Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Different Writers, Different Ways

I had a nice birthday, despite fighting off this flu stuff again. Russ has gone to get me some soup tonight, and I'm just going to curl up and get what I need to do finished up. I started Dancer yesterday -- a slow start to the work since I can't seem to get the feel for the initial meeting. I think I need to push through this scene and move on, and then go back and fill the meeting with portents about the rest of the novel.

This is a rewrite of something very old. I took the original last year and wrote an outline based on it, and I'm working from it. Whatever I saw in this new opening isn't quite clicking again now, but I think I can work with it. But overall, I think it will work better. Just need to get the feel.

We went to a wildlife refuge yesterday. I got some nice eagle pictures, but really haven't had time to go through much yet. I mostly slept today.


I just read four different blogs -- two of them explaining the way in which the authors approach writing and offering books to editors and publishers. Both of of these people are successful at their own approaches. I tend to go somewhere in the middle -- not really good at writing out the 'pre-selling' stuff like Sheila, and more like Tamara's approach. I prefer to write the book before I sell it, but I haven't made any huge sales yet, either. Who knows if I ever will, but I'm happy to find people who offer the way in which they have made those sells.

Both of these women are successful. Far more than me, of course, and it's wonderful that they take the time to explain how they work. Being able to read both shows that there is no one way (my motto these days), and that there is something to learn from all the different approaches.

So then there are the blogs where the people are bitching because Sheila offered her version of how she sells and they don't like it. This current bitching over the fact that she's successful and offers anyone a look at how she does it is probably the most childish reaction I've ever seen.

And, as can be expected, the bitching is from people who have never sold a single book. Probably never even finished one. That tell you something? They hate the fact that Sheila not only writes a lot, she also sells. She's in demand by publishers who know that she can turn in a work on schedule and that it will be popular with the readers. She has so many contracts she can afford to turn some down. She is good at her trade and she makes money at it -- and even better, she obviously loves the work. (And, as an aside, I suspect that Tamara Siler Jones is really at the same level, just with fewer works.)

Sheila is a professional. That, obviously, just bothers the hell out of some people.

So when some of the rest of you start selling anything at all, when you offer help to other writers rather than just bitching because someone is doing something you can't do, then be sure and let everyone know. I'm sure everyone will be a hell of a lot more polite about it than you ever have been.


SandyO said...

Interesting that you have to attack the people that disagree with Sheila and her blog. Since you don't give examples or links I can't begin to accept your logic.

Of course, having read Sheila's blog, perhaps the problem is not "hatred" of her success but rather how she comes off to others. No matter what their writing experience.

But it's so much easier to just attack the person, isn't it?

Zette said...

You don't need to be coy, Sandy. We both know who I am talking about. The person doesn't like to have links to her blog, and I respect that request. (By the way, if she doesn't want people reading her blog at all here's a clue to pass on to her: Don't get drunk, attack people in chat, post more on your blog and then paste the link in chat for the half dozen people to see. Transcripts get sent asking if she should be warned or banned. I did neither because most of the material was on her blog, and you can say anything you like there, and I waited to see if she was going to be abusively drunk in chat again before calling her on it. She did not make a habit of it.)

I figure there are others, like you, who read the blog and will know what I'm talking about. For those who don't, there are two nice links showing ways in which two authors approach the problem of selling material to editors and publishers.

If you don't think the post in question was a personal attack, maybe you need to look at the part about mirrors again. There are ways to disagree without being hateful, if that's what you really want to do.