Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My Snarky Muse and Her Top Ten Mistakes Writers Make

Who is my Snarky Muse?
She's not the sweet, kind, gentle muse of Greek mythological lore. She's a gal with an attitude who constantly drums the rattling rhythm of my characters in my ear until I finally write it down. Well, that and she threatens me. Sometimes.

Because my Muse is doing a feature next week - How to tell if your writing group sucks-- I thought I'd bring her out and introduce her to everyone in this short interview where she highlights the many ways writers go wrong.

So who really is this crazy chick with her Greek chic? Introducing, Dawn's Snarky Muse:

D: So...I guess I really should give you a name, huh?

SM: You give me nothing. I already have one. I'm the Muse of Your Worst Nightmares. You can call me Moywn.

D: How do you pronounce that?

SN: You don't ---because you're supposed to be too busy writing -- duh.

D: That's an interesting outfit...um...where did you get it?

SN: I got it specifically to wear for my buddy N. One of the few folks on this blog who makes any sense. Here's to you, N. (call me).

D: So what makes you a "snarky" muse?

SN: I don't run around Mount Olympus dancing in those stupid togas. I stand behind your chair when you're writing and threaten you with a two-by-four.

D: Umm...okay...what are some of the biggest mistakes you've seen writers make?

SN: Here's the top ten biggest mistakes writers make, and my solutions.

One - they never finish what they start. See my earlier comment about the 2 x 4.

Two- they talk ABOUT writing and don't write. The time you spend talking about writing --or writing blogs, ahem--is time you could be writing. Just shut up and write. Once again, the 2x4

Three - They don't know the mechanics - grammar, spelling, all that. You wouldn't operate on someone's brain if you didn't know how to operate--well, maybe you would be stupid enough to do that, but most people wouldn't. For this one, I put down the 2 x 4 and make them eat a copy of Strunk and White's "Elements of Style." If they don't improve, I force-feed them the Webster's New World Dictionary. They're crapping vowels for a week.

D: Aren't there other books you can---

SN: Shut up.

Four-- they can't take criticism. They're so @#$@ caught up in themselves they can't --- Dawn, would you @#$@# stop @#$#@ censoring my #@^&.

D: No need to be nasty.

SN: Why am I surprised? You were Baptist, which means you were only raised from the neck up.

D: Ouch.

SN: So for number four---the writers who can't take criticism, the ones who think that everything they write is perfect and if you don't think so, it's because you don't "get it," for these dudes, I chat them up. Sweet talk them. Tell them I'm in love with them, @#$#@$ them and then dump them like a smelly wet dog. That usually wrecks their self-esteem enough that they can get their act together.

Now, number five are the writers that are actually pretty good, but they don't send anything out. Solution: I break into their houses, steal the manuscripts and mail them myself...I also pick up any loose cash or jewelry while I'm there.

Number six - these are the writers who either 1- don't drink enough or 2- drink too much. It's a balance.

D: Speaking of drinking balance, what's in that drink you're holding?

SN: Like I'm going to tell you.

Number seven are the--"oh my gosh my idea is so @#$@#% brilliant, everyone's going to steal it if I send it out, so I'm just going to wax poetic about how @#$#@$@$ brilliant I am and I must hide my brilliance, because everyone wants to steal my stuff."

D: So what do you do about them?

SN: I steal their stuff. Doesn't help them any, but makes me feel better.

Number eight are those who don't follow the guidelines for magazines, editors, etc. Come on, if the publisher specializes in romances and you send them your gory story about bats, do you really think they're going to buy it? For this one I go back to the two-by-four. It's an oldie but goodie.

Number nine are those who actually are successful, but it goes to their head and they diss their readership. They get too high and mighty. I don't have to do much about them...my buddy Karma takes care of it for me.

D: You know Karma?

SN: And he makes a mean margarita.

Number ten are those who give up too easily. They get one rejection and they give it all up. Dawn, how many rejections did you get with your first novel before it was published?

D: Um...a couple.

SN: And the second one?

D: I don't like talking about this.

SN: You said you stopped counting at 15...

D: Um...

SN: Was it because you got so many or because you couldn't count that high?

D: Well, obviously that's all the time we have left here. I'm gearing up this weekend to finish the bulk of my novel.

SN: And I'll be there too...with my two-by-four.


billie said...

Dawn, if the Snarky Muse gets out of control with that 2x4, we can always lock her in the ghost room and let him deal with her!

Dawn said...

I know...I didn't expect the Snarky Muse to get so out of control...but when she comes out she really seems to take over.

Snarky Muse: Both of you can @#$@ kiss my @#$@#$

iarvd said...

I think maybe I need to borrow the Snarky Muse once in a while.....does she have any siblings who are looking for someone to whip into shape?