Thursday, October 25, 2007

Everyone thinks they're a writer.

A coworker friend pointed out awhile back that unlike people most professions, writers don't have any kind of hurdle to clear, certification to get, test to pass, etc. And so - perhaps to annoy the fuck out of the rest of us - everyone thinks they can do it.

Not so in medicine. Or law. Or teaching. Or even food handling, which requires a certificate.

But from time to time, there is writing that is so bad that it's actually funny. You've probably read about or heard of the bad writing contest sponsored by San Jose State every year. We tried to do it in a writing class once, and it was hard! We were proving (we thought) the theory that you have to be a good writer to write terribly.

Well, today one of our prospective authors blew that theory out of the water.

She'd be the perfect contestant.

So....drum roll .... here you are! From a manuscript submitted to the publisher - never mind the lack of ability to properly punctuate sentences:

“How much time do I have to live.”

“A month.” Susan said, her voice full of sadness. “Four weeks at the least, a month at the most.”

A friend of mine said he'd be laughing about that all week next week...7 days at the least, every day at the most.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Plagiarism of the worst kind

Plagiarism is bad enough - but when they rip off your writing and rewrite it very, very badly - well, that's just unforgivable.

Some inane blogger ripped off the review that I ghost-wrote. How stupid is that?

My other question is, how often does that happen? Is this a first? What does this person have to gain my ripping off one review instead of rewriting (albeit, rewriting badly) someone else's for yet another someone else's book?

I am puzzled.

Note to future plagiarists: at least learn how to write, you dumbfucks.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Saturday, October 06, 2007

A note to book reviewers: fuck off!

So my brother's very excellent novella was included in three separate anthologies, as I have noted in my previous post. I'm not saying it's excellent because he's my brother - as I've told him, I don't know what the fuck I would say if he was a terrible or mediocre writer.

And among the many contributors to each anthology, he has gotten high praise from several reviewers. But two of them have singled him out for what I feel are nasty, petty, snippy comments that could be motivated, I believe, by professional jealousy.

I've been tempted to send profanity-laced, completely inane e-mails to these people - not because they didn't care for his writing style or the topic, but because they were so goddamned petty about it. But I thought I'd use this more public, wider venue instead.

And mind you, how does one receive the qualifications to become a book critic (or music critic, or art critic, you fill in the blank) anyway? Have a big mouth, a mean pen, and a total inability to produce said art yourself?

For his part, my brother is still in good humor, and thinks (rightly, I believe) that any publicity/review is good in that it gets his name out there.

But still, I'd like to give these idiots a tongue-lashing in the blogosphere.

SOOOOOOOOOOOOO.........., which isn't even a real review, mind you, but a blog like this one, albeit withsome corporatet whoring advertisements, ripped him a new asshole by saying his writing was "sloppy and rambling." Hey Book Bitch, I work at a publishing company and I can show you sloppy and rambling! His novella is anything but that. If you don't care for it, fine. But don't bash something totally inaccurately. It's tightly written and to the point, and, unlike your writing, actually has a point.

Gwyneth Jones of Strange Horizons seemed to have a problem with the entire concept of fantasy, period, and pissed on just about every writer in the anthology. I think it's absolutely unprofessional to take an assignment reviewing a genre which one clearly does not like; then again, she seems to enjoy watching herself write for the sheer hell of it, even though she has nothing original to say. (I'm wondering if her novels for teenagers, which she writes under the pen name Ann Halam, are the same whiny dribble?) Another funny tidbit, seeing as how she criticized my brother's novella as "seeming to go on forever," is the fact that she wrote a whopping 1,644 words to point out the alleged flaws of his and the other contributors' stories.