Friday, April 4, 2008

The History

In July, 2005, then-active Miss Snark issued the first invitation to her hapless readers: Send me your first page!

She said it in passing, sort of. Nobody seemed to be responding.

So I took it upon myself to send the illustrious Miss Snark an email that read, "OK, I'll bite." And, amidst great trembling and fear, I sent her the first page of my current WIP.

Miss Snark may have been caught a bit off guard by my email. She wrote back asking if it was okay to post my page and her comments on the blog.

Being a silly, novice writer, I said it would be fine if she changed the names of the characters. (Did I think somebody was going to steal them?) She agreed, and chose the most ridiculous character names I'd ever read.

She then proceeded to tear my writing to gentle shreds.

At first, it stung ("How dare she!"). Then it brought a dull sense of "I guess my writing sucks."

But then something even better happened. I realized that Miss Snark's comments were dead on. I ended up doing some of the best rewriting I'd ever done.

Ultimately, the work ended up "on the shelf" bearing the label, "Practice Novel." But you know what? My work has never been the same.

I'm actually writing well now. Well, as in getting requests for partials and fulls. Well, as in getting positive personal feedback (albeit attached to rejections).

Still growing. Still improving. Never finished learning.

And here's the original post to prove I haven't hallucinated the whole thing: C-rap Rations For The Hippest of Snarklings, Part 1".

And now you know.

14 comments:

  1. How brave you were! I'm so glad you gleaned something positive from the Great Miss Snark--good for you. And congratulations on the start of your blog. :-)

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  2. Oh!

    Now I understand, lol!

    Yes, I agree with Natalie. You were brave.

    :-)

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  3. I love the name of your blog, by the way.

    And it is very difficult to be that one person who allows themselves to be torn apart in public. I've never been able to bring myself to actually critique someone's work in such a public forum. Although, I must say that it makes for a good story now . . .

    I'm just glad you didn't end up quitting writing or something like that.

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  4. Well Howdy there sympatico.

    I was crushed by Her Snarkiness too, and emerged, born again hard, with a whole new outlook on the craft.

    Love your blog.

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  5. Hey Kel-bell -- always great to meet another survivor! :)

    Glad you enjoy the blog.

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  6. I read through your original "victimization" at the Snark site, and even the comments there - and I want to applaud you. You showed grace and poise, and remarkable strength of character to take criticism as critique. And that you've transformed what might have been a humiliating moment into a defining moment of your strength and passion to achieve your writing goals, and you called this blog "Miss Snark's First Victim," you have gained a fan in me!

    Congratulations - we should all be inspired by such alchemy, turning "crap" into gold!

    best,
    Lee

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  7. Authoress-

    I applaud you!

    I wasn't writing when Ms. Snark snarked away, but I did have a similar experience with my first MS – which is in my dream drawer now.

    You were a brave writer, and even braver for not giving up. (this whole process can be rather soul sucking) So....

    Cheers! Kudos! You rock! And you have a great attitude to boot!

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  8. I discovered Miss Snark's blog last week, and I now maniacally reading all her archives. Then my husband, also a writer, pointed me to your blog.

    This is a great blog, and I am looking forward to reading more.

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  9. You were that brave first person! Wow, I am in awe.

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  10. Oh dear LORD, those ARE the most ridiculous names I've ever heard!

    Props to you for being so brave, though. :)

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  11. You don't like the name Quantuck?

    It's an actual location on Long Island, and the name of a small press.


    Next thing you know you'll tell me you don't like "Kariba"...the closest I could come to chocolate.

    **anyway!

    You've done a lovely thing here on this site.

    Thank you.

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  12. The mystery revealed! Love the backstory on your blog name. Really, I'd sort of like someone to tear into my writing, because I know I'm blind to my own faults--the hard part is getting someone to point them out to me. This was my first time on your Secret Agent contest. Wow! What fun! So much angst! So much refreshing! I learned a lot. I didn't realize you, Authoress, AND the agent would both make comments. That was an unexpected bonus, and BIG time commitment, so thanks so much to you and Kristin.

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  13. O Brave New Writer! I am inspired by you, honestly. I never would have turned such an incident into a positive career move. And now you are writing for writers too! Talk about making lemonade :) I have a new view of rejection too- if you can survive the ultimate snark, i can file away my form rejections and keep writing on! Thank you!

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