Sharon Belcastro @SharonBelcastro · 31 Dec 2018

#QueryTip #TenQueries Q7 Starts with word cound and genre (good) but then goes into all the themes and topics it covers. Nothing noting who or what the story is about. Pass @belcastr

Sharon Belcastro @SharonBelcastro · 31 Dec 2018

#QueryTip #TenQueries Q5 Starts by noting our interest in screenplays. We don't represent screenplay. Pass. @belcastr

Sharon Belcastro @SharonBelcastro · 31 Dec 2018

#QueryTip #TenQueries Q4 Full synopsis and first three chapter attached per guidelines (perfect). Notes title, genre (perfect) but not market. Like to know if its adult or YA. Also includes word count (perfect) but it's over 200k. Way too long for the genre. Must pass. @belcastr

A.M. Rose @annmrose · 26 Oct 2018

Q10: Starts by calling me the wrong name (which happens more often than you’d think) then the query is just them asking me if I’m open to submissions and doesn’t tell me about the book - opening is abrupt with no chance to connect to the MC who is trust into action - Pass

A.M. Rose @annmrose · 26 Oct 2018

Q9: Says it’s YA fantasy but the content isn’t YA which I find super disturbing so its a pass

A.M. Rose @annmrose · 26 Oct 2018

Q8: It must be Fantasy day because here is another except the query which is addressed to me is just an excerpt from the book and doesn’t tell me what the book is about - word count is way out of range - opens with character waking up - pass

A.M. Rose @annmrose · 26 Oct 2018

Q7: holy dear god this book is over 400k - pass

A.M. Rose @annmrose · 26 Oct 2018

Q6: Is something I don’t represent - pass

A.M. Rose @annmrose · 26 Oct 2018

Q5: Another fantasy that uses all the fantasy words they’ve made up for their world in the query so it’s hard to follow - reads like a first draft - pass

A.M. Rose @annmrose · 26 Oct 2018

Q4: Adult Fantasy that uses 30 words to tell what the book is about - which actually tells me nothing - synopsis doesn’t indicate this book actually ends but that it’s just the start of a bigger story - pass

A.M. Rose @annmrose · 26 Oct 2018

Q3: Starts by telling me they just completed the first draft and it reads like a first draft - pass

A.M. Rose @annmrose · 26 Oct 2018

Q2: Uses an unpersonalized personalization 😳 gives me word count down to the exact number but doesn’t actually tell me anything about the book, just a really long bio - pass

A.M. Rose @annmrose · 26 Oct 2018

Q:1 Adult Sci-fi - interesting premise - starts in the wrong place and the voice doesn’t grab me - synopsis doesn’t actually give me the story or how it’s supposed to end - pass

Laura Crockett @LECrockett · 24 Oct 2018

Q9: "I don't read stories similar to what I write. I think [x] audience would enjoy this, but I don't know -- I haven't actually read any of those books they like." Pass. #tenqueries

You need to be familiar with the market/genre/audience you're writing in/for. It's not optional.

Laura Crockett @LECrockett · 24 Oct 2018

Q8: Opens with questions, continued throughout. "Did you ever wonder..." "What would you do if..." Pass. #tenqueries

My teachers always said to never start an essay with "[Word] is defined as..." And now I'm telling you to never start/continue a query with pointless questions.

Laura Crockett @LECrockett · 24 Oct 2018

Q6: F. "My manuscript is a 468,000-word..." Pass. #tenqueries

Honey, NOBODY is going to read that. That's nearly 2,000 pages. Cut 3/4 of it and you'll stand a better chance. Even The Greats in genre fiction don't have 2,000 pages.

Laura Crockett @LECrockett · 24 Oct 2018

Q5: Thriller (don't rep). Told me what the ms is (themes, plot structure, philosophy) and isn't (genre), but didn't share *the story*. Pass. #tenqueries

A query is like a book jacket. Set the stage with your MC, leave a hook, and let the reader discover what the MS is or isn't.

Laura Crockett @LECrockett · 24 Oct 2018

Q4: YA HF. Neat concept, certainly a different look at this period of history. However, sample writing provided = unappealing to a modern YA audience because it (1) reads like a textbook (dates, facts, figures) and (2) did not open with a scene/follow an MC. Pass. #tenqueries

Laura Crockett @LECrockett · 24 Oct 2018

Q2: YA F. 5 paragraphs about why I should rep the writer, 1 paragraph about the world of the story. Pass. #tenqueries

SFF pitches are hard! But you need your reader to be interested in your *MC* first and foremost, and why we need/want to follow THEM on this fantastical journey.