Tuesday, October 23, 2007

But my case is different

So, what is the deal with people seeming to believe that their situation always gives them a right to not follow the rules?

I am constantly getting submissions in the mail and a writer sends me something that is not even close to what I am asking for. They attempt to justify that their situation somehow makes it O.K. for them to not follow the rules. Ummmm, NOT.

As most of you know, I also teach English Composition. I just had this student come into class tonight wanting me to allow them the chance to take a quiz that I gave last week. They contacted me on Friday telling me that they missed class on Thursday when we had the quiz and wanted the make up time. I was more than generous and sent the paperwork to them via email and told them I needed it back ASAP!

I then contacted them on Sat. morning and told them it had to be in by the end of the day. When I checked my email on Sunday morning, it still wasn't there. So, I emailed again and told them I would have to give them the zero since the work still had not made it to me.

Then I hear this big story of how they have no access to the internet (and yet they emailed me) and how that was unfair.

Now what part of unfair is that exactly.

O.K. I know I'm ranting but darn it. Suck it up, follow the directions and get on with it.



  1. Oh but my case is different! My ex-wife just ran off with the milkman and took the dog and ran over the cat and stole the house and then took all my good manuscripts, so all I have left is this unedited, uncompleted, 293,000 word hillbilly sci-fi romance! But it's the next great American novel, I know it...!

  2. um. can I rant? better yet, how 'bout you give us a(nother) rousing rant because I haven't been able to figure out why I keep hearing that we shouldn't worry about the rules. In my limited experience I've seen that applied to technique and submissions guidelines as well.

    From the bottom looking up, it looks, more often, like those who follow the rules are trumped by those who don't.

    I'll keep following the rules as well as I understand them because I'm just anal like that - and I guess some naive bit of me believes... but it leaves me more than a bit confused sometimes.

  3. Sue,

    As far as the rules go, I think what many people are saying is that we don't want you to worry about some of the stupid rules out there in terms of writing. We want you to focus on telling a dang good story.

    As far as those people who don't follow the rules, they have paid their dues in the publishing world and know how to break the rules correctly. See Hemingway for example.