Monday, January 23, 2012

Judgement

We've all been told not to judge a book by it's cover. Personally I think that's a sound philosophy though most of us can't help it, and in fact, we tend to judge a lot of things by our first experience. If we go to a restaurant and the food is bad we usually don't go back.  If we buy flowers somewhere and they don't last, we go to a different florist. If we meet someone and they're not too friendly we often don't give them a second chance. 

As writers we often speak of the many hoops we have to jump through.  I think we should be glad of those hoops.  They give us lots of chances to get it right. We have the opportunity to have our work critiqued, beta read, we have people who don't judge our first attempt and tell us how to get it better.  Same with our queries.  Then we get to send it out to an agent.  If they don't like it we adjust the query and try again with the next agent on our list.  I know we all bemoan the fact that we only get one shot with each agent but that's not exactly true. There are revise and resubmits and conferences where we can visit with agents personally.  I know we feel there's only one chance but the system has several steps to it.  Steps that help us not be judged by our first efforts. 

10 comments:

  1. Amen, Sara! Well said and it makes us more grateful for all those steps we see as getting in the way. ; )

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    1. Thanks Zan. I was thinking about it as I was trying to stay positive about how long it is taking.

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  2. I think judgement is a healthy thing. I think we are so afraid that someone won't like something, that often we hesitate when we really should react.

    Great post.

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    1. I spent a great deal of my life making choices because of what others would think. It's nice to let go of that and just be who I am.

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  3. Good thinking. I really do judge a lot of things by first experience, but luckily not with other writers. In fact, I learn as much from their mistakes and accomplishments as I do my own. I love beta reading and critiquing. And you're right - there is always a second chance. :)

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    1. I learn from others' efforts too. I think that's why critiquing is so important. I'm grateful for the people who have given me a second, third and more chances so I always try to do the same for others.

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  4. I often do judge whether I want to read a book - or not- in part, by its cover. With the querying process, if the agent is hooked by the idea, they will ask for more. Chance #2. If there are problems with the story, but they still like the idea, they'll let you re-submit. Chance #3. My agent let me revise twice before she offered to represent e! I think though, that in the absence of specific feedback from an agent about your query, then you don't have to constantly re-think it. At least 10 agents said "no thanks" to my query, and then two agents said, "yes please" to the exact same one. If time proves no interest, then yes, perhaps its not hitting the right note. What I do is send to 10 agents with one query. then if there are no takers, change it up a bit for the next 10.

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    1. Good breakdown of all our chances and how to try to maximize them. And happy story about your agent! See agent's are good people!

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  5. Very true! We're told that you only have one chance with each editor. I don't believe that. Some editors may give you specific advice as to why the query didn't work for them. You tweak it, and try again next year. I don't see why that would be a problem. It's a very good thing we aren't condemned by our first publishing tries!

    And I'll admit, I do judge books by their covers! And I've almost missed some gems because of it. This is something I need to work on...

    Cheers!
    Jen

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    1. I've picked up books just because of their covers. Some I was glad I did, others, not so much.

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