Trading Places…with Maryann Miller

16 responses

  1. Maryann Miller
    December 8, 2010

    I’m feeling really lonely over here, folks. LOL

    On a more serious note, I’ve decided to give an electronic copy of One Small Victory to a lucky winner drawn from those who leave comments here. I will keep the contest open until Friday to give people plenty of time to come on over.

    Reply

  2. Jacqueline Seewald
    December 8, 2010

    Hi, Maryann,

    It’s been a while. delighted you’re with us again. Even more delighted to read the wonderful reviews your new book has garnered! I see lots of library sales in your future. Congrats!

    Reply

  3. Jeffrey A. Carver
    December 8, 2010

    Hi Maryann — What you say is absolutely true. But you can raise the stakes a notch higher, and say that part of being a professional is knowing when to take advice and when (politely) to disregard it. I depend enormously on both my writing group and my editor for good and useful feedback (and for ideas about things I’ve never thought of). Most of the time, I take the advice. But sometimes you get conflicting advice–and sometimes you just have to say, no, I’ve thought this through and I’m trusting my own instinct. Even when you do that, though, you’re benefiting from criticism, because it requires you to think through what you’re doing and why. And sometimes you’ll realize the criticism is pinpointing a real problem, but you need to find a different solution from the one others suggest.

    Jeff Carver

    Reply

  4. jenny milchman
    December 8, 2010

    I do want to hear about the other mistakes, Maryann! I promise, I will learn from them 🙂

    Let’s see…what mistakes have I made. The ones I can think of have to do with the road less traveled. For instance, when I signed with my second agent, I had another one offering to rep me. I thought of the one I chose as Jerry in Jerry Maguire, and the other one as Sugar. However, Jerry wound up not selling my work. Was that a mistake? Should I have gone with Jay Mohr’s character?

    Mistakes are how we learn, but they’re dreadful when you can’t take a concrete lesson from them, and just go round and round, wondering.

    I do a lot of things that are bolder or edgier than I am really comfortable with because I fear *not* doing them and later regretting it. This isn’t a recipe for making fewer mistakes. But it is a recipe for staving off regret.

    At least you tried, you can always say.

    I say that, anyway.

    Reply

  5. Maryann Miller
    December 8, 2010

    Good points, Jenny. Sometimes I wonder if I ever learned anything without making a mistake first. LOL

    And I agree with your, Jeffrey, we need to be careful about which critiques and editorial comments to heed and which to ignore.

    Reply

  6. Patricia Stoltey
    December 8, 2010

    I was confident I’d turned in a near perfect manuscript to my editor when I got the contract for my first mystery. Imagine my shock when I received the editor’s copy back with comments and Track Changes, and every page was full of corrections. We simply do not know what we don’t know until we let an editor tackle our manuscript.

    Reply

  7. Dani Greer
    December 8, 2010

    I’ve read all of LJ’s books, but none of yours, Maryann. What does that say? I have no idea if you can write, that’s what! ROFLMAO. You do follow instructions rather well at this point your life, I can say that with enthusiasm!

    Reply

  8. Joyce Yarrow
    December 9, 2010

    I love finding wonderful quotes that help me to see something from the “other side of the fence.” Here’s one that suits this topic perfectly, from Harold Ross, founder of The New Yorker: “Editing is the same as quarreling with writers – the same thing exactly.” Me, I try to quarrel in a civilized manner, as long as the basic intent of my work is not compromised, I’m willing to listen – and sometimes I even learn!

    Reply

  9. Maryann Miller
    December 9, 2010

    Joyce, I love the quote. Thanks for that quote. It is so perfect here. Since I have been on both sides of the editing table, I have come to understand how to accept editing with a little more grace. I also understand the importance of good negotiations with an editor.

    Dani, maybe you will be the lucky winner in this giveaway. In the meantime, you can sample my writing on my Web site. There are excerpts there free for the reading. And thanks so much for the endorsement of my ability to follow directions. I am much older and wiser now. SNORT

    Reply

  10. Phoebe Conn
    December 9, 2010

    Loved your topic. I once had a new editor who handed me the first few pages of a book she’d loved, after she had done her line editing. I was appalled she had essentially rewritten my book and told her to erase the mess or I’d pull the book. She grabbed an eraser.

    Reply

  11. Maryann Miller
    December 9, 2010

    Egad, Phoebe, did she even know what it means to edit? Sounds like she wasn’t very experienced.

    Reply

  12. Susan Whitfield
    December 9, 2010

    Maryann and LJ, great article, and it’s great to learn more about you.

    Reply

  13. Maryann Miller
    December 9, 2010

    thanks for stopping by, Susan. Glad you enjoyed the article.

    Reply

  14. Marilynne Smith
    December 9, 2010

    When I was just beginning to sell articles to magazines, an editor told me she thought I had written two stories and she was interested only in the first one. I was so eager to please that I sent a revised version with the part she was interested in almost by return mail. She bought it.

    Then I revised the other half of the article and sold that one too. When an editor gives advice, I listen – at least part of the time.

    Reply

  15. Maryann Miller
    December 10, 2010

    Good for you, Marilynne. BTW, I love the spelling of your name. Quite different from the norm.

    Reply

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