December 16th, 2004, 06:17 AM
Yes they do, NEVER pay for an agent to read your work, cheeky beggars, and to use Meredith's name to sell their service is low.
December 16th, 2004, 12:01 PM
Mmm. My admittedly-foggy recollection is that the aggressive, risk-taking let's-give-the-newbie-a-try agents all bolted Meredith when the old man checked out, and now that place makes its money on celebrity clients and reading fees.
But my memory of those days is, as I said, foggy. I could be wrong.
As far as finding the book goes, try the US Amazon site, where you can pick up a used copy for about a dollar. Or try EBay, or Overstock.com. Get a little inventive. Use your resources. It's worth it.
December 16th, 2004, 02:11 PM
You are wrong, or not wrong exactly, but foggy. The editing service was Meredith's idea. Having a fairly successful client roster and a big Hollywood division, Meredith decided that his assistants shouldn't have to wade through manuscripts for nothing and started his editorial service, wherein you pay to get read by people at the agency, you get developmental editorial notes for your fee and no promise of representation. (Although I'm sure that there were a few instances when they took on someone they read that way, but a lot of the readers, as I understand it, are not agents and work purely as editors.) It was not considered to be a con operation, since authors did get exactly what they paid for -- professional editorial feedback such as you might receive if you hired a freelance book editor.
When the Association of Authors Representatives -- the professional trade org of literary agents -- got organized and set up their members' policies, they had to deal with a number of con artists posing as agents or shunting writers off to bogus editorial services, so they made the rule that members of the association could not charge reading fees. This was a problem for letting the large Meredith agency and some other agencies into the association. So they grandfathered claused the Meredith agency in -- the agency got to keep its reading fee system and still belong to the association. But eventually, this proved unwieldy and unfair. The Meredith agency received a lot of complaints about misrepresentation, and as I understand it, though I could be incorrect, the agency was booted out of AAR. It is a legitimate agency that is still very active in Hollywood and in the book publishing industry, but it is also regarded in the community as something of a hack operation, largely because of its editorial service policy.
Bowing out now, back to the questions.
December 16th, 2004, 02:45 PM
I found and bought a copy of "Writing to Sell" on Amazon for $9.85.
Thanks for the tip.
You have talked about what Editors will pay you for, on the flip side, what do you think are the biggest mistakes an aspiring writer can make when submitting his/her work?
How perfect does your manuscript have to be? What if the story is great but your grammar needs a little work? Do you stand a chance?
December 17th, 2004, 02:59 AM
What are you talking about!?! I just asked a best-selling author to send me his personal copy!!! I would say that is about as inventive as you can get?
Originally Posted by MWStover
Bought a copy for $1.94, paid $10 for postage, but that's cool.
Matt, ever considered writing non-fiction, not articles per se, but a book on perhaps your fighting style?
December 19th, 2004, 04:05 PM
Sure. I can see it now:
Originally Posted by juzzza
THE STOVER COMBAT SYSTEM, or: How I spent Twenty-Five Years Learning to Get My Ass Kicked in Twelve Different Languages
Seriously: martial arts is just my hobby. If I have a style at all (which is kind of questionable), there's already a book on it. It's called The Tao of Jeet Kune Do, and it's by Bruce Lee. I don't even spar too hard; I'm a pretty big guy, and I don't want to hurt anybody. Hell, I don't even want to embarrass them. Nor do I have much interest in having my own bones broken or ego severely bruised.
And non-fiction is too much work.
December 19th, 2004, 04:53 PM
Interesting. I have to confess to having never heard anyone who has been involved in martial arts for 25 years describe it as a hobby. Did you ever spar or compete differently than what you do now? There is a school of thought that subscribes to full-contact as the most apt way of accepting the nature of combat/self-defense, do you have an opinion on this?
Originally Posted by MWStover
December 20th, 2004, 01:54 PM
That 25 years wasn't exactly continuous.
Originally Posted by kater
If you want to get in shape, improve strength, balance and flexiblity, make friends, improve coordination, develop self-esteem and self-discipline and all those other things that people pretend they go into martial arts for, virtually any kind of regular, systematic training is fine. If you want to learn how to actually fight, you have to train full-contact.
Yes, I have done other kinds of competition and sparring, including some with professional fighters. It hurts. And it leaves marks. It's also the most fun you can have with your clothes on. But it really does hurt. And it really does leave marks, on your ego as well as your body.
Health permitting, I'm hoping to take it up again soon.
December 20th, 2004, 06:28 PM
Yeah I really love mixed martial arts, I think the evolution of full-contact styles has been very interesting and reading Caine, particularly in BOT sans legs, emphasised the current movement toward a predominantly grappling based system such as gracie ju-jitsu, was that intentional? Do you watch much of the mixed martial arts fights - UFC, Pride etc?
December 21st, 2004, 08:02 AM
Nah. You fight with what you have. If your legs don't work really, REALLY well, you not only can't kick, you can't punch either. All you have left is joint-locking. Caine is a pragmatist. That's how you get old, in his profession.
Originally Posted by kater
In a street fight, grappling is often a very bad idea (i.e.: what good does breaking a guy's wrist do you if he's picking up a brick with his other hand? . . . not to mention what his buddy or his girlfriend is doing to your ribs and kidneys and head with their Doc Marten's while you're working your arm bars from the guard or kase-gaetame or whatever . . .); it's only a good idea if there's no other idea.
There is a lot of mythology about streetfighting ("90% of all street-fights end up as grappling on the ground" for example) promulgated by people who are trying to market their particular schools -- hey, these people have to make a living, y'know.
There are also some people who are trying to debunk this mythology. One of my current favorites is James LaFond, who is doing this thing called "The Violence Project," where he compiles case histories of actual street fights in his home town of Baltimore by interviewing survivors and witnesses. His particular area of interest is knife encounters, and he makes compelling reading -- especially for anyone with, shall we say, a professional interest in the realistic depiction of violence.
Like, say, an aspiring author of heroic fantasy . . . ?
December 21st, 2004, 08:13 AM
Is Caine your hero, Matt? Are you Caine, or do you want to be him?
December 21st, 2004, 08:29 AM
It's interesting, most fights I have seen do go to the ground but that is because of outside influences.
Most fights (and of course, not all) occur between doormen (bouncers) and customers. Doormen are trained in 'home-office approved' moves, such as retraint locks and imobilizing, painful holds/pressure-points and have to face serious consequences if they use say, a good old left-hook to the jaw! They lose their door badge, possibly their day job and get a conviction. With these sometimes rediculous, imposed retraints, it often involves an ugly mess on the floor. So you get this self-fulfilling prophecy, teach them to go to the floor and make it the only legal option, and grappler teachers and restraint course administrators are rubbing their hands together.
However, as you pointed out Matt, when three or four of his mates want to kick your head and ribs to pieces, it becomes good old self-preservation and the fists, knees and head come into play.
A reasonably new rule, is the 'equal force' consideration. If you have a puncher (or kicker for that matter) it is dangerous to assume that all you need is, or attempt to get them in, a nice arm lock, when they are taking chunks out of you. So, you get punched, you can punch back. Sounds fair to me.
LaFond's research sounds brilliant and is something I would like to see.
When you look at Pride, UFC, Vale Tudo, when the world-class grapplers are beaten it is usually by a knockout punch, kick or elbow. Not always I know but often for sure.
Personally, if I was faced in the street (has happened) by someone I know to be or demostrates during our fight, a good grappler. I do my best to whip in the hardest most hurtful shot I can, to show them they don't really want to get in range. If they do take me down, there are no UFC rules, and if I can reach tender areas with my hands, teeth, knees, I will... No one is breaking my arm, wrist, ankle.
I am pleased to say that most fighters who are proficient, in my experience, are down to earth, good blokes, who are usually helping in a conflict rather than causing one.
Ooh hafta ask question. Cain... Matt, have you ever had to deal with a fight in the place you 'tend bar'? Ever thought, 'Oh dear, I'm in for a whipping this time'? Ever had to take someone out? How did it feel, as glamorous as say Caine dropping a dude?
Last edited by juzzza; December 21st, 2004 at 08:33 AM.
December 21st, 2004, 02:31 PM
I don't work in those kinds of bars. I haven't been in a real fight in a long, long time (New Year's Eve of '87, if memory serves); my size and my demeanor keep me out of fights very effectively, especially since I don't patronize bars for recreation.
Originally Posted by juzzza
And yes, GQ, Caine is my hero, in the sense that he is a wholly-owned subsidiary of my imagination, who stars in books I write: thus, he is a hero, and he is mine. I do not, however, want to be him; the question makes me suspect you haven't yet read either of the books about him.
He's not a happy man.
December 21st, 2004, 03:06 PM
No, I have not read them. But I would also not know if you were a happy man or not regardless. He is your hero, and yet you would not want to be him? I suppose I can imagine situations where that would be the case.
What is it about him then that makes you regard him so highly and yet not wish to share in his experiences?
December 21st, 2004, 05:20 PM
Caine certainly has a lot of admirable qualities - he's rock-hard, intelligent, resourceful, ambitious, very very persistent/tenacious, loves his wife deeply. But he virtually has a split personality: he is so lacking in a sense of self that he has no idea 'who' he really is, and yet has so fixed an idea of who he is that he finds it almost impossible to change or adapt his life/attitudes in response to changes around him. He has a virtually non-existent, totally dysfunctional family and has NO idea how to hold a relationship down (but then hey, he is a man!). He's a street-brat that never grew up, and a cynical man that had spend his childhood growing up FAR too quickly. He's far too sensitive, and far too insensitive, to ever be truely happy. Oh, and he thought that money would make him happy, and it hasn't. (imho, etc etc)
Personally, I admire a hell of a lot of Caine's qualities - but I sure as hell wouldn't wanna be him.
(I don't actually have a question, btw, but feel free to entertain yourself by telling me how I've misinterpreted your hero, if you like, Matt )
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