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Monday, January 4, 2010

What to Say to Writer Friends

If your friend is Stephen King, this post is not for you. This post is for friends of a fledgling writer (whose first book was not a best seller), especially those working on their first book. Best sellers add a shield of invulnerability to the writer.

If you made it through that maze of hurdles, get a life. (Just kidding.) Here is a humorous blog post for friends of writers with two or fewer non-fiction or fiction works under their belt. The bloggist, Michael Melcher, offers advice about what to say and what not to say to a fledgling writer friend. He is a lawyer, so I won't copy much of his work here.

Okay, I'll risk a little bit of his advice:

  • It's okay to say: “I just ordered my copy and can’t wait to read it.”
  • It's not okay to say: "You should try to be an Oprah pick!"

I'll add a few things not to say:

  • How much did you make? Truthful answer: if unsold, a net loss of $75.00 for expenses. If sold, $0.15/hour, not including time stalking agents.
  • Is that character me? Truthful answer: you're too boring to be in any book. Or, yes, that's why I haven't sold it, yet.
  • Who did you sleep with to get it published? Truthful answer: Ouch. No dignified comeback possible for that one.
  • When is the movie coming out? Truthful answer: When Steven Spielberg and Ron Howard end their bidding war for it [begin mumbling] which will happen soon after they begin it.

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