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Rejection, Romance and Royalties: The Wacky World of a Working Writer

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  64 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Aspiring writers will learn the ins and outs of life as a full-time career novelist in this fresh and frank tell-all book from the perspective of one who knows. While most of these hopefuls will have no chance of becoming the next Stephen King, this book reveals that there is a real possibility for them to make a living from their writing if they put in the hard work, ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published by Jefferson Press (first published 2007)
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Stephany
Apr 24, 2012 Stephany rated it really liked it
I received this book as a gift in a fiction workshop two years ago (from a professor whose name actually appears in this book at one point...nifty!) and finally decided that I was going to give it a read. I know. I'm pretty on top of things, aren't I?

If you are reading this, please bear in mind that I've never read any works by Laura Resnick, so my review is strictly from the viewpoint of an aspiring writer, specifically one who can't very well pass up a free book (seriously...there's no risk if
...more
Kalin
Jun 05, 2015 Kalin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A heartily recommended read for the ambitious writer, especially along with 500 Ways to Write Harder . ("Especially" because the styles of the two books complement each other: 500 Ways teems with profanity while Rejection is almost pristine ... yet both of them are funny. Makes for a good exercise in compare and contrast. ;)

For me, the three main strengths of Rejection are:

1. It's (wait for it) funny. And frankly speaking, if you don't find anything to make you laugh among the toils of the writ
...more
Adam Ross
Nov 19, 2012 Adam Ross rated it really liked it
Shelves: on-writing
This is a book every wannabe writer should read. That's no rhetorical flourish - seriously, you want to write, you should be required to read this book first. Resnick's writing is repeatedly strong, and she addresses everything from the personality of a writer (so, so true) to horror stories about rejection, and dealing with editors and copy editors. Really, this is one of the chief values of the book. She demonstrates repeatedly (with citations and quotes from other writers) that the industry ...more
John
Jan 11, 2011 John rated it really liked it
Really should be 3.5, but I liked it overall, and am feeling generous.

Lots of good advice, if not slightly repetitive at times. The emphasis on romance genre wasn't easy for me to relate to, but hey ... it's her background! Can't say I bonded completely with her sense of humor, which veered in Catskills comedienne mode on occasion, but she made some great points having to do with Editors-as-Gods (in their own minds), and that sort of thing. There's a lot for aspiring writers to take away (there'
...more
Ellen Bard
A funny read about the realities of being a writer from someone who’s been making a living from it for years. These essays are enjoyable and down-to-earth, and cover many of the different aspects of being a writer, from how it feels to work with an editor, to how solitary it can be, to some aspects of the craft.

There was a little repetition in the book, and it did feel more like a collection of blog posts or columns than a cohesive book (which is fine), but it has much useful advice in. It remi
...more
Angela Benedetti
Mar 13, 2011 Angela Benedetti rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who writes and is or wants to be published
Shelves: nonfiction, writing
There's a lot of great info in this book, and funny stories, and smacks upside the head, all of which are useful to a writer, whether published or aspiring. If you're a beginner looking for a how-to that starts at the beginning and goes through the elements of a story and the process of writing, though, this won't do it for you. (Although you should still get this, because you need to know what's in this book, even if it doesn't explain constructing a character or controlling point of view.)

Good
...more
Unwisely
Oct 26, 2012 Unwisely rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2012
I happened to see this on goodreads, and my library had it, so hey. I occasionally read books on how to write, just in case I ever actually start, I guess.

This was a collection of her columns, rather than something like Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. As a result, there was some repetition of stories and themes, but overall it was an interesting read. (Also, I learned that I am clearly *not* a writer.)
J.H. Trumble
Nov 28, 2012 J.H. Trumble rated it it was amazing
Laura Resnick's book had me laughing out loud repeatedly!

I've only published two books so far, with a third in the works, but I saw myself on almost every page of this little gem. I highly recommend it for published writers and those who aspire to be published.

Just like Anne Lammott's BIRD BY BIRD, it's one of those books I'll turn to again and again when I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by the whole process.

Go read this book!
Michael Cummings
Aug 29, 2015 Michael Cummings rated it really liked it
Like Dave Barry giving writing advice (am I dating myself?), Resnick's book is a somewhat humorous collection of anecdotes focussed on reminding writers bad things happen, it's a career not a hobby, and the rewards aren't always greater than the investment. And yet we keep doing it.
MB
Sep 14, 2010 MB rated it it was amazing
Every writer who ever has any self-doubt should read this book. It's not going to turn you into a better writer, but it will make you feel better about the crazy, solitary work of being a writer and trying to get published. And no, publishing DOESN'T make any sense. Even to working writers. :)
Chris Eboch
Apr 08, 2012 Chris Eboch rated it really liked it
Some of these essays will have you laughing out loud. Others will have writers cringing at the shocking and baffling problems that can plague a working writer. Among the horror and humor, Resnick offers some practical advice on topics like writers block and common writer insecurities.
David Earle
Feb 11, 2015 David Earle rated it it was amazing
Really excellent essays from a working writer. I've read it twice now and I fully expect I'll read it again soon. Funny, insightful, and heartfelt.
Andrea
Apr 26, 2012 Andrea rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfic
Acerbic, humorous essays on the life and trials of a working writer. The raccoon story alone is worth buying the book.

Warning: may put some people off being a writer. :)
Michael
Sep 13, 2012 Michael rated it it was amazing
Along with Bill Goldman's Adventures In The Screen Trade, this is one of the best books on what kinda life a professional writer goes through. A must-read.
Julee Johnson-Tate
Mar 13, 2011 Julee Johnson-Tate rated it really liked it
Very good advice--I love her voice and have met her and her father through science fiction fandom.
Suzie Quint
Suzie Quint rated it really liked it
Jan 26, 2013
N Gray
N Gray rated it it was amazing
Sep 26, 2015
Magdelena
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Nov 12, 2015
Martin Rose
Martin Rose rated it it was ok
Feb 19, 2013
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Jan 27, 2016
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Aug 09, 2015
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Aug 10, 2012
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Sep 30, 2010
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Alison Livingston
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Laura Resnick is an award-winning science fiction and fantasy author, the daughter of prolific science fiction author Mike Resnick. She was the winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in Science Fiction for 1993. She also writes romance novels under the pseudonym Laura Leone
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Poor Superman is about a married man who, much to his own surprise, enters into a passionate love affair—with another man. The experimental theatre which hosted the play here is a small place, and we happened to wind up sitting in the front row. Practically on the stage. The actors were often within a few feet of us. So, during the big love scene, when the two male leads start passionately stroking and kissing each other’s stark naked bodies... and doing this so close to me that I could have touched them both with only a little effort... I sat there in mute panic, thinking, “Please don’t either of you fellows get an erection. Just don’t. Should I look away? Should I close my eyes? Should I just keep watching as if I’m not obsessing about your genitals? Aren’t you done kissing and touching yet? Because if this goes on any longer, one of you could have an involuntary reaction, if you get my drift! And I am a total stranger sitting within four damn feet of you, in case you hadn’t NOTICED!”
Though my seat wasn’t as dark as usual, the writing lesson was very memorable: Don’t ever pull your reader out of the frame.
Bad research. Anachronistic writing. Self-serving polemics and lectures barely disguised as narrative. Incongruity and lack of continuity. Weak characterization, leaden pacing, lack of motivation, stiff dialogue, lazy plotting... There are a thousand ways for novelist to wind up naked onstage while an appalled audience obsesses about her exposed genitals at a critical moment.”
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“It is the heavy reality of the writing life which makes the “why” so easy to forget: Gutless rejection letters, denigrating revision letters, incompetent copy edits, insulting reviews, late checks, disappointing sales, down-trending print-runs, shrinking advances, royalties paid in a geological timeframe, imprints folding, publishers downsizing their lists and conglomerating their overhead. 
One day your editor expresses all the enthusiasm of an overtired undertaker. The next day your agent demonstrates all the faith and commitment of a diseased streetwalker. Your book is packaged with a cover that would embarrass anyone who wasn’t raised in a Red Light district. You give a thoughtful interview only to discover the resultant article describes you as churning out potboilers. Three people show up at your book signing, two of them because they thought you were someone else; the third person came because you owe him money. When you make the New York Times list, a neighbor asks you “which” NYT list you’re on, because there must be a separate one for the trash you write. Though you’ve been publishing regularly for years, you know people who ask, every single time they see you, if you still write. (No, I fell back on my independent wealth when the going got tough.)”
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