9.09.2006

Whew!

Well, a week later, 11o entries, and Miss Snark is crawling off to mumble "never more" in a corner.

I'm in awe there was only one comment akin to Miss Snark Wears Army Boots. One of the reasons I don't give feedback to queriers is cause I'd get "go fug yourself" in reply sometimes. None of you did that. Not one. I'm really really grateful.

I respect your willingness to be critiqued in public. Yes, I know it's part of the game but still, it's hard, you did it and you were gracious. You may give me credit for helping you focus your work, but I give you a lot of credit for behaving like pros.

Thank you for reading this blog, for making comments on it, and for the time you invested in reading the entries and offering up opinions on where you agreed or didn't.

Thank you.

59 comments:

otto said...

Thank YOU. Underneath it all, you're a softie, I can tell.

Anonymous said...

Thank you!!!! You've given us hope, made us reassess our skills and improved our knowledge of the game. I raise my gin glass to you.

Rachael Hanel said...

No, thank YOU! In the past few months I've met a group of writers who set aside everything, for no money, to find undiscovered writers and give them shots at publication. And now this. I'm amazed by the generosity of some in the literary world. Thank you, Miss Snark, for your time and energy. Thousands have learned so much from this contest, myself included.

Anonymous said...

Yo, Snark. Thanks a million for running the crapometer. It's been addictive, educational and entertaining. Thanks also to brave Snarklings who've submitted their work to be critiqued by anonymous cowards like me. You've all given me a lot to think about.

delilah said...

Thank you dear, dear Miss Snark.

wonderer said...

Miss Snark, you're the best. Two pails of gin for you and a bone for KY.

imp (Iva-Marie Palmer) said...

Yes, thank you...! I have scores of 'how to query' and 'how to write' books and magazines and I learn far more from you for free. Not that you should start charging. But I'll pay you in G&T toasts.

overdog said...

Thanks so much to all the brave souls who contributed. And of course to Miss Snark, my heroine. Or, considering how addictive this blog is, "my heroin."

BuffySquirrel said...

Raven Snark?

Cool...

Crystal said...

Crapometer #22 was my favorite. It wasn't yours. And there were some entries that you loved, that I didn't. That was cool.

I appreciate the glimpse into the life of a literary agent, as well as the practical advice for writers trying to get published. Thank you!

Dave said...

First of all, thanks for all the work. It is appreciated.

Second, a comment on the nastiness of editors.
I hate to break a bubble, but you aren't all that nasty. You give good, ruthless advice.

I published (as coauthor) 40 technical and science papers back in the 1980's and if you ever argued with an editor of a techincal journal, you weren't published. period.

Every comment of the editor was like a pronouncment from God Almighty, even the silliest punctuation quirks.

Why, you ask? Well if you were editor on the Journal of Science Facts, your name was on the masthead and your name was on the index in a larger font than any author's name.

If you want to publish in FUEL, NATURE or JAMA, then you groveled at the editor's feet.

Miss Snark is nice to y'all. Listen to her advice.

srchamberlain said...

Those bonus Crapometers were a nice surprise. How did Miss Snark pick them? I think I missed the explanation, if there was one.

And thank you, Miss Snark! An incredible job, as usual.

Anonymous said...

Thank you.

Ballpoint Wren said...

You done good, Miss Snark!

Anonymous said...

Yes, thank YOU!!! Like IMP I've gotten more from you (scads more) than all the "writer's resources" tripe I've ever read.

Bless your heart Miss Snark, and for dog's sake go put your feet up. =)

Anonymous said...

very interesting to find out what it's like to be a lit agent and how much *crap* you've got to read on a daily basis.
Half of the queries I couldn't even make through the second sentence.

Robert M said...

Were I Bartholomew Cubbins, I would tip all my hats to you for providing this useful "insiders" view of the query process.

Nick said...

Take a few days off with the gin bucket and a George Clooney movie marathon. You've earned it.

-Nick

Stephen said...

What have I learned from the latest incarnation of the crapometer?

That Miss Snark is an international treasure, of course, but most of us, deep in our hearts, knew that already.

That for every golden rule of writing a good query letter there are going to be exceptions, usually only a couple of entries later.

That for every fatal flaw in an opening paragraph there are going to be other opening paragraphs where the same thing is just what was needed.

That while good writing trumps everything, not even Miss Snark can tell us exactly what makes writing good.

That at the end of the day Miss Snark stakes her livelihood on getting this right and we don't, and I for one am glad that it's that way round.

It's your world, Miss Snark. We just comment on it.

Jillian said...

The sacrifice of your time and energy is appreciated.

I think that, in general, your readers don't take you for granted.

Your heart really does peek through the cracks of those snarky words...


So, yes, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Miss Snark, and all the other Snarklings who provided comments for these entries.

I appreciated the brief glimpse into a ‘real-live’ slush pile. How the heck do agents & editors do this on a semi-regular basis? My eyes glazed over more than once while reading and it had nothing to do with a good vs. bad entry.

Please don’t subject us to that many again. (Smaller sampling: absolutely! Whenever you’re feeling generous with your time, I’m soooo there.)

Most important lesson from this experience: I finally ‘get’ the three minutes to snag an agent’s interest mantra.

Yours truly,

A grateful snarkling

That Girl, The Writer said...

This blog really is addictive...

AND! Oh, so helpful.

All the thanks goes to you Miss Snark. You're providing an invaluable service wrapped in entertainment.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Miss. Snark! I have learned a lot watching your crapometer. Now if only I could implement it in my own writing...

JRBrown said...

Dear Miss Snark;

Your sense of style is such that, I am sure, if you were to place army boots upon your regal tootsies they would at once be declared the Very Latest Thing and featured in all the best shops.

We your loyal snarklings owe you the most profound gratitude for your bravery beyond the call of duty in wading through 110 (!) submissions. May you be blessed with bottomless gin pails and self-recycling slushpiles for your selfless efforts in bopping us sniveling authors with your mighty cluestick.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Miss Snark! Reading these along with you has been great fun and wildly productive.

A question: your random entry sorter turned up an awful lot of YA novels and science fiction. Is that also true in your slush pile reading? More YA and sci-fi than other categories and genres?

Emma said...

Yes, thank you, Miss Snark! Good on you for helping people to whip their queries into shape.

Gin! Gin for the Snarky one!

SAND STORM said...

All comments about Snarkzilla aside
you are a class act lady!

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Thanks, Snarkie! (Copyright, no right to use granted.)

Bill E. Goat is miffed that I wouldn't submit his first page. I told him the world wasn't ready for a paranormal romance that involved goats.

He made me promise to ask you if you would consider a "critter crit." If you ever have a critique session just for the critters, he wants to go first.

I've done my duty by passing on the suggestion. Personally, I'm not sure the world is ready for it.

He is getting better though. He's asking HP to invent a keyboard with keys big enough for goat hooves. He says it's too hard to type with his tongue.

I think this is a great idea. I'm tired of finding dirty hoof prints and goat-spit on my keyboard.

As for me, well my rejection letters are of a higher quality now than they were when Ann Crispin first shooed me off to your site. That's partly due to you're Snarkish advice. Thanks.

Here, have another Oreo.

Anonymous said...

This has been a fantastic experience. Thank you to you all, especially Miss Snark.

mswas said...

Thanks so much, Miss Snark, for managing to include my entry - one of the reserve #'s.

1,000 pails of gin for you and 1,000 buckets of biscuits for KY for putting up with all of this. You have no idea how much your words of compliment (and criticism) are appreciated.

MTV said...

Miss Snark,

Your critiques were great as I would have expected. Did not agree with some, but could definitely see your point of view. In fact that was one of the things that make the whole exercise valuable - to see the various viewpoints on the submissions, both yours and from commenters. Clearly, some submissions were not ready for prime time. These authors needed to know that early on in their writing careers.

Totally agree with the comment about how much you can learn here vs. books on the subject of writing and query letters. The diversity of responses alone is worth the time spent.

Just spending time around the whole publication industry can give you a sense of what works and doesn't work. This blog tends to solidify that sense of things.

You must be close to 1.1 millions hits by now - So thanks a million +

Hope you can overcome that dark raven by next year -:)!!

Sherry Decker said...

Anonymous said...
"Yo, Snark. Thanks a million for running the crapometer. It's been addictive, educational and entertaining. Thanks also to brave Snarklings who've submitted their work to be critiqued by anonymous cowards like me. You've all given me a lot to think about."

What he/she said.

Aarin said...

I applaud you. I'm happy no one gave you shit over such a selfless act.

Anonymous said...

Miss Snark,
Thank you. Thank you. This is such a valuable service that you do for writers.

Take a well deserved gin bath.

The Rejected Writer said...

The view into your mind was wonderfully aweful. Many, many thanks.

magz said...

You're welcome, a lot.

Very few of us woulda
coulda,
or even considered doing this without you Miss Snark.
Thank you, for the generosity.

Rest well, you've earned it
(By George)

Anonymous said...

We've all known one--an adored teacher, mentor, professor, coach... The kind of person who went the extra mile, connected with people, inspired them, sometimes made them cry...

The person who BURNT HIM OR HERSELF OUT TOO SOON!

So many of them don't last. Miss Snark we want YOU to last.

Miss Snark, you're wonderful. Don't do it to yourself! 100 was too much. We love it and we love you for it, but DON'T BE THAT FABULOUS TEACHER WHO BAILS OUT TOO SOON BECAUSE YOU PUSHED YOURSELF TOO HARD!

Pace yourself. Be here for years upon years, spewing out valuable advice. We want to tell our children about you, and have them venture out to your blog to gain wisdom, too--okay?

Take a breather. Don't do 100 again, even though we'll beg you to do just that. Be wise and snarky when it comes to your blog and yourself. You have that rare kind of drive that makes you stay up too late, night after night after night, but be smart and don't crumble.

I've learned so much from you I actually got an agent this week! Me! Little shy girl who doesn't ever want to draw attention to herself. Me! I have an agent!

Thank you, Miss Snark.

Anonymous said...

I'm looking at your use of the word "professional," and this crapometer has shown me how important that must be for agents. I could sympathize with the people who are still learning to write, but not with the ones who failed to follow instructions, submitted novels that weren't finished, were clearing subbing a first draft, and so on. Those things show the person isn't serious, and given the volume of submissions you get, they must drive you crazy. Even if they don't, they drove me crazy on this blog.

Anonymous said...

Miss Snark,

I love that you did 110! To always give 10% more than promised and expected is a great recipe for success! (That all writers should remember.)

Thank you so much for your generosity of time, expertise, and snarkilicous wit!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this. I can't imagine the time it took to go through all these! As one of the author's who got their submission critiqued, I can say that it was invaluable advice and comments.

Jean said...

You're the one who deserves a huge THANK YOU.

The Unpretentious Writer said...

You rock, MS! The Crapometer has been really helpful and I never realized the s**t that agents have to wade through just to get a good partial.

reader said...

Thank YOU. You are a marvel and deserve saint's wings or whatever they get.

I was wondering--maybe next time you do this (if you ever do, but then, it's like having children--you swear you'll never put yourself through the agony again, but then you do anyway), here's a suggestion. Why not critique about 25 a week for four weeks? It would be easier on you (I would think), but also easier on people like me, who don't have hours to devote to reading a hundred of these posts virtually at once. I'll probably never have the time to go back and read them all, whereas if they'd been posted at a slower rate, I could probably keep up.

Just a thought.

McKoala said...

Thank you for everything over the last week. I think I said this somewhere before, but this Crapometer has been even more instructive than the ones that preceded it. You've put so much effort into it - you are the one that made it amazing.

Go lose yourself in a bucket of gin for a while...cheers.

magolla said...

Again, I thank you, Miss Snark, for your time, your patience, and your expertise. I was one of the 'chosen ones' who received a dose of snark that sent me to the gin pail, tonic water and a suck of lime. But you also gave me a dose of insight explaining the reason for all the form rejections I had been receiving, though I still secretly wished you had requested more of my story. -sigh- Well, I've started the next one, and who knows what will happen in six to eight months from now.

overdog said...

She's a snarcotic.




(sekafadd?)

McKoala said...

Also meant to say that after reading the entries and comments I'm going to be reviewing my first page very closely for flab...the entire second paragraph has to go...omg is the whole thing back story??? noooooooooooooooooo...twitch, snarl, twitch again as paranoia sets in...

mmarques said...

Thank you for being so generous with your time. Although your comments can be harsh, I'd much rather be told of serious problems... and deal with them prior to submission than be given a pat on the back.

I'd hope that anyone submitting to the crapometer feels the same - you have a reputation for harsh but good advice.

flannerycat said...

You are a gracious lady, Miss Snark. And this was a great education. Thank you. And thanks too, as someone said, to everyone who submitted.
Miss Snark, I bet your colleagues have started outing you. You're the one who hasn't slept for a week, and you bring your laptop to the dog run.

Rohit Gore said...

I know you must have heard this a gazillion times already. But nevertheless, THANK you. I am looking forward to the next crapometer.

Frustrated Writer said...

Thank you, Miss Snark, for doing this for us. I know it was a tremendous amount of work on your part, but I got some valuable feedback and have already made some changes to that all-important first page. Which, of course, also changed a few more pages. :) Onward and upward!

helen said...

Miss Snark, I didn't have the guts to submit to your Crapometer, but, like several people have already said, I learned more from reading the entries of those who were brave (or foolhardy) enough to submit than I did from any number of "how to write" books.

For example, one person I showed my manuscript to a few months ago complained about the flashback in the first chapter. I thought she was a nitwit. I now see that I've been an idiot - reading entries where other people did the same thing showed me why I was wrong.

Someone else said that my query letter made my book sound boring, whereas when I talked about it it sounded interesting. That's because my query was a recitation of themes and events, rather than talking about the characters, and where the conflict lay. Reading other queries that did the same thing helped me to understand this.

I now know that my novel will NEVER be published if I don't fix these things. Maybe it still won't be, but if it does then Miss Snark and the Snarkettes are getting a great big thank-you on the acknowledgments page!

TMack said...

I discovered these snark infested waters for the first time this week, after being directed here by another online writer-to-be.

I haven't ever had this much fun participating online. I'm learning not only from Mistress Snarks-a-lot but from the varied and brave submitters and the interesting and saavy responses.

It's exactly what I need right now. It's free. It's available at the touch of a button. What's not to love?

As I said I've only been visiting for a few days, so thank you Miss Snark for letting me see your humanity. It's powerful to discover the hard-working little wizard behind the big curtain.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Having pulled your snark-sharp stiletto out of my ego...this has been invaluable for me as a writer and I am really grateful.

Here's a G&T to (and for) you, Miss Snark! May your slush pile be filled with polished gems!

an oh-so-grateful writer

Anonymous said...

WOW, THANK YOU, Miss Snark. Very professional, indeed.

Anonymous said...

Dear Miss Snark,

Thank you for doing this. I learned a lot. I learned why a good query letter is so great, for one thing. It really is the gateway to "read more" or "next!".

More than that, I learned to respect greatly your ability to wade through the shush. It must take real staminia to keep on reading when you see so much that, um, could use improvement.

A million thanks to you.

Beth

Termagant 2 said...

Miss S, I'm not surprised that you only got one Army Boots comment. I'm sure everybody whose work was Snarked was grateful for the input. Thank you for doing this, though my entry wasn't picked.

Question is: I read at least some of every posted submission. How on earth did you get through ALL of every one? The mind boggles.

Thanks from T2, whose mind is so easily boggled

~Nancy said...

Thank you, Miss Snark, for giving us a chance to see what an agent goes through.

And to the Snarklings whose queries and first pages got critiqued: Kudos to you for your bravery! It's not easy to have your child scrutinized the way it was.

All in all, very educational and much appreciated.

~JerseyGirl

Anonymous said...

I feel more sympathy for you now than before. I don't think I could go through that day to day and not get paid for it (I read that you have to do the slush pile without pay from reading your blog). Thanks for being the front lines and going through it even when you had to knock yourself on the head and get a whole 'nother bottle of gin just to get to the next one. I hope KY is OK after reading all of that.

I wish for you next time you recover from this round and actually wish to do this again, that the pieces sent are meant to be more polished and people from this round who got selected will gracefully step out of the way for those who were not selected. And people will see this as a serious oppurtunity to see if their pieces are publishable, and not to get any old critique (there are plenty of places for that).

But still this was a valuable experience and I truly appreciate it, as I hope many others do too.