7.22.2006

Nitwit of the Day

Dear Sir/ Madam,

I have written nonfiction, historical fiction, stage plays and several screenplays, two of which have entered into preproduction with Nivelli International Films.

My latest work NIGHTMARE AT UCH SHARIF is a suspense horror drama that begins with the excavation of an ancient Sumerian relic, a bronze box containing twelve tablets. Nicole Simmons, an expert on the subject is hired and flown to the ancient city of Uch Sharif to decipher the tablets. A series of supernatural events are set in motion the moment she sets foot in Uch Sharif. She discovers the dark secret of the Rizwi Family concealed in an ancient painting in the guest bedroom of their home. Noor Bibi, a distant ancestor opened the gateway five hundred years ago to win the affections of her lover with the help of Azazeel, the prince of darkness. But the ritual fails. Nicole discovers the real reason for her employment, but a bit too late - Azazee's wrath has been unleashed.



The movie gives a keen insight into the nature of the JINN, vicious spirits made of fire, below the level of angels and demons. They can assume any form, human or animal, and exhaust their victims through sexual intercourse. JINNS find their origin in the Sumerian mythology and have intrigued our imagination since.



NIGHTMARE AT UCH SHARIF is the fusion of Eastern lore and the Western knowledge, it's a story of love and betrayal, of demonic assaults and Divine interventions; it's a story that transcends time and dimensions.



Should this catch your interest, please contact me at your convenience at:

(101 Nitwit Drive in Nitwitville)



It transcends something alright.


How many things can you find wrong in this query?
I'll spot you the fact that someone queried Miss Snark-that's too obvious a mistake to count.

63 comments:

Heather said...

Misplaced punctuation, Azazee and Azazeel, who are the Rizwi Family and why is Nicole staying at their house, why is someone named Nicole Simmons an expert on ancient Sumerian relics, I for one have never been intrigued by JINNS.

Oh, and the dear Sir/Madam part. Pick one and stick to it.

How'd I do? :)

Pixel Faerie said...

suspense horror drama

What the heck is that?

I'm too tired to read the rest. ;)

Christine said...

Is this a book or a movie? If it's a movie, Miss Snark is not a screenplay agent, n'est pas?

Anonymous said...

Is it even a novel? The query makes it sound as if it's a screenplay.

How many words?

Dear SIR/MADAM?!???

And, uh....the plot makes no sense whatsoever.

However, I did laugh at the idea being "exhausted through sexual intercourse." As IF!

Writerious said...

Hmm... I don't know what all Miss Snark found odious in this query, but here are my thoughts:

1) Writing to Miss Snark, and addressing her as "Dear Sir/Madam."

2) "...preproduction with Nivelli International Films." Maybe I'm not looking in the right places, but the only thing I found out about this company is here: http://polish.imdb.com/company/co0177971/ and it ain't much.

3) "Azazeel" becomes "Azazee."

4) After reading the query, I still wanted to ask the author, "Okay, but what's the story about?"

krw3b said...

1. Addressing nameless transgender agent

2. Forgetting to capitalize nameless agent's real name: Prince of Darkness

3. Forgetting that Miss Snark is obviously a Princess

4. Animals that exhaust their (human) victims through sexual intercourse? And unforgivable affront to KY. After all, humans are gross.

Marie said...

First obvious (after the most obvious you pointed out) is that it doesn't even say what the query is for at first: "I have a suspense horror drama"... what? Movie, screenplay, novel, novella, short story, poem, musical score...?

That is until later when it says the above is a movie. Hmm, shouldn't that be a screenplay rather than a a movie? Or else the queryer should be looking for distribution and not publication if the movie is already made???

Anonymous said...

Suspense/horror/drama is wrong enough for starters. And then later 'supernatural' is mentioned, so fantasy too? That's enough. No story can wear all those hats and be any good.

Seneca the Younger said...

Hmm.

1. "Dear sir/madam".
2. Buries the lede.
3. The *movie* --- I don't recall Our Snarkie being a H'wood agent.
3A,3B,&c --- lotsa subsidiary things but considering that he's describing a movie, not a book, the list writes itself.

Novelust said...

Preproduction means nothing, especially if I have no idea who the filmmaker is. (I have since googled, and have come up with the name of a West Indian director and some film festival listings.) Unless the movie has been made, or we can find announcements by a major studio, or, heck, even a record of someone somewhere saying something positive about the scripts (the author doesn't give us the titles, of course), there's no reason to put it in the query.

How are the tablets connected to anything? Who in the Yapp are the Rizwi Family? Why is Nicole Simmons (I'm picturing Tara Reid from 'Alone in the Dark') staying with them? We don't know what the real reason for Nicole's employment is, and are Azazeel and Azazee close cousins? Brothers? How are the Jinn connected with the plot (I assume the Brothers Azazee and Azazeel are involved here, but go ahead and tell us)?

Have to say though, I am amazed that the author has managed to make a story transcend time and dimensions. My grandfather is also currently reading this query somewhere on another astral plane, and it is blowing my mind.

Anonymous said...

Off the top of my head (and opening myself up to accusations of nitwittery...)

Who's Nivelli Films?

Suspense, horror AND drama? Drama is assumed.

Don't know anything about Nicole other than she's an expert.

What supernatural events? Passive ones?

Who are the Rizwis & Noor Bibi. What gateway, what lover?

The ritual fails or failed?

What reason for employment?

JINN? Isn't it Djinn?

Angels and Demons - I guess that's one way of mentioning Dan Brown in a query letter.

The sex appetite thing - Puts a whole new spin on 'I dream of Jeannie'

'Transcends time and dimensions' - isn't that from the Star Trek intro?

I'd want to see a whole lot more detail about ... everything. The characters, the mysterious rituals, the actual plot. Right now it reads like the blurb on the back of a DVD.

(Posted anon because I don't want the vengeful author coming after me with JINN BEAMS)

CLH said...

Shall I compare thee to a nitwit? Thou art more idiotic and less sweet.

1. No matter how brilliant Miss Snark may be, you don't query her, even if she likes you.

2. He's written, he's written, blah blah blah. I notice he never mentioned where and who published him. I can give anyone a whole list of utterly craptacular things I've written. Just because they've been written, doesn't make them any less craptacular.

3. NIGHTMARE AT UCH SHARIF? This may be the correct way to write a movie title, I dunno. But the capitals bug my poor eyes.

4. Uch? Sharif? From what I see in the long winded description, this might be a legitimate place somewhere buried out in the sand. But when my first instinct is to look at the keyboard and try to ferret out what the hell you were trying to write, there's a problem.

4. Title's too long winded.

5. My eyes totally glazed over that block paragraph description. Let's see... I got to box.

6. Forcing my poor bloodied eyes to read over that drivel again, I've found the words "Azazeel" and "Azazee's" in the same block paragraph of doom. Is this a typo? Or am I from Azazeel so I'm and Azazee?
You know that had to be on a speed key. Azazazaza-whatsis is hard to type.

7. Hard to read too. Looks like a silly war cry to me. Az-Az-a-zeal.

8. What's with the history lecture on "Jinns"?

9. Never mind the fact that I've only ever seen it spelled Djinn.

10. In said history lecture, what's with the capitals?

11. Eastern lore and western knowledge? I think that's kind of demeaning to the poor Easterners. Don't they have knowledge? So they might believe their lore. Leave 'em alone. Westerners have some dude nailed to a tree.

12. If it's a story that trenscends time and demention, why did I try to claw my eyes out while suffering the extream agony of your poorly worded query?

13. Having just ventured back into the block paragraph of doom, I found myself a new mantra to protect my poor brain from the craptacular information overload. "Blah, blah, blah. Blah!"

14. Hired and flown to hotpotatoecaliwhatsis walked up some stairs, into the bedroom on your left, the one with the picture that hides a box, that contains a key, that opens the chest, that's inside the room three doors down to your left if you walk down the hall like Yellowbeard after a few pints.

Look, buddy. I don't care enough to want to find your badly spelled, sex crazed demon thingie. I want to know what the hell you want.

15. Prince of Darkness? So. Bloody. Cleche.
Why not make it interesting. Say the King of Hell. Or maybe His Royal Lordship of the Stinking Pits of the Fiery And Surprisingly Black Abyss of No Return- A Pit That Defies Nature And The Laws Of Physics By Being Both Black and Fiery.
While it's long winded, at least it's better that Prince of Darkness.

16. Should this catch your interest it would need a giant crate, a big thwacking stick, Killer Yap, George Cloony, and a great big gin pail... and a million dollars. That seems to help catch people's interest alot.

17. contact me at your convenience. As if anyone would go out of their way for a poorly put together query-type drivel of this nature.

...Well, I'm out. 17's good, right?

Jeb said...

You mean, apart from the leaps of logic and chronology, and the erratic comma placement?

Some easy ones: Sir/Madam indicates absence of research into the query-ee, as does the writer's querying a literary agent for a movie proposal. Lack of a log line suggests they're not all that familiar with movie pitches either.

My eyes keep crossing, looking for invisible commas and those pesky missing sentences, so I'll quit now.

CLH said...

Couldn't help but add:

18. "Transends Time and Dementions"? That sounds and awful lot like the TARDIS from Doctor Who.
Time And Realitive Dementions In Space.

M. G. Tarquini said...

I don't understand the query. Am I supposed to be able to?

Evil minion #667 said...

The only thing that jumped out at me was the author totatlly forgot to mention that his book (if book it indeed be) will appeal to readers of The DaVinci Code, Harry Potter, and Gone With the Wind. He pretty much covered everything else.

(How did I know the author is male? "Exhausted by sexual intercourse.")

Alphabeter said...

Its not nice to mess with Miss Snark on a Saturday night. She's got partials to read!

Dear Sir/ Madam,
What part of Miss is manly?

I have written nonfiction, historical fiction, stage plays and several screenplays, two of which have entered into preproduction with Nivelli International Films.
Umm, yippee for you? BTW, I've never heard of Nivelli and what does this have to do with whether or not you can write a novel?

My latest work NIGHTMARE AT UCH SHARIF is a suspense horror drama ...
I have no suspense about the rest of this query. I would have crumpled it (ok, deleted, its email) at the horror this attempt at drama tried to create.

...that begins with the excavation of an ancient Sumerian relic, a bronze box containing twelve tablets. Nicole Simmons, an expert on the subject is hired and flown to the ancient city of Uch Sharif to decipher the tablets. A series of supernatural events are set in motion the moment she sets foot in Uch Sharif. She discovers the dark secret of the Rizwi Family concealed in an ancient painting in the guest bedroom of their home.
The lack of grammar, it burns.

...Noor Bibi, a distant ancestor opened the gateway five hundred years ago to win the affections of her lover with the help of Azazeel, the prince of darkness. But the ritual fails. Nicole discovers the real reason for her employment, but a bit too late - Azazee's wrath has been unleashed.
The plot doesn't make me dance but thats its written in the wrong key really turns me off.

The movie...
Lemme guess. You recycled your screenplay query and forgot to double check that all movie references were changed to manuscript?
No-you think Miss Snark is a screenwriting agent? Your lack of research continues to unamuse me.

...gives a keen insight into the nature of the JINN, vicious spirits made of fire, below the level of angels and demons. They can assume any form, human or animal, and exhaust their victims through sexual intercourse. JINNS find their origin in the Sumerian mythology and have intrigued our imagination since.
Interesting mythos but what does it have to do with the plot synopsis above? They seem incongruent.

NIGHTMARE AT UCH SHARIF is the fusion of Eastern lore and the Western knowledge, it's a story of love and betrayal, of demonic assaults and Divine interventions; it's a story that transcends time and dimensions.
Is it just me that finds these annoying in cover blurbs let alone is a query?

Should this catch your interest, please contact me at your convenience at:
It caught the ire of the Snarklings. You're lucky the Miss has a sense of humor and decided to let them deal with you.

Michele Lee said...

Le Sigh....
Beyond the obvious professional errors... DJINN not JINN, Middle Eastern, not Eastern, succubi and inccubi sexually attack their victims not djinn, djinn are like jafar in the second Aladdin movie. The thought of a suspense horror drama with sexual attacks makes me think of Anita Blake porn and does not make me want to read a book/movie/query.

Another Dejected Writer said...

1) Form letter query... not a good idea. Unless you're looking to exchange it for a different kind of form letter, yanno, like for a form letter collection or something.

2) Nobody cares what you've written, it's what you've SOLD that matters. Or possibly what you've bartered for dirty shot glasses filled with Southern Comfort and fifteen minutes with Patty the daytime hooker.

3) Comma splices, sentence fragments—is English your second language, right behind Klingon?

4) Genie porn is soooo 2004.

5) You listed my address, which just makes me mad.

6) The words "movie" and "screenplay" are not interchangeable, much like "the person who wrote this query" and "professional".

7) Didn’t they already use part of this plot in THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA?

8) Okay, so Barbie Noir—or whatever her name is—opens the door to hell, but the ritual fails? What the hell was she trying to do? Give Beelzebub a hummer? At least she got the 3rd century equivalent of a Polaroid out of it.

9) There’s a difference between a literary agent and a screenplay agent. It’s like the difference between earth and whatever that planet it is that your story is set on.

10) Did I mention, Genie porn is soooo 2004?

Just Me said...

I'm no expert on queries, but to me, there are four main things wrong (apart from querying Miss Snark):

1) It's a movie. Miss Snark may well represent screenplay writers, for all I know, but I've seen nothing that says she does.

2) It's unclear:

She discovers the dark secret of the Rizwi Family

What dark secret?

Noor Bibi, a distant ancestor opened the gateway five hundred years ago

What gateway?

But the ritual fails.

What ritual?

Nicole discovers the real reason for her employment

What reason?

The movie gives a keen insight into the nature of the JINN

What exactly do the JINN do in the movie?

It's a story of love and betrayal, of demonic assaults and Divine interventions

Who's lovin' who, who's betrayin' who, who's assaultin' who and who's intervenin' to do what?

Basically, by the end of this query I had very little idea what the screenplay was about, except that it involves tablets and JINNS.

3) I can't see much point in telling an agent what you've written unless you have solid, verifiable credits. Just listing genres doesn't count, and from what I hear neither does preproduction, specially by a not-so-well-known company.

4) The commas are all over the place and that makes my teeth hurt.

If we get enough right do we get a slug from the gin pail?

Ken Boy said...

Several writing non-credits.

It's for a screenplay.

"suspense horror drama" is not a genre I've heard of.

"Nicole Simmons, an expert on the subject is hired and flown to the ancient city of Uch Sharif to decipher the tablets." Passive voice. And expert on what subject? Tablets, boxes, ancient Sumer, screenplays?

"A series of supernatural events are set in motion the moment she sets foot in Uch Sharif." Passive voice.

"She discovers the dark secret of the Rizwi Family concealed in an ancient painting in the guest bedroom of their home." The who family? What secret? Is it a DaVinci painting?

"Noor Bibi, a distant ancestor opened the gateway five hundred years ago to win the affections of her lover with the help of Azazeel, the prince of darkness." What gateway? And 500 years ago, this was in the heart of Islam, and Azazeel's writ would not have run.

"But the ritual fails." What ritual?

"Nicole discovers the real reason for her employment, but a bit too late - Azazee's wrath has been unleashed." And then we all die? That would be a bit too late. And this also has passive voice. Is "Azazee" related to "Azazeel"?

"The movie gives a keen insight into the nature of the JINN, vicious spirits made of fire, below the level of angels and demons." Who cares about JINN? This is the first mention of JINN.

"They can assume any form, human or animal, and exhaust their victims through sexual intercourse." Looks like I care about JINN.

"JINNS find their origin in the Sumerian mythology and have intrigued our imagination since." This seems to be a lecture on our shared interests.

"NIGHTMARE AT UCH SHARIF is the fusion of Eastern lore and the Western knowledge" The only one?

"it's a story that transcends time and dimensions." Wow. That's some story.

"Should this catch your interest, please contact me at your convenience" Why? What does this person want?

I still know nothing significant about the characters or their conflicts.

[Anon - don't knock Jinn Beams. Great with coke and ice.]

ChapterKat said...

UCH SHARIF... isn't he kin to Omar?

urkcxj said...

This is a test! So I'm answering without looking at the others first.

1. Dear Sir/Madam--should be Dear Miss Snark (or proper name of agent open for queries).

2. "preproduction"--what does that mean and is it anything to write home about? much less mention to an agent. These credentials are meaningless. Should list only what's been published and relevant.

3. Azazeel, later named Azazee. Typo? Or can't decide on name of major character?

4. "But the ritual fails." unclear antecedent. What ritual? If it relates to Noor Bibi's actions in the past, then problem with verb tense as well.

5. This query is for a "drama" in paragraph 2, which becomes a "movie" in paragraph 3. What is being offered? A novel? A screenplay?

6. Jinn--introduced in paragraph 3. Unclear whether the prince of darkness is a Jinn or where these fit into the story.

7. "Eastern lore" and "Western knowledge"--basically I find this offensive. Why not Eastern knowledge and Western lore. jmho.

8. "the Western knowledge"-don't need "the"

9. Comma after Western knowledge should be either a period (my preference) or a semi-colon.

10. Use periods and capitalize It's in both instances.

11. "It's a story that transcends time and dimensions." Trite

12. No SASE (if sent snail mail). Or e-mail addy if sent by e-mail. (Why say contact at a regular address if it's an e-mail query?)

13. No indication whether it (drama or screenplay) is completed.
or its word count (if it's a novel).

14. No thank you.


How'd I do? (I hang out at Evil Editor's blog, too, so I'm taking pointers from him on these queries.)

Sue said...

Overlooking the fact that this person does not know what this agent represents:

1. Salutation is not specific to Miss Snark.

2. Does not define type of work or length of work, anywhere, ever, let alone in the first paragraph. (Assuming this query refers to a book.)

3. What does this query refer to? Is this a movie? A book? If a script, this person didn't even read the header on this blog.

4. The plot is as confusing as the nature of the query itself.

5. Sounds like this whateveritis might want to be porn. (see paragraph 3)

6. If this person has publishing credits, they are not spelled out specifically and should appear at the end of the query, not up front.

Sonarbabe said...

Oh dear dog, where to begin?!?!

1) "Dear Sir/ Madam,":
You always use the agent's name


2)"I have written nonfiction, historical fiction, stage plays and several screenplays, two of which have entered into preproduction with Nivelli International Films."

Name titles, publishers, dates, etc.

3) "My latest work NIGHTMARE AT UCH SHARIF is a suspense horror drama"

Pick a genre, would ya?


4) "Nicole Simmons, an expert on the subject"

Of what?

5) "She discovers the dark secret of the Rizwi Family concealed in an ancient painting in the guest bedroom of their home."

The WHO???

6)"Noor Bibi, a distant ancestor opened the gateway five hundred years ago to win the affections of her lover with the help of Azazeel, the prince of darkness. But the ritual fails."

Oh sweet Jesus, now it's a romance.

7)"The movie gives a keen insight into the nature of the JINN, vicious spirits made of fire, below the level of angels and demons."

Hang on now, I thought this was a book. Miss Snark is a LITERARY AGENT!

8)"They can assume any form, human or animal, and exhaust their victims through sexual intercourse."

No comment.

9)"NIGHTMARE AT UCH SHARIF is the fusion of Eastern lore and the Western knowledge, it's a story of love and betrayal, of demonic assaults and Divine interventions; it's a story that transcends time and dimensions."

What the hell is this? Is it a movie? If so, then you've come to the wrong place. Is it a book? Then you've DEFINITELY come to the wrong place.

There were probably more errors that I missed, but those were the ones that jumped out at me.



Should this catch your interest, please contact me at your convenience at:

(101 Nitwit Drive in Nitwitville)

Corn Dog said...

"it's a story that transcends time and dimensions."

Oh, puh-leaze. That line made me vomit a little in my mouth.

-c- said...

I've read it like twelve times and i think I've got it. The tablet thing was a hoax to get the Nicolle chick to the house to investigate the magical painting that has the sex demon in it, which did something really kinky 500 years ago to a distant ancestor's girlfriend. It is a screenplay. Sorta like DaVinci Code meets Exorcist 4.

It is also pretty clearly a mass mailing query, which is why it went to Miss Snark, the literary agent.

What is wrong with it is a) it's clearly a mass mailing query and b) it must be read 12 times to figure out, and even then, it sounds pretty crappy.

Manic Mom said...

First Strike: Don't query with Sir/Madam. It's Goddess Snark to you.

Second Strike: The beginning paragraph is irrelevant--talk about the book you are trying to get representation for, not the others you've written.

Third--Oh. It's NOT a book. I may not be the brightest Snarkling in the mix, but I'm pretty sure Miss Snark doesn't rep film scripts.

Fourth--Word count, is it complete?

Fifth--yep, that's it, give me a fifth of gin because dude, ya lost me on this one.

Orhan Kahn said...

These comments are longer than the post. Yawn much?

Barbjn said...

"Transcends time and dimensions' - isn't that from the Star Trek intro?"

"Transends Time and Dementions? That sounds and awful lot like the TARDIS from Doctor Who.
Time And Realitive Dementions In Space."

Naaah. Just Rod Serling and the Twilight Zone intro,
circa 1959

Anonymous said...

It warms my heart and gives me hope for mankind to see the number of people who noticed the blatant abuse of commas.

All intelligent people will agree that this is by far the biggest problem with the query.

Don't abuse the comma. It did nothing wrong to you.

blaironaleash said...

Well, people will keep doing this. And doing it and doing it. Ever thought it might be with deliberate intent, and getting a nitwit query parsed and analysed to death here is a lot quicker than perfecting it yourself through, say, research and hard work? Job done! And for free too!

Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

A. M. said...

Querier is probably still drunk from celebrating his/her two screenplay options/sales. Congrats on going into pre-pro even! But calm down.

If you don't live there then fly to NYC, throw yourself at the feet of your producer (bring gifts), and beg Mr. Nivelli to refer you to appropriate managers rather than agents (experienced w/international clients). Perhaps said manager will be able to refer you to someone re: fine-tuning your English as well. Improving your English will be mandatory, not optional. Put some of that option/sales money to good use....

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

This, with a hangover.

Miss Snark, you have my most profound sympathy and admiration.

Someone should trap this guy in a lamp for a few hundred years, until, at the very least, he learns the difference between a Djinn and a Succubus and the difference between a properly thought-out query and a rambling mis-addressed mess.

(Grumbles off to write horror story about Slush Pile Demon released by wandering Expert from its imprisonment in an early partial of Angels and Demons to rain evil queries upon a hapless world...)

WitLiz said...

Dear Miss Snark,

What are you running here? A really excellent blog or a win-a-date with your favorite cuddly lion courtesy of Nero, address Rome Coliseum?

Nitwit of the day is usually funny, but at times you not only bring out your claws, but you fuckwittingly invite your adoreable snarklings to do so as well. That's overkill.

For this, I sentence you to a week without the gin pail and a night in Killer Yapps doghouse...which may or may not be such a bad thing, now that I think about it.

As for the poison pen comments, what the fuck? Tearing down another person's work in this manner is classless, and shows jealousy, cattiness, and a whole host of other unpleasant qualities, all of which will show up in your writing--and did.

Now I enjoy Miss Snark's persona and reading her blog every bit as much as you do, but I'm not going to follow her into the bathroom whenever she shows a lack of judgment.

But I may end up leaving little reminders in the stall whenever the stench gets a little offensive.

After all, I think our ultimate goal here people, is or should be, to win-a-date MS up to George Clooney. Openly selling eau d'toilette is not the way to go.

(However, I'm not adverse to using 'gorilla' tactics to snatch George Clooney from his Villa, and giftwrapping him to NYC, C/O Miss Snark, Park Avenue, Suite 666).

Sam said...

Well, I see no mention that George Clooney has already accepted the leading role - and what's this? No SASE? How absurd. I hope the query is to Killer Yap's taste: carved upon a milk bone.

Zombie Deathfish said...

All other comments aside, can something really intrigue our imaginations? Or would it just intrigue us? I'd be happier with "have stirred our imaginations since," or something along those lines.

Anonymous said...

I didn't make it through the whole thing.

The whole DaVinci-secret code thing is so over.

Rebecca said...

Bad query? What's wrong with you people? Don't you have any interest at all in the fusion of Eastern Lore and Western knowledge? Personally, I think the nature of Jinn would be a fascinating topic (although demons + sexual intercourse has been quite overdone - by Terry Goodkind for example). And everybody knows films with the word "Nightmare" followed by something obscure and hard to pronounce are sure to sell.

Oh, and it's beyond obvious that Azazee is the pet name for Azazeel. How brilliant to foreshadow that close relationship with the prince of darkness in a query. That alone shows this author is worthy, as does his broad range of writing experience. Even with the comma flaws. Stop being punctuation Nazis already.

Miss Snark, if I were you, I wouldn't let this one slip me by.

Mazement said...

"Djinn" is the most common transliteration, but "Jinn" is also acceptable...

On the other hand:

The movie gives a keen insight into the nature of the JINN, vicious spirits made of fire,

That's not "keen insight", it's just raw bigotry. Some Jinni are vicious, but others have converted to Islam and are friendly towards mankind. (Source: "The Book of a Thousand Nights and A Night", tr. R. F. Burton.)

So let's lay off the stereotyping, please. It's not helpful, especially when there's aleady a war going on.

Busywriter said...

All I can say is, I'm sooooo glad I'm not an agent!

I just need to find one....

tfqcjlv said...

It did jump out at me that the author doesn't say what exactly this is. Although it sounds like it would be a good comic --er -- graphic novel.

What I really liked was the term another Snarkling coined: "utterly craptacular." Brilliant!

Seneca the Younger said...

Did Snarkie need a Jinn bucket after seeing this?

Bernita said...

As Mazement says - some Jinni are cricket...

CLH said...

Witliz,

Do you not see the obvious craptacular-ness of said query?
And besides, the Sir/Madam thing at the top of the letter is a glaring sign that the author doesn't give a damn about his work. Obviously, or he would have queried someone who actually represents what he makes.

And anyway, you can't tell me you understood the "plot" he was describing.

lizzie26 said...

No need to point out the problems with this query. The entire thing is a mistake.

Anonymous said...

I think the Sci fi channel already made this into a movie.
Azazeel isn't the prince of darkness anyway, from what I understand he is a fallen angel but not "Morning Star" , Satan, or Prince of Darkness.
The author should check out the series on BBC America called HEX. It pretty much covers his/her story.
Nothing new. ALthough I do like stories like this.
But what genre is it? So much was wrong with the query that I think everyone else has covered it.

Ken Boy said...

WitLiz,

My goals here are to learn and enjoy myself.

Other people's mistakes are a great way to learn. Snarky comments are enjoyable. This is therefore a superior comment thread.

bookfraud said...

miss snark, you are a godsend. if you didn't publish nitwits like this, i wouldn't believe they existed. the many nitwit-y things have been listed above; i just want to shake miss snark's (virtual) hand.

as i struggle with my own writing, i read this, and feel so much better about myself.

Just Me said...

Actually, I can't speak for anyone else, but I wasn't being bitchy. I deliberately made sure that my answer could be useful to the querier if he should happen to read it. If he reworked the query answering all the questions I asked, he'd give the reader a clearer idea of what the book / movie / screenplay / whatever-we-got-here is about.

When I'm being bitchy, you'll know.

Ever thought it might be with deliberate intent, and getting a nitwit query parsed and analysed to death here is a lot quicker than perfecting it yourself through, say, research and hard work?

I have no problem with that idea. In fact, I hope that's what's happened, and I hope the querier comes out of it with a stronger query.

But I'm not gonna fault anyone who was being deliberately bitchy, either. Miss Snark makes it clear in various places on this blog that a) you don't query her, and b) anything you send through this blog is up for publication and general snarkiness. If the querier didn't bother to read, then he has nothing to complain about when Darwin gets him.

Cameron said...

I had a sneak peak at the movie and the sexual exhaustion scene comes with a pool boy and 'wucka, wucka' music in the background.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Well, I was going to pass on this one, but, here I am commenting anyway. The main problem with this is that it gives me a headache. I have to concentrate too hard to mentally translate. (It’s not nice to make pixies concentrate.) If the query is obscure, won't the story be confusing too?

And this "expert"? She's an expert in what, exactly? Ancient cuneiform? Old wall paintings? Mystic experiences? Toe jam? Let’s assume she’s an expert in ancient languages. It is unlikely she’d be asked to travel to translate. It’s not usually done that way.

This person has done no real research. There must be a semblance of reality to make a fictional world come alive. A moderate amount of reality is needed especially when one uses a “real” setting.

Too many questions are left unanswered. And the story line is "borrowed" from a dozen poorly written TV shows and books. No fun; no fair; not interesting. If I want to experience a real “suspense horror drama,” I’ll go look in my oldest daughter’s room and suggest she clean it.

Mean little thing, aren’t I? Sorry, I don’t mean to be mean. But, dear writer of this folly, you must fix these things.

However, if they ever decide to remake Kolchak: The Night Stalker, and the writing is no better than it was, this might do. There's always hope, I suppose.

E. Ann Bardawill said...

Gosh.
Is there a bar around here?
I have a sudden craving for a Jinn & Tonic.

Termagant 2 said...

Same old, same old. Stuff this one in the Jinn Pail and fuggedaboudit.

T2

Dragonet2 said...

ROTFLMAO. yikes.

Dragonet2 said...

No matter whom I'm querying, I will call the front office and ask for the person's name I'm supposed to be sending it to, and ask it to be spelled out for me. Politely, the front office staff can be your friend and you MUST not treat them badly.

Nick said...

Nitwit,

Poor sole, you shouldn't boast. Literary Agents, such as Miss Snark, can see right through your bullshit. If you tell them all the other crapola you've done (i.e nonfiction, historical fiction, stage plays and several screenplays), they think, "he either doesn't need me, or he's playing me for a fool. Why does he need me after all his "publications."

I'm not saying you haven't written them--you probably have. What I am saying is that the greatness of your writing doesn't come through in you letter. For example, who hired Nicole Simmons? You write, "Simmons, an expert on the subject is hired and flown to the ancient city of Uch Sharif to decipher the tablets." When you forget information literary agents, they wonder, they puzzle, they rack their heads off the table, and then they toss. Yes, they toss your masterpiece into a big pile of papers, known as the shit pile.

I'm there and so are you.

We sit in that pile, because we fail to provide a logically sound idea, like 'Who the hell hired Nicole? And how the hell did they get their information on supernatural activity?' We sit in that pile, because all of popular America and England sees the name Azazeel, and they know they've heard the name before--it's the Dark Prince from a television show named Hex. Oh damn, the cat the bag.Literary Agents fear you may have stolen more than the name when they see something too familiar.

And also, next time could you try to be more specific. You write, 1)"A series of supernatural events are set in motion the moment she sets foot in Uch Sharif." (What, Why, and for what purpose do these supernatural events take place?)

2)"Nicole discovers the real reason for her employment, but a bit too late - Azazee's wrath has been unleashed."(What reason does she discover? Who does she work for? And why do they want her to discover these supernatural events?)

Comrade, I feel for you. I know how these submission letters suck, but she needs these letters to help guide her decision. I want you to remember this for life, your letter is an advertisement. You are selling a product. Sell them the edge. Tell them what makes your story worth producing. And Edit.

Anonymous said...

Dang it. Someone stole my idea.

SirOsis said...

"exhausted through sexual intercourse."

Yeah, right. Where do I sign up?

Sniper said...

Dear Witless,

The words you are looking for are "averse" not "adverse", and "guerrilla" not "gorilla".

I didn't follow that bathroom analogy but it sounded kinky. Are you perhaps the original poster?

Finally, eau de toilette (as it should be spelled) is, more or less, diluted perfume. It is NOT water from a toilet.

As you can see, I have no problem with publicly mocking others when I think it might be amusing to the Roman Masses. And I am particularly remorseless about the author of the query, who is obviously the kind of bigot that equates Djinn with Judeo-Christian demons. I don't have to see the screenplay to guess that it includes an orgy featuring topless girls in harem pants. If the author is hurt by these words, and spends a few hours in a corner asking him/herself, "am I really a bigot?" then it will probably be for the best.

Ski said...

Here's the thing. This person hasn't just missed their medication once; they've missed it for several days in a row. It's time someone called the authorities. Just think of this, s/he is probably out there driving a car, maybe in your neighborhood!

Rgds........Ski

Bina Shah said...

Uch Sharif is a real town in Pakistan. It has nothing to do with Sumeria, ancient or otherwise. Rizwi (or Rizvi, as it's more commonly spelled), is a common Pakistani surname. Jinns are a well-known phenomena in the Muslim world.

Other than that, you got me.

Anonymous said...

How many things can you find wrong in this query?

You mean BESIDES the book's really snappy title?