Wednesday, March 13, 2019

You guyz fret about the most interesting things

Over the last several months I have been writing for a website and just crossed 100 articles.

While the site itself focuses on the latest news in movies and tv, the owner tends to speak about not wanting politics in entertainment on the YouTube channel for the site, much to the chagrin of various people on twitter.

Thankfully, the owner allows the writers to write about whatever they want. This is a large part of the reason I love writing there because it’s been very difficult to find an outlet that will allow me to talk about movies without compromising my voice to fit a site’s brand.

I’ve made a point of completely staying out of politics in my articles and only focusing on things I love,(a lot of which the owner doesn’t care for) like Scooby-Doo and Jason Momoa’s movies. My question is will agents dismiss my portfolio outright due to the owner’s views despite the fact that my portfolio does not discuss politics? 

How on earth would anyone know the owner's views?

And why would anyone care about his views when it's YOUR work we're considering. This would be like asking the Duchess of Yowl her view on dogs when I'm querying a book about wolves.

Bottom line:
I'm interested in three things:

1. Can you write your way out of a paper back with savoir faire and style?
2. How many eyeballs are on that website (ie does it mean you have a following)
3. Are you an asshat.  Disparate politics does not an asshat make. Telling me I'm a loathsome shark who should be eaten for lunch in the soup course because I'm (still) a registered Republican IS.

Writing well is the first and highest hurdle.


E.M. Goldsmith said...

So what you're saying is that even though my pug is afraid of the Duchess of Yowl (most cats really), and I am seriously afraid of kale, I can still query you? I will scratch that worry of my list. I think it's almost down to six and a half miles long which is progress.

Jeannette Leopold said...

Write your way out of a paperback with savoir fair and style... I like that.

Amy Johnson said...

Congratulations, OP, on crossing 100 articles! Way to go!

I was glad to read the Queen's viewpoint, and I hope other agents agree with her. But we know not everyone has as much wisdom as Her Majesty. If I were in OP's position, I might be concerned, too. I can imagine some people thinking if OP writes for a particular outspoken owner of a publication, then OP might (or most certainly does) have the same views.

This doesn't seem like foolish hamster wheel running to me. There are people who decide not to buy an individual's product because of the individual's unrelated political views. Sensitivities can run very high. At times, I find myself debating whether to write boldly or to write safely. Not only because I don't want to hurt anyone with my words, but also because I don't want my words to be misunderstood, which could result in my being misjudged. I'm sure there are people here who have been following what's been going on in YA over the last few weeks.

Jennifer Mugrage said...

I agree with Amy.

On the one hand, Janet's view is refreshingly sane.

On the other, the existence of Twitter mobs and suchlike, coupled the opacity of the querying process and the self-doubt that it amplifies ... Well, it just makes us writers a little paranoid.

I'm so glad I have Janet here telling me "query widely."

Craig F said...

There is no need to throw sand into the gears of social discourse to make a splash. America was started on two disparate viewpoints( the Puritans and the Pilgrims) and continues on anyway.

Your best bet is to keep your political leaning close to your vest and put your best writing forward. With 100 articles under your belt you have a big step done.

I also don't think you should put yourself above the guy you work for, that shows signs of being someone hard to deal with.

BL said...

@Amy Thank you so much!


The idea of joining the site was to build a portfolio, hopefully leapfrog to building my own brand, and above all have fun. When one of the bigwigs at a certain entertainment company blocked me because the owner of the site was busting his chops on twitter, despite my never having interacted with said person on twitter, I thought it prudent to investigate whether I was going to have a problem.

Thank you so much Ms. Reid! I really appreciate this!

PAH said...

Yes, the recent YA Twitter stuff has been scary to watch.

Though it SEEMS like the dangerous moment is right before release (after ARCs are out) and not during the query stage... and even then, USUALLY based on the content of the book (warranted or not) and not the leanings of the writer (in fact, the two young YA authors recently targeted were both considered "allies" at one point).

julie.weathers said...

Congratulations on the 100 articles mark. Way to go!

Yes, unfortunately, we worry about this stuff because life isn't stressful enough.

Amy A discussion on LitForum came up yesterday about historical accuracy in Outlander, which morphed into historical accuracy in historical fiction in general. This is in reference to a reader objecting because the witch trial scene is inaccurate. As someone who has studied ______. Then the person lists about ten things that he feels are wrong.

Somewhere in the discussion someone mentions knowing there are readers out there like that who are going to examine every word you write, especially if you're writing historical, causes paralyzing fear. Yes, we expect people to not like everything we write. Do we expect twitter mobs to rise up and attack an author and their work even before it's released to the point the author feels she must pull the book? Who on earth could even imagine this?

You're not being paranoid if people really are trying to kill you.

"Telling me I'm a loathsome shark who should be eaten for lunch in the soup course because I'm (still) a registered Republican IS."

This made me laugh. A while back Miss Janet was in a conversation on twitter. Someone made the comment that she couldn't even imagine an agent wanting to represent a Republican author. I almost said, "I know, right? Thank God there aren't any Republican agents."

I refrained. Sometimes it's best not to be an ass regardless the temptation.

Colin Smith said...

OP (BL?): Write what you love. Write from your heart. Write authentically. That's the only way you'll write your best.

If you're constantly writing to please others, you'll never be satisfied, you'll never be happy with your work, and you'll never write anything people feel compelled to read.

Just my few cents. :)

Amy Johnson said...

I'm sticking with MG. :)

BrendaLynn said...

I’m inspired by the work ethic of the author in question. I don’t normally read YA or fantasy but I’ll be in line to buy whatever it is that she’s working so hard on.

BL said...

Julie- Thank you so much!

Colin- Thanks! It took a long time, but I’ve learned to trust my voice and believe in the words I put on the page!

Brendalynn- Thank you so much! I’ll be sure to send you an autographed copy!

Craig F said...

Thank you BL for the clarification.

Best of luck to you.