Cortney Radocaj 🏳️🌈💖💜💙
#querytip a reminder that I DO NOT represent MG.
Slipping into my QueryManager under YA will not get you anywhere. Don’t waste time querying an agent with something they explicitly don’t represent—use the time to find agents who DO and give yourself the best chance possible!
Vagueness is (almost) never going to work in your favor. It’s difficult—trust me, I UNDERSTAND (I’ve written my own queries, and pitches for clients, I know it’s not fun)—but absolutely necessary to really dig into details to increase your odds of success in the query trenches.
3) And arguably most importantly, it makes it almost impossible to see market potential in a vague query. Every book needs a good hook—but SFF in particular NEEDS to have something to make it stand apart from every other SFF book on the market.
2) It ends up being applicable to many, many stories... which is not what you want. You want your query to ONLY apply to your story. Take out the names—is your query tailored and specific enough that if someone read it they would ONLY think of your book?
Cortney Radocaj 🏳️🌈💖💜💙 @CortneyRadocajI want to talk about a trend I’m seeing in my box lately with fantasy queries in particular—
Almost all of them are very generic. Very vague. Which makes it incredibly difficult on the agent’s end for several reasons.
1) When the query is very vague, it’s EXTREMELY difficult to get excited about it. There’s nothing to grab onto that’s different and intriguing.
#querytip don't feel like you need to update agents any time someone requests a full or shows interest in your manuscript! You only need to notify agents if there's a change in the STATUS of your query (i.e. offer is made, withdrawing, etc.)
#querytip only pitch one book in your query! It doesn’t matter if you have a sequel or trilogy or ten books planned—I want to know what happens in THIS book, that THIS book is solid and engaging.
You’re pitching ONE book—don’t waste query space explaining the entire series.
I’m not the right agent for marriage plots, whether it’s YA or adult. Even in fantasy/royal situations—it’s just not my thing.
But please for the love of all the gods don’t take this as not wanting love stories ROMANTIC SUBPLOTS ARE MY JAM I WANT THEM ALL TO KISS
YA and MG are not the same thing.
I do not represent MG.
Submitting it under YA on my Query Manager and hoping it’ll slip by won’t work. Especially if you still state it’s MG in the query (but even if you don’t, I can tell when a story feels MG).
There are exceptions to this—the one that comes to mind is the opening scene of THIS SAVAGE SONG, where Kate is setting the church on fire.
But even this, in the WAY it was written, allowed the reader a chance to get to know Kate and her CURRENT state of being.
Now, “normal” doesn’t mean “boring”. Bored characters = bored readers. It should still be engaging and enticing—but it should also showcase the MC AS THEY CURRENTLY ARE. As their life currently is. Not AFTER everything has snowballed into change.
It’d be like watching The Matrix if it started after Neo has already taken the red pill.
Sure it’d still be cool—but why would we care about him? How would we understand the consequences of this choice? How would we understand the emotional and mental pieces of that choice?
We’re thrown into an (often) emotionally charged situation, one where life changing stuff has gone down and a lot is going on and it SHOULD be exciting and enthralling...
And all the reader is experiencing is confusion and distance from the MC.
It may seem logical to start in the meat of things as it’s ramping up—but it has the opposite effect.
If we don’t get to see the character in some version of their “normal”, if we don’t get to see the inciting incident, why should the reader care what happens to them?