Just a quick heads-up here while I barrel down the road of novel-revision-or-death. It’s Friday after all, and after having completed 77,000 words worth of scorched-Earth rewrite in two weeks, I think I deserve a day of bumming about.
Which brings me to the subject: as writer, how you do you know whose commentary is valid, whose advice to take?
Since I’ve been on Twitter and have followed a number of people around in their web forays, I’ve become aware of how much bad and simply BS advice is being bandied about. Recently, I clicked on a Twitter link about ‘How to write a great query’, or something to that extent. There were a number of points mentioned, most of which were totally false, or at least for fiction authors. I suspect the post applied to non-fiction writers, but that wasn’t clearly mentioned.
Now, I ‘knew’ (if there ever is such a thing as ‘knowing’ in the business of selling one’s fiction) that what the writer of the post said doesn’t hold for a fiction author querying a book, simply because I read a lot of agents’ blogs and visit a lot of writing sites and have done so for the past few years. So I ‘know’ that most fiction agents in fact wouldn’t condone what this poster said in the blog.
If anything, the question: how do you know which advice to follow, is another incentive to network widely. Read various people’s opinions on the matter under investigation, and see what the majority opinion says. That is not to say that the oddball method couldn’t be successful, but that if you decide to go down that road, you should be aware that it is an oddball opinion which may explode in your face.
Be informed. Don’t act on one person’s say-so.