Saturday, October 18, 2008

Neologism for the day: clubris

Clubris: clueless hubris. Example:

Thank you for your well worded rejection letter, I feel I understand, it must be difficult to make a decision on a short Query Letter. I have taken the liberty of sending you a few page CONTENTS of title redacted (my manuscript) includes a brief introduction of the 40 chapters.

Response: deleted, unanswered.
What I'm thinking: it's not difficult to reject unskilled, unpolished, error-filled writing.


Marian said...

If it was difficult to make decisions on the basis of query letters, how do agents manage to get through hundreds of those a week?

I just hope the next message won't be, "It must be difficult to make a decision on the basis of a manuscript, so I have taken the liberty of setting out for your office with a bouquet of peonies."

David said...

What a strange reaction.

Do writers every try to fool an agent by sending a partial or whole ms. and pretending it was requested? Betting on the agent getting too many queries to remember.

David said...

Er, I meant a strange reaction by that writer.

(Ambiguous wording. Three point off.)

Marie said...

Ok, rules to remember:
1 - Don't send a thank you for a rejection. Like sending flowers to the woman who says "This was a bad first date. You're just not my type," this comes across as very creepy.
2 - Don't stalk the agents. You will be ridiculed in public and most definitely remembered.

Seriously, I can't understand the mindset that would do this.

clindsay said...

Ask Amy about the fellow who mailed her a response to her emailed rejection, and corrected (incorrectly) her grammar.

Clubris, indeed.

S William said...

I read a friend of a friend's manuscript recently. In the second paragraph he used "breaks" instead of "brakes." I also found a "crumbled body" instead of a "crumpled body."


And this was in a self-pub book that was supposedly "polished."

It amazes me how many writers never take the time to learn self-editing 101. I can't imagine the slog an agent has to churn through.

Chubby! Chubby! Chubris!

Pubris: passionate, but pointless hubris

Cathy in AK said...

I've sent a thank you for a rejection when the full ms had been requested. A short note saying I appreciated the opportunity. That's it. No rants. No grammar corrections.

I've never understood why some writers set themselves up to be known as *that one*. On the other hand, it makes the rest of us look good.

Anthony said...

"I feel I understand,"


Just_Me said...

I think some people don't know better. Nathan Bransford had a post about the dangers of impatience. Some people just aren't able to slog through editing, they have one draft and they want to be done.

I doubt any of these authors want to be "the one" that becomes blog fodder, but they haven't invested the time to know better. Maybe the rejections will work. Or maybe we need to break out the clue-by-four.

Martha Alderson said...

For every hundred that don't excite you, I hope you find one or two that send you spirit soaring and remind you of why you love this business so much....

Heather said...


So this basically translates, “You’re stupid, but I’m okay with the fact you’re stupid and I’m going to let you have another go at it.”

Honestly, here’s what I don’t get, we make decisions all the time about what to read off of less than what a query letter contains. If a book blurb doesn’t grab me, meh, I’m moving on. Why can’t authors understand that agents do the same thing?

Steve Stubbs said...

Whoever wrote you that letter was not a native English speaker. It makes sense to some of us to always write in a language we are unable to use competently and forget about writing anything in our own language (especially since a lot of people who are native English speakers cannot write competently in their own language, either.) If we write in somebody else’s language we have a built in excuse, whereas if we can’t write in our own language we look like real f**kwits. (That’s kwit for short, if you like neologisms.) Using that theory, I have decided to eschew my own language and write a series of books in classical Arabic, Doric Greek, and Tegulu. I don’t know a single word in any of those, except for a few expletives I heard while traveling in foreign climes and running for my life from native speakers who were bent on teaching me some cuss words. They really don’t like Americans over there, you see, and it’s all Bush’s fault. Not that anybody here likes him, you understand, but we don’t chase tourists while holding curved swords over our heads. Besides which the cuss words we use are just standard stuff you heard in kindergarten and Sunday School anyway. Nothing new there.

This time next year I may have a literary crime novel in Tokugawa-era Japanese if you are interested in a query. You won’t be able to read a word of it, but then neither will I, so it all balances out.

Polenth said...

S. William, I could imagine a crumbled body. People worry about the meat in chicken nuggets being people. But they never stop to think about the ingredients in the crumb coating. It's a fast food horror in the making.