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Tim Lieder

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Crushing dreams [Oct. 16th, 2008|01:28 am]
Tim Lieder
Ok, about that nice couple that can't cook.

For most of that lunch they were talking about this idea that they had. They would start a literary Web site and take writers under their wing (or my wing, I'm not sure if they were proposing that I do this) and take their stories and helped them make better stories.

I tried pushing them off with "you don't want to read the slush" or "There are enough MFA programs in the world already." but they really liked the idea too much.

So I finally just said that writers should not be encouraged and that joke on my facebook picture about wanting to stab all writers in the hand isn't that much of a joke. That most people shouldn't write. That the people who do write and submit their stuff are awful and that when these people don't even know basic grammar, there's no help for them.

I think I finally got through to them that most writers should not be encouraged and if they wanted to read slush, they could read all the slush in the world. But I also guaranteed that if they tried to make this weird apprenticeship Web site in order to help writers that had potential that they'd just be asking for headaches.

I think I got through to them. I hope so. Definitely I made my point that young beginning writers should not be encouraged and should be punished severely for even attempting anything so stupid.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: tribblewing
2008-10-16 05:52 am (UTC)
You should tell that couple to just donate to NaNoWriMo.

The NaNoWriMo forums provides everything they're thinking of doing, except everyone on NaNoWriMo does it for each other, on their own little corner of the Internet, though their peak of coordinated efforts only last one month per year.
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[User Picture]From: marlowe1
2008-10-16 07:11 pm (UTC)
Nah. I prefer it that they don't have any encouragement for this harebrained scheme whatsoever. Then maybe they'll move on to other projects.
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[User Picture]From: jennifer_brozek
2008-10-17 05:09 am (UTC)
I have to admit, when I started The Edge of Propinquity three years ago, I had no idea what a slushpile looked like. I learned an awful lot about writing as an editor. In some ways, I think I learned better lessons as an editor. As an author, I learned how to tell stories. As an editor, I learned how to be a professional.

Would I have encouraged your friends? Probably not. I might not have been as hard as you but I certainly wouldn't volunteer my time. Some lessons need to be learned the hard way.

PS: I love your call for submissions for Biblical Horror. I sat down and wrote a draft of a story this afternoon.
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[User Picture]From: marlowe1
2008-10-17 05:18 am (UTC)
Awesome.

But yeah, I think that's the key thing that made me a better writer was reading the slush pile. And the editing process afterwards. It's one thing to say that the first paragraph has to grab the editor and it's another thing to read first paragraph after first paragraph and just feel the time crawling away from you.

Actually I wasn't THAT hard on them. It was a meal. I was their guest. There was a lot of give and take involved. It sounds much harsher when I write it out here.
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[User Picture]From: jennifer_brozek
2008-10-17 05:22 am (UTC)
I suppose reading a slushpile also made me a better editor of my own work. Frankly, I would encourage all writers to take an extended turn at reading slushpiles. It would teach them a lot about submission guidelines and how to look at my own work as an editor would.
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