The Rentable Writer

Sunday, September 24, 2006

THE LITTLEST DREAM continues to be just that

In a message sent to the author earlier today:

I'm really sorry for taking this long, but I've been so busy the past month. I'm putting the finishing touches on one manuscript, and I've just started two more. I think one of the problems I'm having with your story is that the sentences are long and dragging, but I know that underneath there's a great story. I just can't get to it. So, I'm going to pull a Miss Snark and say I pass. If I were an agent, The Littlest Dream would have lost me at page one. That first sentence was really, really tough to read. Painful, almost. And the action took too long. I'd do some major revisions, though I understand this is supposed to be more on the literary side of writing. I think it has some great potential. I love the idea of Ruttleby's and Muttleby's ripping off Tuttleby's, but since I wasn't able to force myself onward, I couldn't get to see what became of it all. So, my biggest suggestion would be to cut all the backstory from the beginning, give description in plainer terms, and cut down on your word usage by 10-15%. If you get this done, I hope (though it's doubtful) that you will resend it.


For anyone wondering, this is the first sentence:

Far up on a topmost shelf, behind an old and well-worn first edition of Huntley Mann’s The Fine Art of Miniatures and Doll Craft, long dusty since the tome’s contents had been learned by rote for so many years gone by now, there was concealed a small hole, just the size of a cufflink, precisely chiseled through the back of the bookshelf as if it were no more than perhaps a common knothole.

If you'd like, you can read THE LITTLEST DREAM at this address:

Friday, August 25, 2006

Tearing-it-to-Shreds 1: THE LITTLEST DREAM

Tonight, to my utter surprise, I opened my e-mail and found I actually had a new one. (Yes, you have no idea how rarely that happens if I don't e-mail the person first.) It was from Eric Laing, a writer looking for a critique . . . by me. I was 1.) flattered and 2.) completely unprepared, this being my first offer for a crit in the history of my blog, and I took him on. Currently, I'm working my way through his manuscript, THE LITTLEST DREAM. Within the first page there were a few obvious formatting errors (single spaced, italics not underline), but so far it's looking good. I'll update when I'm ready with my critique. And my writing's going great. I'm on Chapter Twelve, with only three more to go! Woohoo!

- RW!
(AND ME, GRINGY! God, you always forget about me!

God: No I don't. . . .)

P.S.: You can check out Eric's site at

EDIT: I forgot. Eric gets that high-five from Gringy!

(Thanks be to God! I've had my hand up for almost three fuh-reaking months!)

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Hey, everyone! I'm stopping by for an update or two. It feels good to be back . . . though I'm sure no one's reading this. Anyway, I'm 3-4 chapters from the end of my novel, which should be done in the next 2-3 weeks. Before the end of August, I believe. The writing's been going insanely fast, I can't even begin to tell you. I stopped typing the novel, and did everything from chapters 7-10 (so far) by hand, and I wrote all four of those chapters in the past week. (Yes, one week!) I'll be sure to update every now and then if I can, but right now my main concern is to finish my book. See you all around!

Monday, July 10, 2006

lost it all

hey, everyone; really quick update

over the past week i haven't been here, my computer was destroyed by a virus. lost everything. thank god i had a saved copy of my updated ms in my e-mail. THANK GOD. sorry for bad type, but i'm really tired. i've been doing some great writing, and i have good ideas for future blogs. i don't know why my blog's been down. (thanks for the heads-up, serena!) seeya around, i promise ... i'll see you soon. and updates!


Sunday, July 02, 2006

A book on how to write and get published - Part Two

If any of you remember back a few weeks, I said I would make a few posts recommending good books to help starting writers do their work better and increase their chances of being published. Well, I searched and searched my house, and finally came up with my favorite of all: Noah Lukeman's The First Five Pages. This was the first book I read about how to write, and it saved me from months of rewrites. (Luckily, I bought it at the beginning of writing my current novel.) He has great sections and breaks things up in a good order.

This 200-page book gives you a great run-down of everything a writer needs to know, including: Viewpoint and Narrtion, Hooks, Style, Characterization, an entire part on Dialogue, and much more. After reading each detail-rich section (full of examples), you'll be given exercises that will greatly improve your work if done right. (I speak from experience.) I feel that I owe this book so much. It basically taught me how to write. Also, it's of nice quality. If my book was printed in paperback, I'd like for it to look like this book: nice fonts, easy to hold the pages open with one hand, good paper.

Extremely Highly Recommended. The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman.

Audio book vs. real book

Which do you prefer: audio book or conventional book?

Me? Conventional. I cannot do audio. I need to be able to see the words and visualize.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Setting your own deadline

I've just realized and done something that I think is really important: I've set myself a deadline. I've been working on my novel for one year as of July 4th. I've been working on the plot for two years as of September 26th. The current draft of my novel has been in the works since January 22nd. And I'm sick of anticiapting querying. I've got query letters waiting to be printed, SASEs waiting to be sent back to me, and mailing envelopes that want to be used! Coming into the summer, I said to myself: I'm going to use this time off to finish my book. I'll have it finished by August. And I really did think that was realistic. I could finish the bulk of a novel in three months.

But now I've realized differently. I'm going to finish this novel by July 15th, commit two entire days to perfect editing, and then begin the query process. Here'll be my schedule (if everything goes right):

June 29th-July 15th: Finish novel.

July 15th-17th: EDIT. EDIT. EDIT.

July 17th-18th: Prune and edit my query letters. Make sure everything is perfect. Check facts with the book, with the agent's website, and with my personal information.

I'm planning on getting it blurbed. Hopefully that won't take long. I want to query by the summer's end. Then, I'll have to wait and see from there. I have to get this all done over the summer. I should wait until the fall/winter, but I can't. I was hoping to get a few blurbs, get the results for the writing conest I entered ... but I'm not going to wait. The sooner I query, the better.

So, I've set the deadline. The novel better be done by then. In fact, I shouldn't be blogging now, I should be writing. The Internet is my biggest distraction. Maybe I'll update later tonight. I love deadlines (unless I don't control them). They make me work harder and better.

Edit: I've missed the 'weekly writing round-up.' I've decided to do it whenever I find new blogs.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Okay, I admit it: I like mushy scenes

Okay, okay, I admit it. I know no guy is supposed to like the 'mushygirly' Love Scene, but I just wrote my first, and I feel great. It went just how I wanted. My main character spoke for the first time to his soon-to-be love interest, and things went along from there. I don't think I'll be writing a sex scene any time soon, especially after reading Sandra Ruttan's recent post on the Killer Year Blog. But this love scene ... the only way to describe it is "cute." I put my feelings on love (and lust) into it, and I feel so good after writing. To my surprise, it's my favorite thing I've written so far in the whole novel Here's an excerpt:

    She went inside, her long blond hair waving. [He] could only whisper, "Bye." He stared at her as she disappeared into the dark house, and suddenly a new emotion swept over him, one he had never felt before. He wanted to rush up to her and kiss her. He wanted her; he wanted her badly. She was perfect.
I'm really trying to save the 'love' portion of my series for later on (Books 3-5), but my main character is at the age where girls start to get noticed (a lot), so I can't completely put it off and I'm glad I didn't I really like these scenes, these somtimes-corny scenes. I can't wait to write the next one ... and the one I call the Big One. It's a scene that's coming far down the line, at the end of the series. (And, no, it's not my MC having sex. Then I don't want to read it.)

Friday, June 23, 2006

Corny titles (ugh!)

I'm sure this isn't just one of my pet peeves. It can't be. Corny titles have to annoy other people. Corny titles, and cliche titles. Some of the things I see online make me say, "Oh, God ... I can't believe someone would think that's a good title." One I saw recently made my eyes bulge. I've rarely seen a bad title on an actual book. If I saw some of these titles on published novels, I would walk out of the store — not only carrying a different book — but laughing. Here are a few:

    My Eyes Have Fallen, Like the Sky

    Halifax's Last Dragon

    The Book of Magike: Part 1 in the Adventure of Thern Series


I mean absolutely no offense to the people who wrote the manuscripts under these titles. I haven't ready any of the manuscripts, and I'm not saying their writing is bad. I just think their titles are terrible. And that's not a major problem. Advice: If one of the above titles is yours, change it. Immediately.

A lot of these titles come from Science Fantasy manuscripts. And, I admit, I have a thing against Science Fantasy, and Fantasy in general. Don't get me wrong, I've read and loved some Fantasy novels, but when I see opening lines like:

    Tuuriwi-Kang was the lead empress of the Third World, and head princess of the Mordock-Vuun empire. Currently she sat on a throne in the land of Get-Vundukk-Sik, being entertained by a match of Li-Mon. One of the peasants was already dead.

I immediately stop reading and feel like crying. Now, I would be mildly interested by the fact that they were playing a game, but all the Lord of the Rings-type names are by far my biggest pet peeve in writing. I can definitely understand admiration for J.R.R. Tolkien, but there are far too many writers out there who want to be him. And no one ever will be.

I wish Science Fantasy writers would get some sense knocked into them, stop mimicking Tolkien, and come up with good titles. Sorry to all Sci-Fan writers who don't have bad titles.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

First Weekly Tuesday Writing Round-up

Welcome to the First Weekly Tuesday Writing Round-up

Featuring ...

Parenthetically Speaking ...
Okay, everyone: Serena Joy — a survivor of the PA author-holocaust — has a really funny blog that disses PA everyday ... for FREE! I've noticed she doesn't have many COMMENTS, so check her blog out at Parenthetically Speaking ..., and visit often. Everyday, she goes through a letter of the (cyrillic) alphabet and applies it in some way to PublishAmerica. It's great fun. Ex-PAtriates will be especially grateful.

J.A. Konrath
Definitely not new to writing (or blogging, for that matter), J.A. Konrath is a multi-published author who is constantly helping new writers on his A Newbie's Guide to Publishing blog. His posts are extremely interesting, and cover a wide range of topics. He really knows what he's talking about. His Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels series is published by Hyperion.

Well, those are all the sites I've got for now. I'll try to do a weekly round-up of good writing-related things every Tuesday from now on (though, if I forget, you may see it on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Never. Oh, wait, wait. That reminds me of this episode of Family Guy:

Lois: Kids do better when parents take an interest in their schoolwork. I saw that on a two-part report on Dateline Tuesday and Dateline Gatilsday.

Peter: What the hell is Gatilsday?

Lois: NBC invented a new day so they could add another Dateline.

So, you may see my Weekly Round-up appear on Gatilsday.)

And don't forget: All the sites on my sidebar are definitely worth your time. Check those out, as well.

Again, submissions

If you want to send me something to be critiqued and commented, I'd be more than glad to rip your work to shreds in the most helpful of ways. Whatever you want critted, send to: I swear I won't bite. Much. Muahahaha.

Q. "Hey, uh, like, what the hell do you accept?"

A. First pages, short stories, queries (for editing/grammar), novels (send with a description of your book in the e-mail's body, but the actual novel as an attachment; I'll e-mail you back if I choose to read it), and anything you might want proofread. Fiction, please. At this point in time, though, I'll take short non-fiction. I'm really a make-believe kinda guy.

If you don't want the work posted on the blog, say so in the e-mail. Otherwise, I will post it somewhere (likely on the blog ...) so that readers (however few) can leave their own comments on it. I won't put your name or any personal info that comes with the e-mail on the blog. I swear. If you're looking for a review, someone who knows punctuation (that's me!), and the honest truth of what I think about your work ... then send away to me. Again, that's: (And that high-five from Gringy is STILL up for the first person to send me something. I should warn you, he's really tired of holding his arm up, so whoever sends somthing will hold a special place in his hear. Awwww. Isn't that cute?)

Un messagio per tutti

Chiunque chi vuole capire l'inglese di più deve imparare l'italiano. È non soltanto la lingua d'amore (e la lingua più bella), ma aiuta realmente con la grammatica inglese.

Now ... head off to Babel Fish, if you must. If you don't need to, say so in comments perché io voglio parlare in italiano con te. (And, yes, this definitely has something to do with writing ... in English.)

Show-off, says Gringy.

And so what if I am? :)

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Confused by a series? Join the club* (really).

These days, books come in series all the time. Even if it's not a series, there will be spin-offs with the same characters. The reason is because readers like to become attached to writeres, and writers like telling interesting stories. And interesting usually means long.

Currently, I'm working my way through the first of a series and, let me tell you, it can be hell. What I'm working on is almost an Americanized Harry Potter minus all the magic. Now, the plots are almost entirely different, but since I'm basing it at a school, of course someone's going to "make the connection" (though there isn't one; no writer can get away with anything anymore, because it seems every idea is in Harry Potter somewhere, and there's always an overzealous fan out there, ready to label you as a J.K. Rowling-wannabe. Love ya, Jo, but it's true. You've basically copyrighted heroes with glasses, and the word "wizard.")

So, the plot of my series is intricate (though not exactly tangled), and there is some planning that comes with writing a series. (Excuse me. Did I say some? I'm mean, a lot. A LOT if you want to foreshadow, which is always a great thing if given in small doses. Everyone knows the warm feeling of good foreshadowing.)

Anyway, I've basically gotten the whole story in my head and a lot of it in my notes, and I know where to tell most things to keep an element of mystery (always important to have some mystery!), but I've just hit one spot where I'm completely confused as to what to do. I don't know where to put certain details that are going to affect the story in later books, or if I should just cut the whole idea from the current novel and put it all in one. I'd rather have it span, but it just can get so confusing!

My point: If you're going to write a series, know what you're doing and be ready for a headache or ten every day until you get the first book published. And then there's the second.

NOTE: I wrote this post about five days ago, and saved it as a draft. I've solved my problem (I cut and changed that damn piece of information), but I thought this post might still be of interest to some blog nomads.

Oh, and the club I referred to in the title is the "I'm Writing a Series Club." Join it by commenting and something magical will happen ... as to what, I'm unsure right now ...

Friday, June 16, 2006

... and action!

Any story that wants to capture the attention of an agent or editor right away has to have an attention-grabbing opener. I'm sure you've heard that advice a hundred different times, but I'm writing about this today, because I'm beginning to understand just how important this is. I gave a copy of the first chapter of my novel out to a friend and and asked her, "So, what d'you think of it?" and she replied, "It's really good." I asked, "What would you give it on a scale of 1-10." She said, "Seven ... no, actually, a six." I was okay with seven, I would've been happier with ten, but to me, 7 was acceptable. When she changed it to a six, though, I knew I'd have to rework it so the action come first-thing. She said that the action part was good, but I realized it's at the end of the chapter. So, quick advice: Open with action, continue with action, close with action. Don't even explain anything in your Opener until after the action. Action, action, action.

Monday, June 12, 2006

'The Ambrosia of the Pond'

I don't usually enjoy writing short stories. I like to read them, but not write them. If I do manage to put one out, it's always extremely short. The one I'm about to post is my record-holder at 2 1/2 pages. One night a few months ago, though, I sat down and said to myself, "I am so bored I'm going to attempt to write a short story." (I've submitted it to a Writer's Digest contest. Do you think I have a shot at winning?) This is the result:

[6/24/06: I have removed the story because I recently read if I ever want to get it published, having it online may be a deterrant for editors.]

Sunday, June 11, 2006

On dialogue ...

The Purpose of Dialogue

In my opinion, dialogue serves two main purposes (though it does have a number of smaller uses). The two main ones are:

1. To tell the story and move it along
2. To improve your writing

When a story has much dialogue, it is called "loud"; when a story has little dialogue, it is called "quiet." (Personally, I'd rather read a loud story, but it all really depends.) An example of an extremely loud writer is J.K. Rowling, whose series with upwards of 3,000 pages has maybe two hundred pages where dialogue isn't present. But then there's also José Saramago, a Portuguese writer known for his award-winning book Blindness. He is an extremely quiet writer, with maybe no dialogue at all in his book.

There's nothing wrong with being quiet or being loud. It really matters on the feel you're going for in your story. A darker story may want less dialogue because it will provide a feeling of loneliness and seclusion. A lively story may want more. Again, it depends on what you as the writer want. Great dialogue will make a story a bestseller; good dialogue will personalize your ficition. But bad dialogue will befoul your words and make you look like the amateur that you very well may be. The only way to write good dialogue is to practice it, and write a lot of it.


When writing dialogue you think sounds fake, go back and think about what you're trying to make your character say. Then, pretend you're in your character's situation. Say the information your character must present. Do you hear an enormous difference between the way you speak and the way your character speaks? If so, that may be a good thing. Every one character should have his or her own voice. It'll make him/her appear more real. Try to incorporate some of what you said into your character's dialogue, if it fits.

Also, remember this: Dialogue is clipped. People don't speak in full sentences, reminding each other of the subject. When people in fiction speak of a subject they both know, yet constantly remind each other of the facts, the dialogue is greatly, greatly diminished. Example:

"Bob, did you get me that latte with extra sugar and bit of half-and-half that I asked you for over twenty minutes ago?" asked Mary.

"No, Mare," said Bob. "I'm sorry. I got side-tracked on my way to the kitchen because I saw that someone was having trouble with the copier and I decided to help. Your latte completely slipped my mind."

Of course, Mary didn't believe his lie. They had a rough relationship, and she figured Bob was the farthest thing from a friend. In fact, he hated her. Mary had never even expected Bob to get the coffee; she'd only asked him as a test, to see if he really didn't like her. She had sworn to herself that if he hated her, the only way to make him feel her pain was to kill him.

(That's a terrible example of character development, but just overlook it for now. Mary's clearly a bit paranoid, but other than that ...) informative dialogue is an obvious ploy used by a writer who is lost in their story. Do you honestly think anyone talks like that? No one does. I hope. After reading that, a knowledgeable writer would likely go into a speech about "showing vs. telling." Remember: actions speak louder than words. If you can get a message across in actions, then do. It will have more impact. The above dialogue would be better written like this:

Mary and Bob had a rough relationship, and it wasn't getting any smoother. She knew Bob hated her, and it tore her apart. She had feelings for him — strong feelings — and she didn't know what she was doing to make him hate her. But he did, and it hurt Mary to be hated. In the seventh grade, she had made a voodoo pillow of Becky Sanders — the most popular girl in the world — when she had started a slambook against her. In a completely unrelated incident, Becky's body was found two weeks later, on the side of the tracks. She was sliced to bits, with over forty wounds in her back and chest. Mary didn't think it was such a tragedy. She hated to see people get hurt, but when they had hurt her first she didn't mind them suffering a bit for her. Bob's hate for Mary was proven the other day, when Mary had asked him for a latte:

"Did you get me it?" she asked Bob.

Irritated, he said a quick hell no, and walked away, unaware of the disaster that he had just brought upon himself.

Now, that's not a masterpiece, and it's on the quiet side, but can't you see how it works better? I informed you, the reader, of the situation, and then I wrote realistic dialogue, because I didn't have to fill the reader in on the situation through the character's words. Try it.


Tags are trivial. They mean barely anything. Most writers fear tags and the way they sound, but they shouldn't. When a reader is going over dialogue, they are paying little attention to the tags. He said, she said work best, and it seems that some writers try to over-compensate for their bland dialogue by making their characters "chuckle" dialogue. Raders barely notice tags, especially he said, she said, so don't try to make characters snort something. He said, she said work just fine. Every now and then you can mix it up with "screamed," "yelled," etc, because they may be more effective, but don't be too worried about tags. Examples:

"When are we going to the movies?" questioned Sarah.
"Don't know," interjected James.
"It's got to be soon," stated Robbie.
"Any minute now, I guess," Laura supposed.

As you can clearly see, the over-use of descriptive tags decreases the quality of the (already lacking) dialogue. Here's that same example rewritten:

"What time are we going to the movies?" Sarah asked.
"No idea," said James.
"It's got to be soon," Robbie said. "If I don't leave now, my mom's making me babysit."
Sarah said they should leave now, then, and they all agreed that was best.


Avoid writing cliches in dialogue like the plague. I mean cliches as in "gonna," "wanna," "shoulda," "coulda," "cuz," etc. It just looks and sounds bad. Don't do it.
(EDIT: I may have exaggerated. These cliches can work differently in different characters' mouths.)

Hope this helped, and Gringy would like me to add that he's still alive.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Okay, childrens, this is the last PA thing for a while

I promise this is the last PA post for a couple days, more things about writing later today (I should be in bed right now; I promised myself I'd go before 1 AM. It's now five of). But I was perusing the PA site when I found something funny, reminiscent of earlier posts where I laughed at typos. First, scroll to the very bottom of their page. Now, look at the small menu of text links (the first one is "How to Get Published." [Answer: Not with PA]). Anyway ... do you see what I see? Is it possible? Has the Great PublishAmerica ... written Childrens Book Publishers? I thought you would make that 'childrens' possessive, but since PA ain't doin' there's no way I am! Don't wanna look like an idiot. Now, if you travel to that Childrens Book Publishers page (which I've linked to), you'll find something even stupider: They frequently change how they're spelling it. Sometimes they have it right with children's, but in the very next sentence they're writing childrens. For any carefully observing wannabe-published author thinking about giving PA their business ... that right there should be enough for them to puke on a small piece of paper with the word "PublishAmerca" on it, burn the paper at 451 degrees, dispose of the ashes in water, and bury them at the earth's core, while screaming, "PUBLISHAMERICA'S FUCKED MANY A WRITER!!!!!!!"

Please note: If it were any other POD publisher, I'd probably let it slide. I'm only being harsh because it's PA. Have a great day.

Please note this too: I'm allowed to spell things wrong on my blog, because I'm not running a business. Still, I manage to check my writing a few times before I publish and correct anything if I find a mistake. I know PA doesn't. (I'm not being hypocritical either. For more information, see this Miss Snark post. In my eyes, her blog is the Bible Blog.)

Friday, June 09, 2006

Another round of PA put-downs (because I can)

The FAQ section at 'The Truth About PublishAmerica' is probably one of the funniest things I've ever read:

Q. Has any PublishAmerica book ever
been on any recognized bestseller list (e.g., New York Times, USA Today,

A. No.

Q. Does PublishAmerica claim that
one or more of their books has been nominated for the Pulitzer

A. Yes.

Q. Has any PublishAmerica book ever
been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize?

A. No.

Q. Did PublishAmerica claim that
Robert Bly, the award-winning poet, had sold a book to them?

A. Yes.

Q. Had Robert Bly, the
award-winning poet, actually sold a book to them?

A. No.

Q. Does PublishAmerica directly
solicit writers to submit manuscripts?

A. Yes.

Q. Does PublishAmerica admit that
they directly solicit writers to submit manuscripts?

A. No.

Q. Is it true that PublishAmerica
has never missed a deadline?

A. No.

Q. What does PublishAmerica mean by
"We want your book, not your money"?

A. "We want your

Q. Has any PublishAmerica author
taken PublishAmerica to court?

A. No.

Q. Why not?

A. The PublishAmerica contract
specifies that all disputes must be settled through arbitration.

Q. Okay, has any PublishAmerica
author taken PublishAmerica to arbitration?

A. Yes.

Q. What happened?

A. PublishAmerica lost.

This is true. It's the reason I don't say all POD publishers are bad, just that PA is especially bad:
Q. Why are folks upset with PublishAmerican and not with the
other vanity presses?

A. The other vanity presses don't use false advertising to
mislead authors into thinking that they're real publishers.

And just when you think it gets no better, PA jokes!
Q. What's the difference between a PublishAmerica "booster" and
a PublishAmerica "basher"?

A. About six months.

Q. How is PublishAmerica like an electric fan?

A. If you stand behind it, it sucks. If you get out in
front, it blows. If you stand beside it, it won't do a thing for
you. And if you get into it, it'll cut you to pieces.

Q. How do you recognize the PublishAmerica author at a

A. He's the one trying to sell a book to the bride.

Q. What's the difference between a PublishAmerica royalty check
and a large pizza?

A. A large pizza will feed a family of four.

Probably my favorite thing of all about PA is their motto:

"We treat our authors the old-fashioned way — we pay them."

Uhhhhh ... no, PA, that's not old-fashioned. That's a standard.
And the joke isn't even funny. (I agree. Part of Gringy's autobiography was his quest to become the next young Jerry Seinfeld. He considers himself a "joke expert," but he's about as funny as PA winning a lawsuit [and while it may be funny to imagine PA winning a lawsuit, it wouldn't be funny if they actually did].)

Traditional publishers 'don't care'

... Until Dean Koont'z recent book
THE HUSBAND he really hasn't had any good ones. Most of JD Robb's books are
cookie cutter fiction as are the series behind VC ANDREWS. Mary Higgins Clark
and even Danielle Steele are doing nothing but rehashing the same old story in
new settings. The "traditional" publishing world isn't interested in good

(I've never gotten around to reading one of Koont'z books.)

... And there ya have it, folks! Traditional publishers aren't interested in good fiction. That was said by someone on another site I was browsing, in a topic about getting published. I fully disagree, by the way. The person who posted that went the POD route, and since then, has become an advocate of PublishAmerica.

(*cough-PA-turns-all-their-"clients"-into-mindless-advocate-clones-cough* If you don't believe that, visit their message board. It's funny how only PA authors can post, and anyone making an anti-PA post immediately gets their post deleted. One look, and any pro-traditional will be sick.)

So, this guy is saying that he's perfectly happy having done POD (and there's nothing wrong with that, if he's happy. For more information on 'happiness,' see this recent Miss Snark post), but this guy's also constantly taking down the "traditional publishing industry." (That's what he calls it.) Hmmmm ... okay, so traditional publishers aren't interested in good fiction, and the realm of POD publishing is where all budding artists thrive. Let's compare some of their titles. Tell me which names you recognize:

Traditional Publishers*
1. Harry Potter
2. Jurassic Park
3. Cell

"Vanity"/POD 'Publishers':*
1. Atlanta Live
2. The Forum
3. Shelly's Diary

*(That is: REAL PUBLISHERS); All titles on the NYT bestseller list at one point.
*All titles taken from the books of note section on the PA homepage.


Anyone who wants to submit something for critique, send it to What harm can it do? It's free. Remember what I want? Well, it's on the sidebar, but: first pages, short stories, queries (for editing/grammar), novels (send with a description of your book in the e-mail's body, but the actual novel as an attachment; I'll e-mail you back if I choose to read it), and anything you might want proofread. I'm really looking for fiction, but if you send something non-fiction at this point in time, I'll read it. If you send a short story, query, or first pages, say so in the e-mail if you do not want me to post it on the blog. Otherwise, I probably will so that readers (however few) can leave their own comments on it. If you're looking for a review, someone who knows punctuation (!!!), and the honest truth of what I think about your work ... then clearly you should send it to me, because I'm the only one who can give you the honest truth of what I think about your work. (And that high-five from Gringy's still up for the first person to send me something.)

With love, hate, and anxiety,

The Rentable Writer
... and me, Gringy!!!!!! (Hmph! You always try to leave me out of things, but not this time! No! Never again. I'm going to leave you forever; I'll never return, you son of a bitch!)

(Oh, shut up, Gringy. You know you're not going to leave. You'd starve.)

Two Rices, a Paolini, and a Borchardt

I was looking over the blog of S. W. Vaughn when I found this post he's made, and it's funny, because I've thought the exact same things. (Though, I've read part of Paolini's first book, so I can say he's decent. Not amazing, but definitely good. And I think that he does deserve his contract. He worked hard to get noticed, and he has skill.) You can read what I'm talking about here.

I remember the first time I saw that Christopher Rice had books published. (It was only a few months ago, after I finished Interview with the Vampire, which was amazing. READ IT NOW.) Well, I picked up one of his books and just thought, There's no way he could have gotten this published so easily if his mother wasn't named Anne Rice.

Nothing against the Rices. Anne is one of my idols. She's amazing. But I don't think Christopher shares the writing gift on the same level as his mother. Nor does her sister, Alice Borchardt. Of course, I'm guilty of the sin of not having read any of their books. (I did read the prologue to Christopher's A Density of Souls [which is okay], and first pages of Alice B's The Silver Wolf [which has a review by Anne of the cover].)

God help me if Anne Rice ever sees this. I'll die.