Stargate Monuments


Martha Wells

My Flying Lizard Circus

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arcaedia has a post Repeat After Me. Money Flows Toward the Writer: Just in case there is someone out there reading this who doesn't already know: Reputable agents work on commission. Commissions are based on selling your work. They make money if you make money. It's a motivational system. There are also recs for critique groups in the comments.

As an aspiring writer there are a lot of ways to get ripped off. Fake agents who charge fees, fake editorial services (often recommended by and in business with the fake agents) who will edit your book until your bank account is empty, fake writing contests with fabulous prizes and huge entry fees, and fake publishers who will promise lots of things they can't deliver if you just give them all your money. Information is your friend, and is why writing panels at conventions and writers workshops can be so helpful; they give you people who can answer your questions about these things, who can tell you if something is legit or not. (They can tell you stories, about their friend who entered an online writing contest with her limerick about the perfection of Ben Browder's ass, and how she received an email from the contest telling her how wonderful and moving her poetry was and how she would be in the top three if she just sent in the large entry fee.)

I will always remember, after my first couple books came out, how I got an email from a lady who had, when looking for agents, gotten convinced by one to hire a writer friend of his to help her edit her book. They had gotten a big amount of money out of her already and wanted more, and she was beginning to realize it was a scam, and needed someone to confirm her suspicions. This was back before Absolute Write and Writer Beware and all those other information and warning sites, and I think most people didn't even realize how many writing scams were out there. She didn't know any writers, there weren't any conventions or writers' groups in her area, so she had been on her own. Anybody, no matter how smart, can be caught in a scam if they don't have the right information.

Also, I'm a big fan of writing workshops, and did a lot of them when I was first starting out. One thing they will teach you is how to accept criticism, which is part of your job as a writer.

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I really hate how many people there are eager to make money off other people's trust.

It does make you want to lose your faith in humanity.
These are the same people (sometimes the exact same ones) who call up older people and try to talk them into giving up all their money.

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