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Showing posts from October, 2011

10 Things That Shouldn’t Be In Your Query

Rhetorical Questions – Have you ever wondered why queries shouldn’t be printed on blue cardstock? Probably not. The problem with rhetorical questions is that the answer is usually no. Why do you want an agent to have the word “No” in her mind before she gets through your query?  A rhetorical Q as a first sentence is effectively cutting your head off. If you’ve got a rhetorical question, cut it out and find a better way to approach that. Rhetoricals are lazy. Rachelle Gardener from WordServe Literary Group: Your query begins with a rhetorical question. The problem with this is that usually my answer to your question is “no” so you’ve already lost me. Especially the “Have you ever wondered…?” questions. (Rachelle’s Blog) ------------------------------------ Clichés or Tropes – The point of a query is to illustrate the Uniqueness of your novel to an agent or publisher. Clichés and Tropes are not unique. Chances are, if you’re using one, an agent (or their assistant) has already read three …

Confessions of a Critique Partner: Joann

Let me start off this “Confession” post by letting you know that Joann from over at Laundry Hurts My Feelings is my fabulous Crit Partner and then by assuring you that when I asked her to write a confession about being my Crit Partner… this was not what I expected and am extremely flattered. So, here’s Joann:
Since, I’m here to confess today, I might as well give you a whopping big confession.
I’ve written a novel. I’ve labored long and hard over my novel. I’ve sweated, what feels like blood, at times. I’ve given up a lot of living in the pursuit of these words of mine. I’ve far too often, cried in frustration. I’ve lain awake at night, my head filled with plot lines and revisions. But more than all of those tough moments put together, I’ve been euphoric, filled with a writerly joy, on the days when the words just tumbled out of me, my hands flying at super speed to catch them. And I have never felt prouder of an accomplishment than when I was able to write those two little words, The E…

Blogger Interview: Matthew McNish

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Matthew's blog The Quintessentialy Questionable Query Experiment is all about his writing journey and helping others perfect their queries before submission.
ABK: Tell us a little about yourself to start off. MM: Not much to know. All the adventurous parts of my life are thankfully past and not to be admitted to in public forums. Now I work a soul-sucking day job in the tech industry, raise my two daughters, collect books, walk my dog, run a blog, write stories, and drink a lot. ABK: Who is your favorite all-time protagonist and why? MM: Hmm. I might say Frodo Baggins, but my love for him is really overshadowed by my love for Aragorn, Gandalf, Samwise, and Legolas, so although those are my all time favorite books, I may not count Frodo as my favorite protagonist. Harry Potter may be close, but then he's also sometimes a bit of a nob, so I'm not picking him either. I'm going to go with Nailer, from Ship-Breakr, because although I really loved Andrew Smith protagonists like…