Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Devil, meet the deep blue sea!

 Is this a good idea?

Should I write a proposal for it?

Devil, meet the deep blue sea!

If I say yes, this sounds great, write a proposal and then pass on the proposal, I would feel like I've led you on. My guess is you would too, and start shopping for flaming bags of dog poop.

If I say no, this sounds like shite (flaming), you go away feeling like crap and maybe I missed something good. Or worse, you don't write the proposal that another agent would have jumped on it with all four feet.

That's why you have to write the proposal before you ask me (or any agent) to offer any kind of assessment.

Plus, ideas are a dime a dozen.

Even good ones.

It's the execution that matters.

Any questions?


Katja said...

Yes, one question: what does "ideas are a dime a dozen" mean?

I know that a dime is an American coin and I know a dozen is twelve, but I don't know this saying.

Because you say "it's the execution that matters", I get some sense here but hopefully I get it the right way. 🤔

AJ Blythe said...

Katja, the saying means that ideas are cheap and easy to come by.

If only the execution was as easy...

french sojourn said...

... ready, aim, fire?

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Ideas easy. Execution - not so much. That's one cute shark there. Hope everyone is living their best life in this sea of sharks.

CynthiaMc said...

Yay! Good to see everyone again!

Craig F said...

If you need any ideas, I can sell you a few for cheap. I have thousands of thousands of them and need to cull a few.

They get in the way of me exploiting the ones i want, need, and on and on. Sometimes they turn my plots into kudzu and steal the food I try to feed other ideas.

Hope all of you are doing okay, I'm still waiting on that seemingly mythical bright new dawn.

PAH said...

"Ideas are a dime a dozen" ... absolutely. I LOVE when people are precious about their ideas. The surest way to spot an amateur -- when someone won't speak their idea out loud for fear of it being stolen.

Leslie said...

Speaking as a nonfiction writer (meaning that we do the proposal before actually writing the bulk of the book), I've found that attempting to put together a proposal can be clarifying.

I wound up dropping the very first book idea I had because as I was trying to do some initial research, I realized there was no "there" there. It took a year or so until the perfect idea came to me. And then I had a complete proposal that really came together.

Speaking of stealing ideas, I knew someone who had written a few (nonfiction) books for a smallish, respectable publisher. When he had a meeting with the honchos at a much larger house, he told them his idea for a book he wanted to write for them.

I don't remember whether it was at that meeting or shortly after, but they told him that they liked the idea, but had another writer in mind for that project. They offered him a contract for a different topic (that they picked)

Beth Carpenter said...

And then there are the non-writers who want to offer you their ideas for a book you should write, and you nod politely and wonder if you should explain that while their great-grandparents' meeting sounds adorable, there's no conflict there to make it a story.

John Davis Frain said...

I think with inflation, we can keep the alliteration and update the phrase to a dollar a dozen. Or we could write a Greek tragedy and twist the cliche into a drachma a dozen. Or we--

Okay, okay, I'll get back to editing. (I was just gonna mention the book I was reading where the guy in Serbia was carrying some dinar, but never mind.)

KMK said...

Wonderful insight -- and wonderful to "see" everyone again! I'd just add to Leslie's observation that it happens to fiction writers too. I try out ideas all the time, but if I can't get beyond that grabbing opening or great logline into a story that I can tell, it's not going anywhere. You don't know what you've got until you write it. (At least some of it!)

Mister Furkles said...

"all four feet" And I thought agents had fins?

Devil Meets the Deep Blue Sea: Maybe a photo album of dangerous sea creatures?

Once there was a fellow, about the time Harry Potter was going into the movies, who wanted two million dollars for what he said would be the next big thing. So maybe a murder mystery where a detective investigates a murderer who makes agents and writers laugh themselves to death.

Kregger said...

I haven't written a resume or applied for a job in over thirty years.
I have had to read resumes of prospective employees. Thankfully, not at the volume of queries to agents.
I can draw an inference that queries are similar to resumes in that the writer/employment-seeker is seeking to put their best foot forward to draw attention.
Like a query, resumes have comps also known as work history.
One comp that drew my attention was this statement, "I was in charge of executions in the kitchen."
I didn't hire this person, and I haven't been able to eat at that particular fast-food chain since.
I did however forward the resume to the Dept. of Corrections for future employment.

AJ Blythe said...

Oh my gosh, Kregger, that made me both laugh out loud and shudder at the same time, lol.

Joseph S. said...

A pompous in-law's in-law once said to me, "Lawyers are a dime a dozen" (I was a lawyer at the time.) I answered, "Actually, lawyers are $200 an hour."

Joseph S. said...

A month or two ago a book appeared on Goodreads about the devil being in the sea. Ican't recall its title.

Joseph S. said...

The book I mentioned is "The Devil and the Dark Water" by Stuart Turton.

Part of the promo blurb:

But no sooner are they out to sea than devilry begins to blight the voyage. A twice-dead leper stalks the decks. Strange symbols appear on the sails. Livestock is slaughtered.

And then three passengers are marked for death, including Samuel.