If you took a grain of salt with every bit of writing advice, query letter advice, and craft advice out there – your sodium intake would kill you.
Recently, I put a query letter up on a site for some feedback from my fellow writers – it’s a site that I’ve used several times.
However, the feedback I got back was… lacking.
I had to remind myself to take it all with a grain of salt.
First, the people giving this advice and feedback are not agents or editors or experts or even remotely professionals in the field of publishing, which is why when I received feedback that includes the words “agents don’t like this” I get irked. Especially when I get feedback that tells me to slice the word count because “that’s going to scare agents.”
Unless you are an agent, or work closely with an agent, you don’t know stuff like that.
And count word – bleh! The typical novel is not every novel. The average novel is about 75,000 words. However, fantasy novels tend to be longer. Epic fantasy tends to be even longer. “Average” is just that, an average. (In math, you take all the numbers, add them together, and them divide by how many numbers there were. That’s how you get an average of something.)
This post may or may not have been written in a slight anger.
Take this as a lesson on receiving less-than-worthwhile feedback from strangers over the internet. Take it with a grain of salt, nod and say thank you, and go about your businesses. Nobody knows what they’re doing. Not me, not you. We’re all winging it and flailing our novels at these poor unsuspecting agents who are just tying to make a living by finding diamonds among the rocks.
Because adding negativity and bitterness is not cool.
There’s enough of that in the world, yo.