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Miller
August 27th, 2005, 03:59 AM
How many people here have been slammed by a publisher? The thought of it has been on the back of my mind since I first began writing my current work. I never took writing serious until recently, and I have been thinking on this subject ever since. It's easy to critisize and boast your own writing in your mind, yet the real issue is what will THEY think. The people you send it to. Well to some people anyways.
Some could say it's all for your own benefit, while others can think it all falls into being published. Unless of course your a grey line member who falls somewhere between those two mediums. It doesn't matter though, because I'm riding on being published. Hence the title-Publishers.
When I read of people who say it took several tries to get recognized it scares me. Somehow I want it now, this first try, right now. Yet I can't help but feel like I am slipping into a typical feeling.
I am sure there are people here who have tried and failed, or even prevailed. There has to be. Speak your mind, if you will. Your fears, your inspirations. Your all knowing knowledge that your book was meant to be published, or the feeling you had when it was declined.
I'm just budding into this whole community, and would like to share the feelings we all feel, or have felt, when it rode on that line.

Erebus
August 27th, 2005, 04:21 AM
By "slammed by a publisher" I assume you mean a rejection of a submitted manuscript?

That being the case, I'm sure many of us here have received constructive criticism and polite rejections etc., myself included. However, there aren't really any shortcuts to publishing, and the only guarantee is a lot of hard work, dedication and moral resilience. There are some things that may help you though - in particular, editing and the ability to accept criticism.

Spelling errors in a submission will no doubt get you "slammed" so I trust that anything you may be submitting does not contain any of the simple errors I have noticed you making in some of your posts here - probably the worst of which is the use of your when you really mean you're (short for you are), which is a very common error:

Unless of course your a grey line member...

There are others but you don't need me to point them out, I'm sure. But spelling errors will certainly earn you a blue pencil line from a publisher, so my advice to anyone who doesn't want to be "slammed" is to make your submission the best it can be. Read and re-read, then read it again, and again and again... :)

Miller
August 27th, 2005, 05:46 AM
The thing I would fear the most would be my grammar. As you stated. It's been awhile since high school for me and I am really lacking in alot of area's. One thing I had found amusing was the fact my gf pointed out my use of 'there', for every meaning of their/there(A+)/they're in my story. I laughed and realized it was true. That was fixed with 'find'...I hope. It's pretty bad really. When I had read basically what you just stated on a publishers website, it put the fear in me. It doesn't start or end there though, it blossoms into other ridiculous mistakes that I should know better than to make. The use of apostrophies and such, all things that would hinder my acceptance. A creative mind with a horrible way of revealing itself...I'm considering taking a short course to refresh myself.

MrBF1V3
August 28th, 2005, 03:39 PM
The answer to your question is 'yeah'.

I have, of course, recieved my share of polite rejections. "Not what we want at this time." "Doesn't stand out from the other 3000 submissions we recieved this month." Eventually I even worked up to "This is good, we just didn't pick it this time. Feel free to submit to us anytime." :)

But once I really, really got slammed. I submitted the story "Fitzroy finds the Perfect Story" (You can find an updated version in the community, under 'J'). It came back marked with red ink on the manuscript; "This is not (underlined three times) a story. The plot is nonexistent." And some other comments I don't care to remember.

The best strategy is to write the best story you can, get some other people to proof and comment for you, rewrite it better, then you can begin.

B5

Abby
August 28th, 2005, 06:17 PM
A creative mind with a horrible way of revealing itself...I'm considering taking a short course to refresh myself. I think you should.

The thing is, Miller, any writer who REALLY wants to be published will put in the required effort to get a handle on grammar, punctuation, and spelling. I find it hard work to read things with poor grammar; I don't want to have to struggle to decipher something that's written in English. It really lessens my enjoyment of the piece. Editors feel the same way.

As for rejection--it happens to everyone. A lot. If you're determined to get published, you'll keep submitting. If your work is consistently rejected, then you'll become critical of your own writing, so that you can improve. That's why a lot of writers join critique groups; it's very hard to see the problems in your own work, because you're too close to it. Many pro level authors (like G.R.R. Martin, Orson Scott Card, etc.) participate in their own private critique groups, because they're still interested in improving. To me, this seems a natural drive; if you want to get published, that means you want a lot of people to read your work, which means you want to entertain a lot of people, which means you want to effectively tug their heart-strings and tickle their imaginations, which means you're constantly looking at how other people react to your work, which means you crave honest feedback.

To answer your question: I've never been slammed by a publisher. I once received a very harsh rejection letter from an editor, when I was 12 years old, and I let it stop me from writing until I reached college. At that point, I decided to write "just for myself", "just for fun", "just as a hobby". That gradually became an obsession, especially as I received a lot of positive feedback along with the negatives. I eventually grew to value the honest, constructive criticism along with the praise. And here I am, five years out of college, with a number of small publications, aiming for a pro publication, and confident that I'll get there eventually. :)

Miller
August 28th, 2005, 07:34 PM
I think I'm going to look into finding some books on correct grammar use and such. Things like apostrophies, proper techniques for the use of diologue in sentences, etc. At first I had somehow imagined this perfect world where a person writes a story, then the publisher edits it for you. Later I realized that is hardly the case, well it isn't even the case at all. I forget what I had read was the usual cost on hiring an editor, but that just isn't appealing to me atm.

bill_haverchuck
September 8th, 2005, 11:35 AM
I think I'm going to look into finding some books on correct grammar use and such. Things like apostrophies, proper techniques for the use of diologue in sentences, etc. At first I had somehow imagined this perfect world where a person writes a story, then the publisher edits it for you. Later I realized that is hardly the case, well it isn't even the case at all. I forget what I had read was the usual cost on hiring an editor, but that just isn't appealing to me atm.

This:

"The Elements of Style" by William Strunk Jr & E.B.White (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/020530902X/qid=1126193444/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_1/104-8935509-5814328?v=glance&s=books&n=507846)

Is very good.

Dawnstorm
September 8th, 2005, 12:38 PM
An old version (Strunk only) is available for free on the web: here (http://www.bartleby.com/141/). I've been told White added a few chapters (2?) and updated the examples, but that it's basically the same.

I suggest taking a look before buying it. Some people swear by it, while others (such as myself) found it so-so.

Miller
September 8th, 2005, 02:27 PM
Ty both. I will check the one on the web asap and have a look at it.

Edit- This online one seems good. I'm going to read through it, and maybe print it off, I'm not sure? So much info to stuff into my brain though...ugh. :(

Holbrook
September 9th, 2005, 04:08 AM
Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss is a good book to get for punctuation.

I am still trying to ram the stuff into my small brain, but I am getting better. Practice, reading out loud to get the natural pauses in the work helps too.

You will always make mistakes, the trick is to make as few as possible. You must edit again and again. Twist the arm of friends with far greater skills in the English language than yourself to help you.

Never think you are 100% correct and you are there....