Flim-Flams in the Writing World

The writing industry has a plethora of conferences, workshops and mentors, all promising answers and connections to help build your writing career.adaptation-6 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. Snake-Oil-AdI 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. 

tumblr_ml0rs58daT1qbrdf3o1_500(Forgetting this mentor’s redundancy, she also completely misses the shooting that takes place on Page 3.)

She goes onThere’s a lot of “fucking” and too many exclamation points and then semi-colons.

fuck(There are three of each over the first ten pages.)

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.

books.cheryl-strayed-wild-book.widea(A principle theme of my bad side is coping with being an orphan.)

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.

crying-woman-with-empty-wallet(And the cost of this would be…?)