Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™

@CortneyRadocaj

associate agent @belcastr โ€ข writer โ€ข hufflepuff โ€ข ISFJ โ€ข she/her โ€ข bisexual โ€ข neurodiverse โ€ข punk at heart

Spokane, WA

Belcastro Agency

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · May 6

As youโ€™re querying, keep in mind I am NOT the right agent for:

-marriage plots
-pregnancies
-Chosen One plots
-MC Discovering Unknown World/Powers plots
-magic schools/academies
-graphic sexual assault

#querytip #antiMSWL #amquerying #amwriting #writingcommunity #writers

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · Apr 25

Gentle reminder:

Please don't DM/email agents after a rejection trying to get more info on why we passed.

I understand the urge, but we only have so much time for each query, and this pushes a boundary that's necessary for us to keep in place.

#querytip

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · Apr 23

REMINDER:

Your query should NOT give away everything; it should hook and entice and want to make you read more.

Your synopsis SHOULD give away everything; itโ€™s meant to present the beats of your story and ensure your plot is solid.

The two are NOT interchangeable!!

#querytip

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · Mar 30

#querytip Quick reminder to only query COMPLETE, POLISHED manuscripts!

Donโ€™t send agents drafts that are half finished and tell them itโ€™ll be finished soon. Wait until itโ€™s complete and edited!

(Also this is for FICTION manuscripts)

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · Mar 20

#querytip Reminder that I DO NOT represent any kind of nonfiction!

For QM, if an agent doesnโ€™t have your genre/age category as an option... probably a good hint they donโ€™t rep that (i.e. nonfic and MG arenโ€™t options on my sub page I PROMISE IM NOT HIDING THEM I DONT REP THESE)

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · Jan 27

#querytip quick (and v subjective, personal) reminderโ€”opening with an intense, graphic sex scene is going to immediately turn me off of a manuscript.

Sex in an MS is fine in general for me, but DEAR GOD please let me get immersed in the world and characters first.

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · Jan 22

TL;DR word count, esp as a debut author, is ridiculously important KNOW THE ACCEPTABLE RANGE FOR YOUR GENRE

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · Jan 22

Just rememberโ€”word count matters for a reason. Agents and editors harp on it because we WANT you to succeed. And it kills us to see so many shooting themselves in the foot right out the gate.

So do your research. Take a hard look at your word count.

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · Jan 22

Too high:

What do I have in excess? Do I need to cut down on world building to keep everything streamlined? Do I have too many sub plots? Are there any scenes that arenโ€™t doing work? Am I spending time in an area that the book could do without?

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · Jan 22

Too low:

What pieces am I missing? Is my book made up of layers? Are my characters and their relationships complex and compelling? Do I have any subplots? Is my world building fleshed our enough? Is it too easy for my MC to achieve their goals?

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · Jan 22

If you find yourself outside of those ranges, donโ€™t panic! I promise itโ€™s workable.

It might be an easy fix, or it might take a lot of maneuvering and reworking, but it IS doable to both add and reduce word count.

So here are some questions to ask yourself:

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · Jan 22

And on the craft levelโ€”low word counts make agents wonder whatโ€™s left out, what isnโ€™t there to make your story well-rounded and complex.

High word counts, what excess is there, whatโ€™s been added in or extrapolated too far.

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · Jan 22

But please rememberโ€”you might think 20-30k outside the range isnโ€™t THAT bad, but itโ€™s a LOT of words to have to figure out. Especially for an agent that just signed you, doesnโ€™t know how well you can edit, and doesnโ€™t know 100% how well youโ€™ll receive critiques

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · Jan 22

And of course, thereโ€™s a LITTLE wiggle roomโ€”if youโ€™re a few thousand words within the standard, youโ€™re generally okay (but should still try to consider ways to get it IN that range if you havenโ€™t already)

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · Jan 22

When you have a large fan base that editors believe will buy your book simply bc your name is on it, theyโ€™re FAR more likely to take a risk on word counts way outside the normal range.

But if you donโ€™t have a fan base yet? An editor isnโ€™t going to take the risk on that 400k book

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · Jan 22

And I want to clarifyโ€”Iโ€™m talking DEBUT authors (and authors still establishing themselves) here.

Yes, your favorite famous author has a 400k book that sold really wellโ€”but thatโ€™s because they already had an established fan base.

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · Jan 22

These counts arenโ€™t arbitraryโ€”theyโ€™re based on whatโ€™s sold the best in the past. Thereโ€™s a REASON theyโ€™re set where they areโ€”because books too far outside of them tend not to sell as well for debut authors

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · Jan 22

Firstโ€”WORD COUNT DOES MATTER.

I promise you, agents donโ€™t harp on it because weโ€™re trying to torture authors.

Itโ€™s because thereโ€™s a range (dependent on age category and genre) that editors will generally consider acceptable.

Too high or low and you run the risk of auto reject

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · Jan 22

Iโ€™ve noticed a lot of word counts WILDLY outside the acceptable range lately SO

Letโ€™s talk about word count for a hot secโ€”why it matters, whatโ€™s generally acceptable, and what to ask yourself if youโ€™re outside that range!

#querytip #amwriting #amquerying #writers