I am stubborn! Hear me Roar

the following is not snark:

You know the best thing about getting a letter from an earnest--and I think young--writer listing the things I do wrong in two of my stories? And I mean a point-by-point, not the big overall "it sucks" of a negative review.

The best thing: After I read the letter a second time, I grew convinced that I am doing it all the right way. It was a shot in the arm of yeah! I'm fine!

THAT is why I know I really will be fine. I can tell good crits from bad. I can recognize advice that's basically worthless (or just opinion, which isn't worthless, but might not work for me) and advice that's on target.

In this post I hereby celebrate my ability to learn from other people--and even better, my ability to ignore them. That second one's not always been true. Yay, me.

Of course I have no interest in actually getting back to work after getting my unsolicited advice letter. ("You need more stronger conflict," was actually the part I might believe) I mostly want to ....

no, she might read my blog. And really, she must. I give the impression around here that I'm on my last writerly legs. Jeez, who'd have guessed?!! Whining a lot that there's a problem does convince people there's something wrong.

Yes, she did me a big favor. Not exactly along the intended lines, but that's okay.

My first urge was to say jeebus, stop buying my books if they give you the pip to such an extent you feel you must write a laundry list.

But, naw.

Instead I'll say, Thank you for your time. Feel free to buy and read all of my books and write to me again. I mean it, too.

I'll feel free to read her letters carefully (she did put work into it) and then hit delete.


  1. My crit:

    I kept wanting to see your smelly, one-eyed, three-legged dog (or was that a three-eyed, one-legged dog?) find a love interest. Even Crusie has never done that with her ugly dogs, not to my knowledge, anyway. I think there would be a real market for a book with a secondary plotline being the dog's romantic ups and downs.

  2. It's decent of you to be kind, Miss Kate. Most wouldn't.

    There is a period of time in every writer's career when they are convinced they know eabsolutely everything there is to know about writing, publishing, story structure, grammar, etc. Mine hit in the ninth grade, after I finished writing my first novel. I know I was utterly insufferable for at least a year afterward.

    Whenever I get one of those painfully earnest e-mails telling me at length how I should write my books, I remember how obnoxious I was during my year of knowing everything. Then it's not hard to work up a polite response.


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