7.04.2005

Toxic combo...medical school and novel writing.

Another piece of flotsam on the incoming tide today:

"Dear Miss Snark:
I'm a fourth year medial student at (deleted to protect
this numbskull from hordes of angry patients) with
a degree in Psychology from Fancypants U. I spent my
first three years of medical school writing a novel entitled
(redacted). I'd like to ask you to read it and decide
if you would be interested in representing my book
to publishers."

About as much as I want to have you treat me for
anything more than the common cold....

Look, I went to graduate school. I counted myself
lucky to READ a novel when I was studying let alone
write one.

Bottom line: maybe you are a freak of nature and can
write a good novel while you memorize bones of the feet.
But it requires a huge leap of faith for me to think so...and
Miss Snark's leaping days are pretty much confined to
the tenth day of Christmas with the lords while the
nine ladies dance.

You can screw up a million ways to Sunday in a query letter.
Try to improve your odds by leading with what makes this
novel interesting. Try NOT to shoot yourself in the foot in the
first paragraph. If however, you do inflict such an injury
I really hope you were paying attention that day in
medical school instead of working on your dialogue and
character development.

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