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

@CortneyRadocaj

literary agent @belcastr โ€ข writer 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 · 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

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · 31 Dec 2019

A quick reminder that if you want to query me, please donโ€™t DM me to ask if Iโ€™m interested!

Thatโ€™s the whole idea of queryingโ€”sending your pitch and pages to an agent in the hopes that theyโ€™re interested.

So Iโ€™ll let you know either way when you query! :) #querytip

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · 23 Dec 2019

Y'all.

You should be w/pubbed books in your genre. Common tropes and themes, what'll make your story fit into that genre and what'll make it unique.

Not having comps & using "I'm not familiar w/the genre" as an excuse IMMEDIATELY sets off red flags.

#querytip

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · 23 Dec 2019

#querytip a trend I'm seeing in my box a lot lately:

Any and all books with fae being compared to either Holly Black or SJ Maas.

And for some books they're great!!!

But for some, it's like comparing HP with LOTR bc they both have wizards in them.

Choose your comps wisely!

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · 25 Nov 2019

#querytip a reminder that I DO NOT represent MG.

Slipping into my QueryManager under YA will not get you anywhere. Donโ€™t waste time querying an agent with something they explicitly donโ€™t representโ€”use the time to find agents who DO and give yourself the best chance possible!

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · 19 Nov 2019

Vagueness is (almost) never going to work in your favor. Itโ€™s difficultโ€”trust me, I UNDERSTAND (Iโ€™ve written my own queries, and pitches for clients, I know itโ€™s not fun)โ€”but absolutely necessary to really dig into details to increase your odds of success in the query trenches.

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · 19 Nov 2019

Donโ€™t give me a vague โ€œtheir world is changedโ€ or โ€œconflict arisesโ€. GIVE ME DETAILS. How are their lives changed? What plot stakes are there? Personal stakes? Tension?

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · 19 Nov 2019

DETAILS ARE YOUR FRIEND. Yes, there is a sweet spotโ€”obviously packing TOO many details in will confuse agentsโ€”but you need to have SOME to make your query stand out.

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · 19 Nov 2019

3) And arguably most importantly, it makes it almost impossible to see market potential in a vague query. Every book needs a good hookโ€”but SFF in particular NEEDS to have something to make it stand apart from every other SFF book on the market.

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · 19 Nov 2019

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 namesโ€”is your query tailored and specific enough that if someone read it they would ONLY think of your book?

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · 18 Nov 2019

#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.)

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · 22 Oct 2019

#querytip only pitch one book in your query! It doesnโ€™t matter if you have a sequel or trilogy or ten books plannedโ€”I want to know what happens in THIS book, that THIS book is solid and engaging.

Youโ€™re pitching ONE bookโ€”donโ€™t waste query space explaining the entire series.

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · 10 Oct 2019

#querytip

Iโ€™m not the right agent for marriage plots, whether itโ€™s YA or adult. Even in fantasy/royal situationsโ€”itโ€™s just not my thing.

But please for the love of all the gods donโ€™t take this as not wanting love stories ROMANTIC SUBPLOTS ARE MY JAM I WANT THEM ALL TO KISS

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · 27 Aug 2019

Yโ€™all.

If youโ€™re going to write a story about the horrific genocide of an entire community

maybe

JUST maybe

donโ€™t write it from the POV of a white character directly involved carrying out said genocide???

#querytip

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · 13 Aug 2019

Yโ€™all.

YA and MG are not the same thing.

I do not represent MG.

Submitting it under YA on my Query Manager and hoping itโ€™ll slip by wonโ€™t work. Especially if you still state itโ€™s MG in the query (but even if you donโ€™t, I can tell when a story feels MG).

#querytip

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · 8 Aug 2019

TL;DR give your readers a hot second to get to know your characters before shit hits the fan. The emotional investment and payoff will be worth it, I promise.

#querytip #editingtip #writingcommunity #amquerying #amediting

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · 8 Aug 2019

(Honestly itโ€™s one of my favorite opening chapters ever it had me hooked from the very get go, @veschwab is INCREDIBLE and that opening is incredible ugh)

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · 8 Aug 2019

There are exceptions to thisโ€”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.

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · 8 Aug 2019

Now, โ€œnormalโ€ doesnโ€™t mean โ€œboringโ€. Bored characters = bored readers. It should still be engaging and enticingโ€”but it should also showcase the MC AS THEY CURRENTLY ARE. As their life currently is. Not AFTER everything has snowballed into change.