Monday, July 24, 2006

New Beginnings


Here's your opportunity to tell an author where to go. With his story, that is. The Beginnings of books--150 words worth-- get posted at Evil Editor's Openings. The minions attempt to provide, in 75 words or fewer, a continuation of the story. The object, of course, is wit, cleverness, laughs; not a suggestion or guess as to where the story's really going. Once we have a winner, we bring the piece to this blog for comments, including my own, and put a new one up at the Openings blog (for which there's a link in the sidebar). With luck, there'll be useful input for authors, and some good laughs. If you can handle negative feedback, mockery, derision and life as a laughingstock, submit your 150 words by emailing Evil Editor through his profile. To continue a story, visit the link above.

23 comments:

BuffySquirrel said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

3 posts a day, times 30 days, equals 90 posts.

20 queries, plus 60 new beginnings, equals 80 posts.

No wonder you're not called the Evil Mathmatician.

Evil Editor said...

You seem to be assuming there won't be another 10 or more posts in the next few hours, when there've been 60 in the short time since this started.

Kanani said...

Why not make a Minion's Annex blog?

Anonymous said...

I really don't like these "new beginnings"; I thought the sarcasm-scathed query letters were much funnier - and, ironically, more instructive, since there are fewer examples of good query letters available to the public than there are good novels.

I suspect people asked EE to do the beginnings because they want his advice on how to write well, not because they saw great comedic potential in the idea. Me, I liked the scathing ridicule, and query letters appear particularly prone to being laughably baaaaaaad.

Those who want help on their writing, go post a chapter on Elektra's Crapometer.

Word Veri. buafl - a cross between "blech" and "awful".

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2 is partly right, at least as to me. I submitted because I want EE's expert advice about my beginning.

I'm in the midst of sending out queries. So EE, please bump my first page to the head of the line, okay? You've already done my query letter. Then you can stop doing first pages. (Does joking come through in this? Sorry if not. I meant it to be half-funny, half-true.) There's nothing like self-interest.

As for entertainment value, I'm not sure which is better. I like both.

Evil Editor said...

Please bump my first page to the head of the line, okay?

Okay. It's the one by anonymous, right?

Kanani said...

I guess I have a rather EVIL way of looking at this situation.

This blog is your volunteer effort, your good will duty, that thing that will give you tix to heaven. Since it doesn't pay, you're free to choose which of the queries/first 150 to review publicly.

Maybe you post 3 a week with a review from you. This alone should be enough to get people to discuss writing. On other days, you can always just post whatever tidbits of writing wisdom you want. Bottom line: this blog should take as little time as possible.

If you had a blog annex, you could post the others there with no review from you. Since there are several capable people who post here, it'd give everyone a chance to give an opinion, and would help others learn how to give constructive criticism that helps the writer. You woudn't have to have word verification, but just glance through to make sure no one is being incredibly rude.

Or if you want, appoint a few minions as moderators.

I know this won't be satisfactory to everyone. But I know what it's like to be drowning in work, and volunteer efforts have to come after the stuff that pays. Evil Editor does not live off mugs and t-shirts alone.

S. W. Vaughn said...

Poor Evil! Look what we've done to him. Give us writers an inch and we'll all try to crowd into it at the same time...

Personally, any and all comments will work for me, whether it be from the Minions or EE himself (though of course your advice is sacrosanct, Evil -- can I call you Evil?).

And I'd love to see EE's first 150!

Nick said...

It seems Evil Editor does this from the kindness of his heart (is that a contradiction in terms?) so the timetable (and the blog contents, for that matter) should be his to set, not the minions to demand. It's free advice (unless you count paying with your ego) so take it as you see fit. He's not entitled to do them in any particular order. (And one more paranthetical phrase for good measure.)

-Nick

Eliza said...

It rather is like trying to smoosh into the just-after-lunch downtown 6 train at Grand Central, isn't it?

I'm sure the last you need is more mail, eh? I'll withdraw mine from the "EE! Pick my 150" queue if it'll be that much help.

Since this is moderated, my 150 was sent from eliza.osborn@gmail.com and started, "The chateau cast dark shadows..."

I'll leave it up to the minions if you've got the time, no worries. Thanks again for all you're doing.

Jeb said...

Leave mine in the usual queue, please (unless you decide to can the whole project, in which case do with it as Your Evilness wills). The earliest this novel could see completion is likely early 2008, and it will have to go through a couple of readers and rewrites before I send it to anyone.

So, in short, any time before mid-2009 is good by me.

Elaine said...

to 2nd anon--

The difference between Elektra's Crapometer and Evil Editor is that EE is a real editor, someone who may have a different perspective on openings than the average blog reader. It's not often writers get a chance for professional feedback. I'm happy he's willing to give it, and I don't care if it's not funny.

Anonymous said...

"It's not often writers get a chance for professional feedback. I'm happy he's willing to give it, and I don't care if it's not funny."

Ditto. I mean, you can get feedback from random strangers with no publishing credits just about anywhere. How many Evil Editors are there?

Anonymous said...

It's not often writers get a chance for professional feedback. I'm happy he's willing to give it, and I don't care if it's not funny.

Ye-ah... but the question is whether he is happy to give it.

The wording of your post tends to prove my point - that the writers who want EE to do novel beginnings made that request for selfish reasons; they want free advice, and are willing to see this blog's entertainment value sacrificed if they can have it.

I really wonder if we're imposing on poor Mr. Evil's goodwill. It's his blog, and he can run it how he likes, but given that peer pressure can keep a person doing things they would rather not, I just wanted to voice my contrary opinion, so that if Mr. Evil wants to turf the novel beginnings, he knows he won't be completely ostracized.

I do think the annex is a good idea, however.

A Reader said...

I'd hate to see EE suffer from burnout & leave us.
I also wonder if the humorous rewrites of the first 150 words are confusing to new authors if the goal is purely to be funny.
Granted, I'm learning a lot about writing humor, but if that's not an author's intention, he or she might not appreciate the edit.

Evil Editor said...

if the humorous rewrites of the first 150 words are confusing to new authors...

The 150 words aren't rewritten, they're added to, and the added part will be shaded to show it wasn't part of the book.

A Reader said...

Sorry, I wasn't clear.
I meant the "Revised Version" that you do for the authors, EE.
Like, Candice on her knees giving her "present" to Ian.
It teaches authors something, just not sure if it's what they wanted to learn (in regards to their chosen genre, I mean). Unless I am completely misunderstanding all of this, which I probably am!

kis said...

kanani and nick,

I thought we all knew this blog was part of EE's court-ordered community service after he accidentally set fire to his office while making an indoor bonfire out of his slush pile. As such, there's really nothing voluntary about it.

BuffySquirrel said...

Honestly, I don't see the difference between the selfishness of the minions who want their first 150 words improved and the selfishness of those who want EE to concentrate on queries instead because they don't find the beginnings as entertaining.

All of us are here to get something for nothing; it's only what we want that varies.

HawkOwl said...

I like the current format for the Openings. Post the 150, and people chime in with whatever they have to say about it, trying to keep it constructive rather than just mean. Us doing the next 75 words doesn't seem very constructive.

I hope you're going to put up a FAQ over there so we know how (and whether) to submit our Openings. :)

Evil Editor said...

Constructive? We're here to have fun.

Anonymous said...

I think the new "continue the opening" game is tons of fun. So far, the continuations have been hilarious. And I'm impressed with the way the continuations pick up on the tone of the originals.

If people want to leave constructive comments, great. But it's been fascinating to see where people's minds go with these.