Thursday, August 27, 2015

Are Agents and Editors the Bad Guys?

He loves food.
The villian of Disney Pixar's RATATOUILLE is the food critic. He doesn't like food, he loves food, and if it's not fantastic, he's not going to put it past his lips.

Sometimes writers look at editors and agents as the bad guys. When we get a scathing professional critique or yet another rejection, we are tempted to think, "My family and everyone at critique group loved my manuscript. What is wrong with the publishing industry?"

This is when we have to remember that agents and editors don't like reading, they love it. They care so passionately about the written word that when it's not as good as it can be, they are willing to say no.

This is why I strongly recommend professional critiques for writers who want to get a publishing contract. I have had several people marvel at how I got a book deal when I really didn't belong to a  critique group and was largely self-taught. My answer is I went to every writer's conference I could and paid for professional critiques every conference I went to. I was critiqued by some of the best writers, agents, and editors in the industry. None of them probably remember me, but I cherish the red marks they put all over my first pages. They helped me learn how to write.

So don't be discouraged by harsh critiques and rejections. Embrace them. Be thankful for them. Because in the end there is no one more appreciative of good writing then the one who was willing to say no when it wasn't yet the best it could be.

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