Kelly Is CLOSED To Queries!
This is subjective, but addressing the reader or having a character question themselves to the reader is a big no-no for me. It immediately pulls me out of your manuscript and reminds me that I'm not actively living in your book with the MC. It creates a disconnect! #querytip
When you've only read the old classics, it's really apparent. The beginning usually starts as if an elder was opening up a book and setting the stage for a story, and this is not what's selling today. Dive into the action and your character. Read recent publications! #querytip
Utilizing all of a character's senses is essential to world building. What do they see, smell, hear, touch? What would they pruposely notice by using these senses? When you only use one sense to describe worlds, it comes off flat and dull. This includes characters, too! #querytip
When writing your manuscript, editing, and querying, be aware of the accepted word count lengths! I really don't want to read a 250k word epic fantasy or a 100k word MG. This article from Writer's Digest is great, but YA leans more 70-90k now! #querytip writersdigest.com/guest-columns/…
A synopsis should include the ending, while the query should not. The query should intrigue the reader, while the synopsis should tell them major details. There is a difference, and a different purpose! Another great article from @JaneFriedman #querytip janefriedman.com/how-to-write-a…
Skelly-ton is CLOSED to Queries 🎃💀 @LitAgentKellyGoing through some queries today and noticing a lot of writers who don't know some basics, which tells me there wasn't enough research done. It also tells me it's time for another "basics of querying" thread. Here we go! =) #querytip pic.twitter.com/lcJsY1r3ta
Try to stay away from over exaggerations and use adverbs ending in -ly sparingly. It doesn't help to get your point across, and let's be honest, which is stronger:
"She's extremely angry and goes to hunt them down."
"She hunts them down, anger raging inside her."
Make sure you include the basics at a minimum:
WHO is your character?
WHAT do they want (goal)?
WHEN does it all blow up in their faces (inciting incident)?
WHERE does this lead them?
HOW does this change their goal/character?
WHY is this new goal so important (stakes)?
This is also why sending your query to multiple beta readers and CPs is so important. I consistently ask for multiple reads of pitches because I know I utilize these weaker words and that my friends can help me pick them out. Make friends. Help friends. Ask for help. #querytip
I struggle all the time qith using powerful words in queries and submissions. Some of my weakest are usually verbs like "thinks," "comes to find," "extremely," etc.. It's HARD, but these all make your character quite passive and aren't as strong as they could be! #querytip
Use your manuscript's strengths to your advantage. Have a nice genre-bending manuscript that's creepy/atmospheric, but also has family ties? Make one query accentuating the creepy atmosphere and another accentuating the family ties and be smart about who you send to. #querytip
Make sure you do your research, and if we don't specifically mention a genre or age range, it's probably because we don't represent it. I don't represent non-fiction but have received MANY queries in non-fiction that I've had to unfortunately turn down. Please research. #querytip
Skelly-ton is CLOSED to Queries 🎃💀 @LitAgentKellySince I'm seeing a ridiculous amount of queries that aren't following directions or not utilizing their skills in a way that catches attention, I wanted to do a quick #querytip thread. Keep in mind, I AM NOT reading queries at this second, so this is not a subtweet to anyone.
One of the most simple forms of success with querying is just following directions. Use the proper query layout; address the agent or editor personally; state your genre, age range, title, and word count first or last in your query; include the asked for content! #querytip
I’m so frustrated, so random #querytip, DO NOT email 100-some agents and tell them to start bidding money for your query, and that for each bid, you will release one word of your manuscript. It cracks me up that you all think we’ve got thousands of dollars lying around to—
Metra Kootsikas @Nice2MeechaHey @LitAgentKelly! Do you like spoilers in your requested synopses or not? I have two versions: 🙈 or 🐵! #amquerying
Random #querytip: Voice doesn’t always mean the dialogue or the thoughts/italics that come from your main character. Most of the time, it’s actually your sentence structures and your word choices. So, how can you best convey your style, and your character, through words?
Kortney Price @kortney_priceI'm getting a LOT of queries with super low word counts for their category/genre. When you're editing make sure to keep this in mind! Not sure? A great resource is litrejections.com/word-count/ #querytip #subtip
That’s so funny, because I’m getting all the queries with super high word counts. 😂🤷🏼♀️ Guys, even in adult high fantasies, I really don’t want to be reading a book longer than 130k words. I just don’t have that kind of time and I bet you can probably tighten it. #querytip
#querytip I'm seeing so many people who don't have a strong, enthralling voice for three reasons:
1. You're not varying your sentence structure.
2. You're not telling the story from your MC, but rather a narrator.
3. You're not utilizing all of your MC's senses to tell the story.