Old Goats

Dear Miss Snark,

Love the blog and the snarky, no- BS attitude. I was hoping I could get your opinion on this.

My mother told me she met a recently retired editor who said he was willing to look at my manuscript (edited and completed, of course,) so long as I didn't take longer than three months to get it to him. So far as I know, this offer is free. Do you think he'd be able to put in a good word for me, making it easier to get an agent and/or published? Does this mean nothing other than a critique of my writing abilities through a more professional perspective? Thank you if you manage to get to my email.

Is your mother single and good looking? Cause this retired editor guy is making noises like Bill E. Goat when he catches sight of the French Alpine down the lane.

Whether his praise (which you seem to take for granted) will be of use depends on whether the people you tell know his name. That will depend on where he worked, the books he worked on, and whether he was fired for acquiring three books of goat memoir. How exactly you would ascertain this information from someone purporting to do you a favor boggles the mind.

You might want to just have him read it and see what he thinks, rather than try to use his review as some sort of introduction or praise.


Sherry D said...

I strongly suspect he only means to make helpful comments and earn 'points' with your mother. Just remember, he has opinions and likes and dislikes, just like anyone else and although he might catch some grammer errors and construction mistakes, he isn't perfect. His comments should be taken accordingly. Keep and open mind and a strong sense of determination. Don't let criticism ruin your creativity. Good luck.

type, monkey, type said...

It's also possible that upon meeting him, mom said, "Oh, my daughter is a writer! She's working on a book right now! Any chance you could take a look at it?" Mom's are like that.

Like with all writing or industry professionals (or ex pros), after he reads it, let him do the offering and the helping, If he thinks you're good enough and can actually help you, he will unless he's some evil dipshit. If he doesn't or can't, he won't offer, so don't bother to ask or mention him.

Termagant 2 said...

And what's wrong with acquiring three volume Goat Memoirs, I'd like to know?

I'm telling Sha'el...


Josh said...

Mothers are an interesting thing when it comes to writing careers. They are said to be the worst to receive writing advice from, but also the best for encouragement and that necessary ego-boost for the fragile writing self-esteem. Though maybe it's not as helpful since my mom has signed onto a book contract before me.


Krista said...

Funny. When I was 16 and holding my first completed (and horrible) novel, my mom also found a guy in the industry and somehow convinced him to accept to look at my novel. Thankfully I'm way smarter than my mom and declined to share my crap.

My mom also doesn't understand why I'm not published yet. Yeah, she's one of those people who think 'writing a novel = instant publication!'

a retired editor said...

For the sake of balance, before this becomes another snark-fuelled snit-fest, I'd like to present the other side of the story. Once an editor, always an editor, it seems. Certainly, I can say, with all honesty, that since handing in my company Red Pens and joining the local writers' circle, I have been able to continue to take advantage of my life skills, and have gotten laid more times than you can imagine.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Bill made me send this:

Your Highness:

You've never been romanced until you've been romanced by a Goat.

I'm seeking representation for my three volume fictionalized biography Faster Than a Speeding Bullet and Sexier Than Don Juan: The Life and Times of Bill E. Goat

Admittedly, it's only thinly fictionalized. Well, so really it's totally true, except that part about the Kaiser's grandson's goat. I made that up to save my mistress from embarrassment.

So, where do I sign?

Seductively yours,

William E. Goat, III, esq.

nut said...

But what if he's the Evil Editor?

December Quinn said...

"Seductively yours" is one of the best letter sign-offs EVER.

Kara Lennox said...

I say it never hurts to let someone read your manuscript. He might still have contacts in the industry. If your novel is really great, he might put a bug in someone's ear. Or he might just read it and give you feedback, which you deal with like any other feedback--evaluate the source and use the advice that seems sensible.

Or he might not read it at all, but so what? I don't really see a downside, so long as you can take criticism without falling apart.


Nut said...

Oooo! Another E. Goat book. I must have it!

angrylil'asiangirl said...

ew! you guys make mr. goat, aka rico suave, out to be absolutely disgusting and revoltingly lecherous. like, nasty!

if it's true that he's a perv, no matter what, i'd take his critique of the m.s. with a whole shaker of salt -- if i gave it to him at all! really, any man who tried to hook up with my mom in exchange for "generous favors" had better watch out! i don't care if you're the head of harpercollins yourself! no one oughtta be messin' with my momma!

exception: unless he's anderson cooper! sure, he's gay -- but my momma loves anderson!

TB said...

Hi, I'm the one who sent this question in. You guys made some good points. I'll get a critique, but be careful otherwise. (He'd better not be a jerk, because that's just . . . ick.)

Anonymous said...

angrylil...etc, you know it was only a guess. And no one sold their mom for the reading... uh... not yet, anyway. We're still waiting from some of our fine members to chime in.

Anonymous said...

Before you actually send it off, you might want to find out if the guy's a legit editor. Mothers are notoriously easy to scam. Make sure that isn't the case. Also, you don't seem to be clear on the money. Make sure it is free before you take him up on the offer (or be sure you have the cash to pay if he's legit).

Edyta said...

Does anyone, other than myself, wonder why he has put a 3-month time limit on getting the manuscript to him? What's the rush? Or is Eternity calling?