A thoughtful writer posted that he can’t get agents to respond to his literary manuscript, and is choosing to revise it and fashion a more commercial way to tell the story. He asked if others have gone that route to eventual publication.
In response, another writer shared a link to an article on BuzzFeed Books. It’s a parody of a critique group member offering Jane Austen feedback on her supposed yet-to-be-published manuscript called Pride and Pejudice.
It’s hilarious, and it’s also spot-on. All who commented on it agreed they have gotten and given such. Red-face and phooey on us all.
This got me thinking about how important a backbone is to artists. Maybe to all people, but especially for those who are guaranteed to face a lot of rejection.
Art is never made without great vision. Getting and considering feedback is a good idea, but losing sight of your vision will guarantee failure. Commercial books are written by committee, even if it’s a committee of one with only echoes of the voices of others.
What is a legitimate concern for writers of literary books is that they communicate well. To this end— the input of others can be of enormous help. But it saddens me when the voices of commerce become gospel.