"Personal" question(s) to John Jarrold

Teresa Edgerton

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the people judging your work are generally unpublished writers who might, with the best of intentions, give detrimental advice.
Part of learning to write well is learning to tell good advice from bad -- and learning how to use the advice that hits the mark.

The only way to learn that is practice.
 

mad_iguana

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Hi.

I'm not sure if this thread is used anymore (and I am new to forums so go easy on me!). Here's my question :

What if you love to write but are incredibly shy in letting others read your work. So because of this, you work up the courage to finally submit, but despite reading all the 'how to' guides you mess up you submission/ query letter?

I have recently submitted to several agents (including to JJ) but don't feel as though I gave my work a good enough introduction - do agents dismiss the writing sample if they dislike the email/ submission letter?

Thanks

Mel
Many years ago, someone once said to me that showing off your work - writing in my case, photography in hers - was like showing someone your (excuse my French) ar*e.
You don't really know if it's good or not; it's not something you'd generally parade around in public and, if they don't like it, it's not as though there's a huge amount you can do to make it better.
Obviously you can exercise / practise and improve, but if the fundamental shape / style is not to their taste, then they just won't like it, no matter what.
But if they tell you it's rubbish, it really hurts.
 

Teresa Edgerton

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it's not something you'd generally parade around in public and, if they don't like it, it's not as though there's a huge amount you can do to make it better.

It seems like a bad analogy from the beginning, because if publication doesn't equal parading it around in public, I don't know what does.
 

Brian G Turner

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Obviously you can exercise / practise and improve, but if the fundamental shape / style is not to their taste, then they just won't like it, no matter what.
Luckily, with writing, shape and style are something can that change quite easily. :)

If the writer is prepared to learn and adapt their writing accordingly ...
 

mad_iguana

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It seems like a bad analogy from the beginning, because if publication doesn't equal parading it around in public, I don't know what does.
Well yes, the analogy is really only applicable for someone unpublished, just as showing your ar*e in public is something that a lot of models and actors do.
I thought it was applicable in the specific scenario for tiny_skeevuk, not necessarily applicable for everyone.

Luckily, with writing, shape and style are something can that change quite easily. :)

If the writer is prepared to learn and adapt their writing accordingly ...
And yet, we're all pretty much who we are as writers; we can get better at what we do, and hopefully to the point where it is publishable and someone will like it, but not everyone likes every style/genre, and it might not be to the taste of the person you're showing it to at that particular time, even if you're the best writer (of your type) in the world.
 
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