Laura Crockett ♠️
Q9: Opens with, "My book does not contain X, Y, or Z. You can send your automated rejection now." Pass. #tenqueries
Why are you shooting yourself in the foot automatically? Pitch the book. Show me what it IS rather than telling me what it is NOT.
Q6: F. Stellar query/premise, intense obstacles, tangible world. Comp'd a client title. Writing in the sample too vague & grand, stilted dialogue. Sad pass. #tenqueries
When writing fantasy, focus on MC's immediate scene in opening chapters, then expand out. Not world/backstory.
Q5: Defined as NA Fantasy, then at the end of the sentence YA Urban Fantasy. Continued to tell me about the story in the most vague sense, no specifics apart from a character name. Pass. #tenqueries
"Running for one's life/saving the world" is fantasy at large. Be specific.
Q2: F. Arthurian retelling, using the same names & plot. Pass. #tenqueries
I like the legend of King Arthur & I like novels inspired by it. But that's the key word: inspired. Your plot have twists from the original. Consider changing names & settings too. Make it stand out.
Q10: WF/Chick lit. I literally laughed out loud reading the query, and the writing sample continued the humorous, hot-mess-just-keep-swimming voice beloved in romcoms. Pitch has something unique to add to the chick lit table! Partial! #tenqueries #querywin
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Q3: HF / F. Dual POV with polar opposite MCs, each with clashing ideologies and values. Their predicament is truly a tough one. Sample writing shows distinctly different and sympathetic voices. Partial! #tenqueries #querywin
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.
Q1: Starting off a query with poor, snarky attitude (like what's pictured) is not the path one should take in finding an agent. Yes, you'll stand out...but not in the right way. Why would I want to work with you with that negative impression? Pass. #tenqueries