In my last post, we discussed support among writers – a great thing, all around. In fact, it’s my favorite thing about being a writer. Sure there are all kinds of writers, but I’ve seen an awful lot of people in the publishing industry reach out to help others up the rungs, with everything from recommendations, to advice, to real support. One of the reasons that we’re so supportive is likely because the rest of the world, the nooooormal people (yes, you have to say it with a whiney ‘o’ sound, otherwise it’s not snarky enough), yeah, well, they don’t get it.
So here is my small attempt to educate the non-writers out there... and amuse the rest of us.
Industry lingo explained:
WIP: Work In Progress, otherwise known as, “I’m writing, I swear! No, I’m absolutely not puttering around the internet wasting time...”
Revisions: A manic period of writerly improvement where one wavers back and forth between adoration at the brilliance of their novel and wondering how the hell they managed to spew such drivel... usually broken up by periods of raucous laughter and anguished weeping over bullshit changes that likely don’t matter while missing larger mistakes that likely will.
Critique: The act of opening up said novel to an onslaught of criticism on every possible aspect of the writing, story, and even formatting... The better writers seek out the most brutal of critics... they also drink heavily.
Under the Bed Book: A first, second, or even third attempt at writing a novel which is part of the learning process most writers must go through... It would likely be a better idea to burn these tomes because they doth suck... yes, even yours... I know it’s harsh but it wouldn’t be under the bed if it was any good... (Mine sucks too, I’m an equal opportunity trash talker)
Query Letter: One page pitch to ye who holds your fate in their hands that must convey the tone, plot, and that which makes your novel sparkly... wait, not sparkly, that’s been done...what’s the word? Glitter? No, that’s been done badly... fabulousity? Meh... all in 250 words or less.
Rejection: Similar to the type of rejection one gets after using cheesy pick up lines at a bar, except it takes about a year of your life to write a novel, sometimes years... cheesy pick up lines can usually be thought up in the time it takes to use the bathroom, which is where I’m convinced they’re invented... Oh, and most agents won’t track down query writers to toss a drink in their face, though that might make for more fun.
Agent: The greatest of all writer’s advocates... except when they reject you... scratch that, it’s okay when they reject you, unless they showed massive interest and then sent back your first page with a big, red, “No Thanks”, but otherwise we loves them... unless they never reply....
Landing an Agent: Reason for happy dances and celebration and even major “Squeeeeee’s” (unless Stephen is around, for he loathes the squeee). Despite non-writer assumptions, this is preceded by many revisions, much research, and at least fifty bouts of pounding one’s head off keyboard, desk or hand...
Proper Response to hearing an aspiring author landed an agent: Squee or some variation of congratulations.
Improper response to hearing an aspiring author landed an agent: “So, when will you be published?” (Which is only allowable if, when you get a promotion, I’m allowed to ask when you’ll make it to an important position, like CEO... yeah, I thought so)
Synopsis: Turning a 400 page book into a 1 page summary. Shoot me now. Courtesy of Michelle Hickman
I thought about going farther, like “Landing a Contract”, but I think everyone gets that. How about you guys? Are there aspects to writing that you wish non-writers understood? Got any snarky definitions for me?