The writing industry has a plethora of conferences, workshops and mentors, all promising answers and connections to help build your writing career. Of course, all of this comes at a price – conferences from $400 to $3000, mentors at around $150 an hour – which wouldn’t be a problem if so many of those offering advice weren’t flim-flam carpetbaggers. I offer excerpts from one such guru on my bad side:
I fear that for the beginning of a novel, the (pages) don’t grab me, fascinate me, make me love the character enough to keep reading.
She goes on: There’s a lot of “fucking” and too many exclamation points and then semi-colons.
My “comps” – comparative stories used as short-hand to help editors understand themes of a book quickly – are decried: Cheryl Strayed’s Wild (is) about a woman mourning her mother’s death. I’m not getting the connections here.
The conclusion of my $150 analysis was this: Do you want to try a personal essay? That’s the first assignment I give my students that they publish most often.