Sunday, June 22, 2008

not quite Schadenfreude

more like snideness. Snidery? Snickering at the follies of others, because I am a mean and petty sort.

Backstory: ages ago, when I was a diligent critiquer on a popular writers' website, I happened to critique someone's query letter. This was a query that he had posted supposedly in order to have suggestions made for its improvement.
I say supposedly, because he then snotted two of the of the three people who offered critiques. One was me, and yes, I was one of the ones snotted. Even though I was fairly polite. I didn't even mention that his thread title said "Me begining one page synopsis". I did mention that his (presumably) supreme villain's name, Farkwar, might be subject to confusion with the not-so-supreme villain of Shrek, and that his novel title was the same as the title of a well-known film, but with the word 'the' inserted. Also that the hero being a Chosen One with a prophecy attached was more than a little overdone and might need something different to attract an agent.
He asked if I was accusing him of ZOMG plagerism (sic) and said "I spent alot of time thinking of different names, and came up with them off the top of my head." a statement which seems to contradict itself. And asked why I was attacking him for "putting in the part of a chosen one'.

So I apologised and withdrew. Yet we kept tripping over each other on the forum. He posted asking whether Simon & Schuster was a reputable publisher, and what were their submission guidelines. Because everyone else was too busy laughing to answer, I posted their guidelines (don't submit, get an agent), but was ignored while he answered (politely!) everyone who was asking him if this was a joke or what?
Later he was condescending to someone new who asked if Tor was legit, asking how they could possibly question the legitimacy of Tor? I bit my tongue, or my typing fingers, and left him to his little joys.
Then he took exception to my comment on another thread that the Left Behind books made me feel icky, and said it was offensive to him as a Christian. I apologised for being an Anglican and not a real Christian to whom the Left Behind series was as scripture.

At this point I gave in and started to collect his follies, by reading his posts. I discovered that he'd been bright enough to turn down the contract he was offered by PublishAmerica, and that after being spoken to by a series of Board Elders, he decided to cancel his contract with Leann Murphy of Desert Rose Literary Agency (one of the 20 Worst Agents).
I chuckled over him saying "I am a big fantasy fan myself, but the only ones I have read mostly are Tolkein, King, and Rowling. I haven't heard of many others, but I am seeking to be a fantasy/SF writer myself."
I refrained from critiquing the chapter of his novel that he put up for critique, because I'm not that much of a fool, even though I could see several simple fixes for it. It was a massive info-dump as you know Bob:
“Yes, I already know this though,” interrupted S--. “My father was one of the leaders of my race, who kept this great secret for many years, including Tari’ who is now the besieged magical land, as well”
“Yes, I know this to be true, answered T-- shrewdly. But, I have not told to you the full truth during our studies together of that time, and before.”
This excerpt is unusual in that everything is spelled correctly, with no mention of 'faries' or of 'scared lands' or appearance of the beautiful phrase "and a new day will be born anew."

After that brief and glorious interval, we drifted apart, and so when I ran across a site that offered 'editing solutions' it took me a bit of work to figure out why the owner's name was familiar. Then I saw the spelling 'seperate' and it clicked.
We are a highly knowledgeable and educated firm that will strive to provide you with the most qualified editing services, along with outstanding customer loyalty. At --blank--, we will provide full research, copyediting, and proofreading services. We will also provide custom reprints of your manuscript upon completion of editing your manuscript, cover letter, resume or proposal.
Advertising logos will be completed as a seperate service, but will still maintain the same high quality service. Thank you for your time and consideration. Please tell us about your project today.

I suppose there are people less qualified to offer proofreading.
Maybe not.
A little googling revealed that he had previously self-published through Authorhouse, and that his fantasy (first part of a trilogy) was titled Dessert Rose. No, it wasn't about a cook's apprentice fulfilling the prophecy that she would save her land by delighting the sweet tooth of the Evil Sorcerer and converting him to the way of sweetness and lite and lo-cal. Yes, he misspelled his title.


Lulu said...

Okay, but THIS guy is in the SCA, right?

I mean, he is, isn't he?

By default?

dawtheminstrel said...

Oh my lord. Having participated in online critting myself, I'm not surprised by most of this. It's that the guy now claims to be an editor, proofreaders, etc. I'm speechless.


batgirl said...

If he isn't, it must be only because he hasn't found it yet. When he does, he'll go around telling museum curators how they're doing it wrong.
But certainly he is spiritually in the SCA.

Yeah, Daw, that was my reaction. The rest of it is normal, but ... proofreader? For money? I can only gibber.