8.30.2006

The Secret Language of Editors

Hi Miss Snark,

From a link to Kit Whitfield's site, from I-don't-recall-where, I read her "The Other Side" pages with some publishing advice for newbies. (Kit's just coming out with a book, but used to work as an editor.)

The Secret Language of Editors




This is hilarious. Clearly some UK-isms (sending an envelope for the return of pages; sending three chapters with a query; and so on) but spot on about tone.

I'll ..um...lay you ...dollars to doughnuts we see this stuff in the crapometer.


Thanks to Kendall for the ..err...hook up.

25 comments:

Dave said...

That's a fun article and informative, too. Good link.

Mrs. Brain Bomb said...

ahhhh! Am I bugging out? I tried to click on the link but it's not working. Damn.

Anonymous said...

What a hoot! My favorite was 'The prostitutes I sleep with tell me I'm good in bed.' Or maybe this one: 'I've been trying to get laid for many years.'

Oh, hell, they were all funny!

Miss Snark said...

if the link doesn't work, you need to refresh your browser.

I fix broken links when you tell me about them.

I delete 6000 comments that say "broken link" after I've fixed it.

jude calvert-toulmin said...

There's a thread on Writewords about this here:

http://www.writewords.org.uk/forum/65_85172.asp

...which I was reading this morning, interesting! :)

HawkOwl said...

I think it's not working for some browsers because you have "http:///" instead of "http://".

The link, for those who can't get there from the main page:

http://www.kitwhitfield.com/publisherdating.html

RainSplats said...

I thought query letters were supposed to have a blurb about the actual story--main char, plot teaser. Should that be left out?

Miss Snark said...

I'm pretty sure it doesn't have ///.
Refresh, look again.

Anonymous said...

Actually, hovering over the link with my cursor does show ///...

~Anon visitor from Diana Peterfreund's blog

Bernita said...

The refreshing smell of common sense.
Thank you, Miss Snark Dear.
Is she your twin?

Sherry Decker said...

That is totally amusing. I enjoyed it, but you'd think everyone with a moment's experience would already know most of that - I guess not. My teachers used to say, being too brief is better than too talkative - if the agent/publisher likes your writing, he/she will ask questions about anything you left out.

Kate Thornton said...

My favorite:

"Try not to sound like a lunatic."

Bella Stander said...

As the Brits would say: "Ooh! Brilliant!"

Word verification is most apt: "zxnkng" ("Saxon king")

-sry said...

What a riot! Hey, it was worth the trip to check in here just to find that and LOL for a few...and yeah, someone is -bound- to mistake the "Dictionary" as what to do, rather than what to NOT do.

Ought to make for a fun and exciting Crapometer this weekend! Let the games begin!

-sry

writerdog said...

I think we should all throw a dollar in the pot and guess how many of these approaches will float across Miss Snark's desk.

2nd That said...

The link was great! Thank you. Like Rainsplats, my question is: Should we leave off all mention of the main character/plot/theme, saving that for the synopsis? Seem to get constantly conflicting info.

adrienne said...

rainsplats - a query letter typically should, but in england the british equivalent is a cover letter and usually it's just a basic letter like the one described.

Jessica said...

That was funny. My fav was "Hi, I'm really good-looking."

BradyDale said...

Yes, I'm confused. I thought the Snark-o-wisdom suggested you should put your best sales face on in the cover letter... just keep it short and winning and confident.

bebe said...

When I hover over it, it looks like this:
http:/www.kitwhitfield.com/publisherdating.html
(Yes, just one / after http:)

When I click on it, this is what appears in my browser address line:
http://localhost/www.kitwhitfield.com/publisherdating.html

So I just deleted that localhost crap and got to it.

I use Safari.

Talia Mana said...

i'm all refreshed (a shower does that for you) and it definitely has 3 /// in the shortcut/link

McKoala said...

Yup for the UK no fulsome query required. Just a cover letter and pages – often the first three chapters, but preferences vary.

The Writers' & Artists' Yearbook is the bible for anyone interested in UK publishers; there's also a childrens version.

Anonymous said...

The Writers' & Artists' Yearbook is the bible for anyone interested in UK publishers; there's also a childrens version.

It has pictures and comes with a fluffy Agent doll...

Yasmine Galenorn said...

ROFLMAO! That brought a smile to my face (and it had three /// for me too--just deleted one and the link worked).

Yasmine

Steorling said...

Okay, you all missed the really funny bits...that was her explanations of how her forthcoming novel ended up having two names. And when she explained that Del Ray was marketing the book as Sci-Fi and her Brit. Publishers as a Literary Novel, well, I think I hurt a muscle in my face with chuckling!
Sorry, I'm just a hopeless newb, but "book" people are very funny to me.