses were less than helpfull.

However I do NOT believe that they were meant in a cruel way. People were trying to be funny in response to a baffling query. For those who WERE trying to be hurtful, shame on you. YOu SHOULD feel guilty. For those who weren't, let it go.

True. We all take ourselves way too damn seriously.

True. We ALL need to get off our high horses and walk in some mud.

True. The irony of me criticizing y'all for being too critical of each other is NOT lost on me.
But that's ok. My time will come. I'm sure someone will point out that I used an ass-load of incomplete sentences. Or something. Which is ok. I have tough shoulders.

AG said...

"Miss SNARK"

The snark is in the title of the damn blog for heaven's sake - you were expecting Teletubbies and candy?

Writing is a business. People help those who are willing to learn. Be a knucklehead and snark is what happens.

And it's disturbing to people to watch the hoarde of snarky reactions because those snarky reactions represent the truth. The work was bad - those who commentated pointed that out, some said what was wrong, some glossed over with "not for me", and some just went for the sarcasm.

That's life. When making omlettes sometimes eggs break

Benja Fallenstein said...

In my opinion, "cruelty to authors" has a nice ring to it. (Speaking about how it sounds, that is, not about the thing itself.)

For what it's worth, I understood our host's post as asking "how would you be helpful to a query like this," and that's what I tried to do in my entry (which is excerpted in the email contributions post).

Anne C. said...

I agree that Miss Snark did nothing more "cruel" than post the email in this blog. The writer's main flaw (besides inept query letter-writing) was the biggest sin in publishing -- NOT DOING YOUR HOMEWORK. I'm not going to say the writer deserved what she got (though the comments were not as consistently mean as some would have it). I'm saying she got exactly what one should (if one did one's homework) expect at this blog -- a harsh education.
That's why I keep coming back. I don't want to be caught not doing my homework.

McKoala said...

I don't think that Miss Snark did anything wrong. My fault is mine alone.

Christine said...

I'm unrepentant.

I don't feel that my entry strayed into mean (though it was definitely snarky).

Also, Miss Snark didn't ask people to attack Ms. Roth -- she asked people to submit more 'helpful' rejection letters.

Brooke said...

Well said!

Deran Ludd said...

Well, I'm thankful there are folks like Miss Snark willing and able to slap some sense into people. there's way way too many people out there who think they are writers, but haven't a clue stick to lean on.

Better Ms. Roth gets poked in the eye here then in "real life".

Writing on Board said...

Yeah, I don't like to attack other writers. It's not cool. Who hasn't made stupid mistakes walking this screwy road? However, Miss Snark is damn funny and informative, even if she is a cruel blood-sucking vamp with a penchant for taking pot-shots at poor wannabe writers from the safety of a house called anonymous (honey, I think I'm in love). My love poem for Miss Snark:


Snarky snark snark
Bite as bad as her bark

Query's unwanted
But writer's undaunted

Continue to send them
So Snarky offends them

With fast education
With quick consternation

And slams one more "twit"
Out the park