Monday, September 04, 2006

Just Waiting To Exhale


Entitlement.
Just when you think the whinging about "krule" rejections has died down due to repeated and extensive explanations by every blogging agent and editor on the net, it emerges in a new form like a manticore.

The latest cry for entitlement crawled out of Miss Snark's Crapometer.
A few ( anonymous, of course) posters expressed umbrage and miff at the quality of some of the lucky entries.
Their superior entries, their deserving entries, had been excluded in lieu of these...these excremental excuses for opening pages.
Well, huff and puff.
Wonder what part of random selection they did not understand?
Yet their ire and outrage was not directed against the malefic fate that ignored them in the literary lottery, but against the specific winning numbers. Their writing was more deserving of attention , you see.
Entitlement.

Just a reminder:
Agents and editors owe writers nothing - except a yes, please or a no thanks - a professional reply. We are not entitled to advice, hints, encouragement or critique.
The amount of hard work that goes into a manuscript does not entitle an author anything. Work does not equal quality and does not convey rights or rungs on the ladder.
Even quality, whether commercial or artistic - especially considering how subjective a gauge that is - does not entitle a work to be read, reviewed or published.

It sureashell does not entitle one to to be picked in a random lottery.

And Miss Snark should be lauded and applauded until the end of days.

27 comments:

Rick said...

Yikes ...!

Bernita said...

????Rick?
Would you care to elaborate?

MissWrite said...

Damn straight!

Geesh

Ric said...

I didn't get picked and, naturally, I'm pissed. My work is head and shoulders above that crap the poor Miss Snark is posting and ripping apart. I think she should have to critique all 500 entries; after all, it's the weekend and she apparently doesn't have anything else to do.

I think random had nothing to do with it - she picked those foreigners just because she thinks there's something cool about Pakistan.

Oh, wait a minute, I was too busy to spruce up my query and didn't even bother to enter.

Never mind.

Bernita said...

I get so tired of self-indulgent, "I am so special" bullshit, Tami.

Exactly, Ric.
Entitlement and excuses.
If vampire/amnesia/stolen babies/Prada are hot, it's wonderful. If dot.com stuff is hot, it's not.

Gabriele C. said...

Hehe, my bet is off those who whine and wail about the craptastic sumbissions and how much better and deserving their own query would have been, have crappy ones as well. Because they don't look critically at their own masterwork. The (future) professionals, those who didn't whine and wail, are the ones who read the craptastic entries, ask themselves, oy wey, is my beginning too slow as well, does my query make it clear my story has a plot? and go back and revise.

December Quinn said...

Agree with you and the commenters, although I do confess to feeling (as I commented, under my own name) that people who didn't follow the guidelines should have been disqualified. Especially when they do the "I'm a longtime reader" stuff and then call her Ms. Snark. The work being not-ready-for-publication has nothing to do with whether they "deserve" to be on the COM or not--honestly, if all the work was great, nobody would be learning anything! Ignoring the guidelines, though...if I was Miss S I wouldn't have wasted my time doing entries like that.

But then, this is the first COM I've actually had stuff to sub to after just observing the others. So I admit I'm disappointed.

Bernita said...

Right on, again, Gabriele!
It's easy to declare one's own stuff is 'better," so they are safe.
I find it ALL extremely valuable.

Think she's too soft-hearted ( or maybe too tired) to disqualify anyone, December.
Nothing wrong with being disappointed.
Anyone would be.

Jaye Wells said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jason evans said...

Thinking such thoughts (jealously/entitlement) is bad enough. Speaking them, even "anonymously," shows serious lack of judgment. Difficult writers often get to examine the wonderful and curious wood grain of the front door, just after the industry slams it in their face.

There are thousands upon thousands upon thousands of writers. It takes more than great writing to join the ranks of the published few.

Jaye Wells said...

And while she's at it, she should pay everyone for doing her a favor by reading her blog and using her advice.

Yanno (TM), people, this is exactly the kind of thing that make agents snarky. It's why we're yelled at like children to follow guidelines and use common sense. I don't resent agents for this--I resent other writers whose sense of entitlement and whining make it harder for the rest of us.

EA Monroe said...

Their writing was more deserving of attention... Shouldn't these writers be submitting their superior work to every professional agent in the book instead of Miss Snark's crapometer? With that kind of attitude, I don't think they'd take too kindly to "krule" criticism -- not if they can't be objective enough or open minded enough. However hard we try, no one's perfect. I'm not and I struggle damn hard for perfection -- then kick myself in the butt when I'm not. Disappointment sucks, but maybe I'll learn something.

Dave said...

Miss Snark's process is fair enough, as it goes. Assign a number, run a lottery. She does (like everyone else on the planet) have her preferences. She is easier towards what she publishes in real life and what she sees as commercial. There's nothing wrong with that.

I'll say that she is an equal opportunity basher and thumper. We all need thumped a little every now and then.

I agree with Bernita that anonymous griping is poor form.

Bernita said...

So true, Jason.
Always surprises me a little, I must admit, that they don't seem to realize what they reveal about themselves.
They did, however, seem to be in a distinct minority.

Yes, they were all doing her a favour...
Not sure they really make it harder for us in some ways, Jaye.
Professionalism, by contrast, can only help.

Rick said...

Bernita - Ric without a K elaborated perfectly for me! I haven't seen the whiney comment thread (is it on Miss Snark's site, or one of the Snarkling sites?), but I boggle at people who can't get what "random" means, or are too self-absorbed to pay attention.

Gabriele - I sure wouldn't bet against your guess! And while going through the Crapometer myself would be fun, in a horrid sort of way, the real learning experience is seeing how Miss Snark reacts to a wide variety of submissions.

One very odd comment I did see was about a lot of fantasies supposedly being submitted. I saw far fewer this time around; also, so far, fewer historicals, etc. Which makes sense.

Even for the Crapometer, I'd be slightly hesitant about submitting genres that Miss Snark doesn't handle, because she probably isn't as simpatico with them. The only times I've thought she slipped up was with off-her-turf genres - notably a submission by Carla that led me to this group of blogs in the first place.

Bernita said...

Exactly, EA.
And the poor sods whose work wasn't up to snuff by some criteria have just as much right to be chosen for critique as those whose work may be scintillating.
People do improve - sometimes very quickly.This gives them the chance.

You're right, Dave, and everyone knew the conditions before the lotto opened.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Rick.
Yes, it was a brief thread on an entry in this Crapometer.
Finding blogs like Carla's is one of the salubrious benefits of these events.

James Goodman said...

Egads! Sense of Entitlement is one thing that leaves me wondering "WTF were they thinking?"

good post, bernita.

Bernita said...

Thank you, James.
Indeed.

S. W. Vaughn said...

But we deserve bushels of money and people bowing and scraping at our feet!

We wrote books!

Newsflash: everyone who subbed to the crapometer wrote a book too, ya bunch of whiny ingrates...

*sniffle* missed it by two lousy numbers ::cries quietly in the corner::

Dennie McDonald said...

worse yet are the ones who bitch and moan but never submit anything - well duh - what do you expect!?!?!

Bernita said...

If I had entered, I'd be disappointed at missing out too, Sonya, but that's a different thing all together.

They like to complain about the quality of entertainment just the same, Dennie.

December Quinn said...

I missed it by one, SW-I was 119!

I think some people just like to swoop in like vultures, personally.

R.J. Baker said...

Ah, entitlement. We live in the time of it. Americans seem not to have cornered the market, though we definitely advertise it loudly.

I don't always agree with Ms. Snark but I do think she provides a valuable service to writers. It's a shame her advice is not accepted in the spirit in which it is given.

Shesawriter said...

Quite frankly, I don't see how she finds the time .... OR THE PATIENCE ... to do it. I have neither. :-p

Bernita said...

Always a few.
As if everything so presented was road-kill, December.

See your back among the living, RJ!
Certainly, some stuff is based on her personal taste, but she's up-front about that.

More than just time and patience in her case I think, Tanya - a kind of love.

M.E Ellis said...

Kind of glad I missed the opportunity to play along with Crapometer if that was the outcome.

:o)