5.30.2006

Plucked from the Slush

Dear Miss Snark, (well at least it wasn't Greetings! or Hail Felon Well Met!)

(lots of stuff about the book)
(more stuff about the credentials)

You'll find I'm easy to work with and open to editing.

Whoa Nellie, Katie bar the door and Halto Bat Segundo!

I don't know if you've ever noticed this but it's my experience that people who feel the need to tell you what they are like (easy to work with; honest; chaste) are by and large the very ones who ain't.

My clients who ARE easy to work with and open to editing don't even think to mention it -- I don't think it occured to them that they wouldn't be.

Almost to the last one, every person who has said "I'm very easy to work with" has been a total PITA.

Do yourself a favor. Act like being easy to work with and open to editing is such a basic fact you don't even need to mention it.

7 comments:

michaelgav said...

Re: Whoa Nellie and Katie Bar the Door...

Love it when Miss Snark uses baseball play-by-play cliches. I suspect she was damn good at turning the double play at one point, before the gin took away that first step.

DJT said...

Yikes! After having the snot beat out of me by our local writers group these last two years – I was actually starting to think I AM easy to work with.

LOL! Good thing I read this blog, or I’d stupidly be saying the same thing.

–DJT

December Quinn said...

I don't know if you've ever noticed this but it's my experience that people who feel the need to tell you what they are like (easy to work with; honest; chaste) are by and large the very ones who ain't.


Yep. I remember my ex-stepmother telling me once, early on in our long and unfortunate acquiantance, how she was "just a very caring person. That's the way I am, and I'm not going to change that."

Hmm, yes. Caring in the way an alligator cares for the housepet it gobbles up, which is to say, totally and completely devoid of the ability to think of or care about anyone but herself. I wouldn't have been surprised if I'd caught her stealing food from homeless people.

So yeah. When you meet someone who feels the need to describe those good attributes about themselves, it's generally because they know they don't actually display them in real life.

(Which is a pretty good thought to have when you're thinking of "show don't tell" isn't it?)

BuffySquirrel said...

Just as when anyone hoping to have their work critiqued says "have at it--I can take it!".

Run. Do not look back.

Julia said...

You'll find I'm easy to work with and open to editing.

An author saying the above phrase is like a job applicant summing up his/her qualifications with: And I'll show up for work when I'm supposed to.

Geez...don't these folks realize that being easy to work with is required for working with people? And open to editing? Isn't that part of the writers job?

Eika said...

I thought it was part of the job. I was sure getting along with your agent and trying your hardest to work with them, not against them, was part of the deal. Doesn't even need to be said- they don't need me, I need them, I need to give them more reason than the stuck-up 'I'm great.'

Clearly, there are more nitwits than I knew of.

michaelgav said...

eika,

I suppose you have it right for the unpublished stage of a writer's career (they don't need us; we need them). But if the writer breaks through (due to some extent on the agent's efforts), that dynamic shifts dramatically.

I have two problems with this mindset. First, even though I am not yet published, I try to remind myself that agents need QUALITY books to sell. If you have a good book making the rounds, they do need you. (Which is no reason to act like a horse's ass.)

Second, this whole notion of who is more in need of the other reminds me of the Seinfeld obsession with which partner has "hand." How about the writer respects the agent, and the agent respects the writer?