Thursday, December 21, 2006

Bogged and Boggled

The Tollund peat bog body, found unrotted in the state of Denmark.
I leave most of the mixing of this giddy metaphor to your imagination.

Of course, I have been avidly pursuing the entries in Miss Snark's Crapometer: to see what throat has been slit, which trope has been hung out to dry, and where the bodies are buried .
It's clearly the Roman Iron Age.
Morituri et Dead Meat.

And, of course, to see if I've fallen into a pit I have dug with my own dainty little hands.
So far, so good.
Solace on the solstice.

One of the clear and present benefits is recognizing the types of stories that flood an agent's in-box:

Fiction therapy: my trauma disguised as fiction.

Evangelical fiction: ie. stories with a political or social agenda, thinly disguised but obese with meaning and righteous significance.

Magic and the Kitchen Sink: Vamps are in danger of being over-taken by creature-bonding.
Faceless, nameless evil still lead the pack, though, in paranormals and not.

Touchy-feelie-tellie: ephemeral stakes department for closure, healing, forgiveness. Sweetness and light. Am beginning to yearn for a guilt-free assassin.

But all can be forgiven - if you rite gud.

May be the longest night/week of the year for Miss Snark, but a light in the darkness for such as I.
Am grateful to the sacrificial victims.


Anonymous said...

She does create a stir and has a loyal following.

Ric said...

Go Miss Snark!!!!

Bernita said...

More of a stir than she intended it seems, Steve.

She's highballing this morning, Ric.

raine said...

So far I've just been keeping up via YOUR blog, Bernita.
It may be enlightening, but a bit painful to witness.

Bernita said...

I don't do the exercise justice, Raine.
Must be seen!

Gabriele C. said...

I'm wasting her time; I already know what's wrong with mine by now. Synopsis, not hook. Too many names. Unfocussed.

I suppose a number of people above the 300 will be in that situation.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

I'm telling you, she's got balls of steel....ROFLOL!!! I would not have the patience! I barely have the patience to read all of it.

I"m getting a real education about what agents and editors call, "the same old story"!

It's amazing after you've read the same scenerio over and over, your eyes start to roll up in your head...LOL!

"But all can be forgiven - if you rite gud." I love that line of yours!

Bernita said...

Don't be too sure, Gabriele.
The hook for historical fiction might operate a little differently.

Thank you, Bonnie.
Yes, it's certainly an education on the cliche plot.

Gabriele C. said...

Maybe, Bernita, but since she doesn't represent historical fiction, she'll judge in according to her usual rules, and rightly so.

Btw, the hook sucks even for a hist foc book - I bloggead about it an Constance gave me a much better one in the comments.

Bernita said...

Well, you can always ask her to withdraw it, Gabriele, but I'd wait and see.

Gabriele C. said...

I thought about that, Bernita, but for one, I don't want to come across as coward who can't take a good Snarking, and second, I susppose Miss Snark has set up a routine of 'read, trash, post' by now and searching for an withdrawn entry would be more work for her.

S. W. Vaughn said...

You know it! I'm learning SO much from this crapometer bit.

Already had my throat slit back in the 100's, I did. It stitched up nicely. :-)

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Hey...where is everybody? I bet they're seeing the same thing we saw Bernita...LOL....cue the Twilight Zone music!

Bernita said...

She's certainly swamped with this one, Gabriele.

You're not the sort to be buried in a bog, Sonya.

You mean the blogger muck-up, Bonnie?

Hypergraphia said...

Just from following the comments of the crapometer, I have added a glut of new blogs to my "favorites." This being one of them, btw. Hope you don't mind a 'hanger-onner.'

Bernita said...

M'dear, delighted to see you.
Was much taken by your user id.

Candice Gilmer said...

"But all can be forgiven - if you rite gud."

That made me almost spit out my drink....

Oh, so much can be forgiven if that little line is true.

Honestly, I don't hardly ever visit Miss Snark anymore. I think I'm a bit burned out on her.

Bernita said...

Maybe you just don't need the clue-gun(tm) as much as some of the rest of us, Candice.

MissWrite said...

Loved the 'rit gud' line too. I can't read that over there anymore. See too much of it on a daily basis. Hopefully what she's doing on her blog will help make what editors and agents have to deal with everyday much less weary over time. YAY Miss Snark.

Bernita said...

Of course it wouldn't attract, Tami.
Think one of her reasons was seeing, too often, a good story spoiled by a crappy query.

Rick said...

Finally got on - your page wasn't loading this morning, presumably a Blogger burp.

Floating around the Web is Teresa Nielson Hayden's list of 15 or so rejection filters, a lot of the same things you've been noticing. But it's striking how well they show up even in a query letter hook. Which explains why agents start with them.

But regarding Gabriele, and in fact quite a few of us here, I think a lot of Miss Snark's more specific advice should be viewed in the context of the genres she represents (and reads). "Don't be a nitwit" is pretty universal, but she doesn't deal with SF/F, nor much if any hist-fic, or (ir I remember rightly) romance. Of the genres that make up romantic fiction in the broad sense, the only one she does handle is mysteries.

The only few times I've felt that Miss Snark got muddled, it was in those genres - Anglo-Saxon women come to mind, since they're what brought me here in the first place.

On the other hand, I just dropped by her page, and usually she's spot-on even in genres she does't handle.

Bernita said...

Those who know you know better than that, Gabriele.
You never know what she might feel inclined to add.

Thank you, Rick.
Yes, Blogger had gas.
Some stuff will escape her, surely - which she admits - and the comments point that out when she does.
She often manages to identify a problem even in genres with which she is unfamiliar.

Sam said...

I have to admit I'm learning by the bucket over at Snark Central. Quite amazing.

Anonymous said...

a stupid question, i just checked out the Snark Blog, and I don't see any postings from the recent crapometer, where can I see what all the fuss is about, has Snark posted any comments yet from her latest crapometer?