5.04.2006

Grandmother Snark did NOT mention there'd be days like this...

I really love the Evil Editor. I've been prowling around over there, but I'd missed this gem until another devotee called it to my attention:

(Beverage Alert!)



I am not enclosing a manuscript at this moment. I wish to become more familiar with your company and its processes before divulging my work and I do mean work via any medium. I've spent the last three years on character develpment and background storyline layouts and because of the amount of effort that i've put into my literary work, I refuse to be foolish enough just to give the story away to anyone. The book, itself, consist of no measurable end as I will continue to write the story in a continuing series of cliff-hangers. I did not design the story for short term reading because of its potential to both evolve and to reach into new areas of the imagination. If you satisfy my requirements in the information I've requested, then i will submit to you the introduction for the book. The introduction, which consist of 16,000+ words, will give you an inclination of my writing skills. I wrote the introduction for two reasons. One, to familirize the reader with the main character and some sub-characters and two, it doesn't give any of the true story away in the event a company tries stealing something i've worked so hard on.

64 comments:

Anonymous said...

Eventually, this will be one of those artistes who commits suicide by stepping off his/her suicide note.

Noel Lynne Figart said...

Ya know, if an editor weren't too busy, that yutz would be fun to play with and string along.

RodgerM said...

I'm completely dumbfounded by the sheer size of the ego that had to produce not only that query, but the 16,000+ word intro. My Dog, somebody get me a gin.

kitty said...

If they meet her requirements, she'll do them the favor of producing the introduction which is 16 THOUSAND WORDS?

I can't say I wasn't warned!

John Jones said...

Dear Author:

I am not enclosing publishing or submission guidelines at this moment. I wish to become more familiar with your writing and its processes before divulging my work and I do mean work via any medium. I've spent the last three years on content development and copyediting and because of the amount of effort that i've put into my editing, I refuse to be foolish enough just to reveal my editorial process to just anyone. Publishing, itself, consists of no measurable end as I will continue to published stories in a continuing series of cliff-hangers. I did not design my publishing process for the sake of making a profit because of its potential to both evolve and to reach into new areas of readers' bookshelves. If you satisfy my requirements in the information I've requested, then i will tell you the first sentence of my secret guide, "How Not to Piss Off an Editor." The introduction, which consist of 16,000+ words, will give you an inclination of my editing skills. I wrote the introduction for two reasons. One, to familirize the reader with the publishing and editing and two, it doesn't give any of the actual process away in the event a company tries stealing something i've worked so hard on.

srchamberlain said...

I think I've got a pretty good "inclination" of his writing abilities.

Things like this make me want to shove my fingers in my ear canals and pretend that it's all a hoax, or perhaps that favorite staple of hacks, a dream.

Pixel Faerie said...

Oh my, I sincerely hope it was a joke. :) Thanks for the link. That blog is new to me.

Anonymous said...

Good lord. If I read stuff like that too often I'd be afraid to leave the house.

Is it just my computer or is the Evil Editor's blog difficult to read? I see blue writing on a brown background and it's doing a number on my eyes.

merlinsmuse said...

Huh! Is this for real? A little full of ourselves, are we...Oh, well, it won't take long for the cruel world of publishing to set this poor person straight.

Cathy

KB said...

ROFLSHIP! I am a small niche publisher in the west. I get my share of doozy query letters, but I've never gotten one as good as this one. I hope he frames it.

Anonymous said...

I read the spew warning and carefully did not take a sip of coffee, nor a bite of my dessert before reading the body of the post. Little did I know my body was capable of creating it's own spew worthy glob.

Cleaning up my monitor now with a soft Kleanex.

anon-y-mouse

Cheryl Mills said...

LMAO

Anonymous said...

Once you have read the introduction, you must request the prologue--another 20,000 words that will practically have you begging for chapter one. But not so fast. A series of waivers and confidentiality clauses will then be forwarded to you, to be signed and notarized. Only then, will you be permitted to request the first chapter. (This chapter, by the way, is a mere two sentences. But they are powerful, and having read the introduction and prologue, they will make complete sense and set the story rolling toward its 9 book odyssey. So, shall we begin the dance?

M. G. Tarquini said...

How did Evil Editor get hold of my query letter?

otto said...

I love it! The absolute pompous ass in full form.

susan @ spinning

Jean said...

john jones and anonymous -- you're too much!

Writerious said...

Why didn't this author just say, "I don't want to be published, thank you," and get it over with?

He'll (using "he" as a default pronoun) probably spend the rest of his life cursing the philistines of the publishing industry for their inability to see (or their jealousy of) his obvious genius.

Either that or we'll see this scintilating gem on PublishAmerica.

Simon Haynes said...

You know, I've been sending folks to Miss Snark's blog to get an education. Imagine if they leap in with gusto and use this query letter as a template...

Cherry Tea said...

rodgerm took the words right out of my mouth. Unreal.

Lauren said...

Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha!

Ow! My sides!

Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha!

Barbjn said...

Gee, that reads an awful lot like the many emails I get from Nigeria, where the same guy with my last name keeps dying over and over again and I am THE lucky person who gets all his money. I bet the follow up letter asks for bank info as part of the agency investigation...

rachel said...

Wow, if the plot is that amazing, original, and undisclosed, I'm surprised the nitwit hasn't tried to PATENT it yet.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I think the approach is brilliant. I'd like to see the intro.

Eika said...

m. g. tarquini, please say you're joking.

Anonymous said...

Dear Miss Snark,

I am not enclosing a query letter at this moment. I wish to become more familiar with your agency and its processes before divulging the inclination of my 300,000+ novel. I refuse to be foolish enough to give away my ideas to anyone, especially an agent who drinks as much gin as you do and dresses her dog in a pink tam. Please fill out the survey on my Website and if you satisfy my requirements, I will email you a query letter.

rabs said...

I have a friend with a form of mild autism and this sounds like the kind of thing that he'd submit. He just has no sense of what's appropriate or what's expected (which may or may not be linked to his condition).

He cannot fathom that the world isn't just as interested in the minutia of entomology or military helicopters as he is. And I can definitely see him producing a secretive 20,000 word intro on some story about a faerie universe that involves some kind of giant war with bugs.

Pepper Smith said...

Quick, someone give him a dictionary and make him look words up in it!

Argh! Language abuse! My, how that makes me want to rush right out and read such scintillating prose...not.

The grammar teacher in me is just having fits right now.

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Wow. I think this person must be ill. No, seriously. I met someone like this at Borders one day. He was carrying around handwritten notebooks of plays he'd written. He did synopsize one for me, but I retreated to my inner happy place and smiled vacantly. He was worried about theft of his written word, not of his plot. I've not seen him again, but when I described the encounter to another writer friend, she informed me he was a local schizophrenic who was well known in that particular store.

Hmm, I wonder if he's learned how to use the Internet..... :)

M. G. Tarquini said...

Dear Eika:

Yes, I am joking. That's a good thing, too, because I write humor.

But I once wrote a 325K word masterpiece which I keep enshrined. Whenever my ego needs to be taken down a peg or two, I unenshrine it and force myself to read choice sections of it aloud to other people until we can no longer breathe for the laughing.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

ROFLMAO...people like that could drive even me, to drink!

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking paranoid schizophrenic. It must have been one of his good days.

McKoala said...

Anonymous, same here. I highlight all the text to be able to read it at all. I'm assuming it's something to do with my screen settings as everyone else seems quite happy.

Anonymous said...

Ha! Newspapers get this kind of crank mail all the time from people offering to share their secret plan to solve all the world's problems, but only if the publisher, editor, editorial page editor, circulation director and vice president of advertising convene an emergency meeting to undergo nutjob interrogation, yadda yadda yadda. "Clueless" doesn't begin to cover it.

Dave said...

As funny as this query is, I found the "stepping off his/her suicide note" comment even funnier.

Anonymous said...

When I see perfectly competent and even talented writers so full of angst about their good work, then an idjit like this comes along who is not only ignorant of the basic rules of the language but is also full of himself and blind to his own stupidity, something in my head short-circuits and I have to reach really deep to salvage my sense of humor.

Maybe a compassionate critique of his letter will help restore my equilibrium:

Dear Sir/Madam 'writer',
1. Run a spellcheck before mailing. It will catch some of the typos and capitalization errors [develpment, i've - twice!] if not the egregious grammar, construction and malapropisms.
2. WTF is are "background storyline layouts"?
3. WTF is short term reading?
4. "The book, itself, consist..."
"The introduction, which consist of 16,000+ words..." You need a course in elementary grammar - you know, subject-verb agreement and such.
5. Your book has "no measurable end"? Ahh, I get it - The Neverending Story!
6. "an inclination of my writing skills"
"inclination"? WHAT writing skills?
7. Try a paragraph break of two. Find out first what the word 'paragraph' means.
8. Even if your writing didn't - um - exude a high odor, this insulting letter would get you tossed. As it is, it got you tossed onto the www - and the rest is history.
9. I hope for your sake that this is a gag... because the alternative is frightening to contemplate.

I give up. Maybe someone else can assume the mantle of benevolent critic. I think I detect a trace of... ah... hostility in my own critique.

And I wonder: does this type of thing show up regularly in the slush pile? Or is it a rare gem? I am beginning to feel real compassion for literary agents...

Anonymous said...

pepper smith,
As a former language teacher who resigned after spending far too many years witnessing capital crimes perpetrated against the written word, I feel for ya.

Miss Snark said...

This sort of thing does NOT show up in the slush pile often enough. This one is so bad it's funny..and thus reason enough to put down the phone and take a quick break to pass it around the blogosphere.

The ones that break your heart are the ones that aren't obvious cranks, clearly have no clue, and don't even know where the Clue Store is.

Jarsto said...

Beverage Alert! = Understatement

I think that's all I have to say on the matter.

jta said...

There's one credible phrase:"...new areas of the imagination." But who'd want to go there?

Advice: By any means neccessary, at whatever risk, keep this ms secret.

Lisa Hunter said...

It sounds like the main character, Ignatius, in A Confederacy of Dunces, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

Glad to know there's still someone out there with a sense of humor. Well---he/she made me laugh,anyway. And these days that ain't no mean feat.

Georgia Girl

EJ said...

I'm guessing this author thought all the green and red squigglies in the Word doc were there for emphasis? Or decoration? My 7th grader writes better than that, and her spelling has gone from horrific to terrible.

Clueless and paranoid--what a combination!

S. W. Vaughn said...

As I commented on Evil Editor's blog regarding this post...

Words fail me.

S. W. Vaughn said...

srchamberlain:

Hacks? Dream sequences are for hacks?!

Oh dear -- guess I'd better shelve my modern day re-imagining of The Wizard of Oz. 16,000-word patented secret introduction and all.

I'll work on selling my high-concept tinfoil presentation book instead. There are no books on the market like it, after all, and editors will surely beg to have the first peek if I don't tell them anything at all about it.

Wait, I have it! I'll auction off the rights on eBay. Where's that picture of me standing in front of a tree...

O hAnnrachainn said...

I thought the Beverage Alert meant "Pour a tall one." Now my keyboard's been baptized with Jameson's holy water.

Termagant 2 said...

So this is what we're competing with in the Almighty Pile 'O Slush? My query doesn't stand a chance against brilliance like this. Oh well. I don't do the gin thing, but chocolate will suffice.

T2

Wesley Smith said...

I think that guy's in my writing group.

Anonymous said...

lisa hunter: it certainly does!

Thank you for posting this, Miss Snark. I needed a good laugh this morning.

Janny said...

This reminds me uncannily of the kind of writing I see from certain members of a very small, and otherwise quite convivial, writers' group I have a loose fellowship with. (Meaning: I speak at their conference once a year and belong to their e-loop, but since their meetings are 200+ miles away, never go to one.)

There's one poet in the group that even the group thinks is certifiable at times...and there's one very young writer who writes unbelievably convoluted and obtuse stuff that sounds like it would be the basis for a magnum opus like this person proposes. The critiques of this young man's work are always along the lines of "Wow, what a brilliant piece of unusual prose" or the like; the good news is, at least the convoluted-writing young man can spell...unlike our friend here.

Me, I don't want to read either of 'em.

Good thinking, though, that beverage alert.

Janny

12 said...

I am not posting my comment at this time. However, if you e-mail me and give ample assurances - including refrences and bona fides - I will pass along the raison d'etre of my comment. If you appreciate that sufficiently, I shall then offer you access to the philosophical underpinnings of my reaction. Only then, after examining your response to my contemplated exposition will I post part one of my comment - being the opening thirty chapters of the introductory forward. Eventually, over a period of years, subscribers will be allowed to interface with the completely annotated volumes of my comment - which, in deference to our great Western Civilization will be published in classical Greek (Hellenic dialect).

lizzie26 said...

Wonder what the writer of that query letter is like in real life. Or how many friends he has. Bet he's his own bestest buddy, giving anyone who's within earshot an "inclination" of his writing skills.

bordermoon said...

Oh my ears and whiskers! (Thanks for the Beverage Alert, or I would have choked to death on my Diet Pepsi.) I just LUUUVVVE writers who think their idea(s) are in a category with the Koh-i-nor -- right, everyone wants to steal your idea/work. Guess what? I bet we've all seen exactly the same idea at least a dozen times, and probably more.

Oh, lordy, lordy...

KillerYapp said...

12, (if that is your real name!)

Beta
Iota
Tau
Epsilon

Mu
Epsilon

Kappa
psi

Anonymous said...

I can introduce this in one word.

Nitwit.

Can't you give a nitwit of the day award out to them?

lottery ticket said...

Following this guy's line of thinking to its logical conclusion, I'd love to see the marketing plan for this opus if he finally finds both an agent and a publisher worthy enough to take it on. What, pray tell, will the potential reader need to do to prove they are worthy of purchasing this tome/anvil? Will there be an application process complete with essay questions and background check? The mind boggles.

Anonymous said...

Gee, Ahm impressed. It's so much more suwave and de-boner than my 'I'm yer hack, hire me' approach.

Anonymous said...

Lord, help us. I didn't spill my drink, I dropped my burrito. Any more like these, both the original and the comments, and I'm going to need Depends.

Righter said...

He/She closes the note with "hard on" - heh heh

And the fact that I enjoyed that gives you a hint as to why no one but me thinks my writing is great.

Anonymous said...

It's hopeless.
I see

BEVERAGE ALERT

and crack up.
Don't you think you should warn people, before you put a warning like that up?

Anonymous said...

It's the Tom Cruise of the literary world.

12 said...

Dear killeryapp,

δαγκωνιά

McKoala said...

Anonymous re reading - it ain't my screen, it's Internet Explorer. I'm on Mac - are you? I opened the site in Safari instead of Explorer and it's perfect.

Anonymous said...

What's with this Killer Yapp / 12 love affair? Translate, please, for the voyeurs out here.

Ralph said...

12 stole my idea!