Just write well

Dear Lady of all Things Snark, Benevolent Monarch of Snarkania, Whose Name Causes Nitwits to Tremble, (okay, I'll stop now...) (KY tilts his head wondering where that odd sucking sound originated)

The recent post on NaNoWriMo prompted me to ask this. Do agents receive an influx of queries in the months following NaNoWriMo or is it about the same volume of mail? If it's the former, would it be wise to query during those months or are agents expecting most submissions to be NaNoWriMo drafts?

The queries spike about two weeks AFTER NaNoWRIMo ends.
Not by a lot but there are always more in the stack, and they mention NaNoWRIMo as the impetus for the query.

You can't time your submissions. If it's not NaNoWRIMo, it's writing conferences, or a mention on Media Bistro, or an article in the paper; it's always something

Good writing finds it's way to the top of the pile even if it has to elbow a lot of other stuff out of the way first.


Anonymous said...

How on earth does one write a novel in a month and then have it ready for submission two weeks later?

I can see getting the bones down in a white-hot creative burst, but really...

Anonymous said...

"Good writing finds it's way to the top of the pile even if it has to elbow a lot of other stuff out of the way first."

Now, THAT'S well said. And true.

Beautiful Food Gardens said...

Two weeks?


Don't tell me they're sending unedited stuff from NaNo ... please. *shudder*

Do people have no dignity?

Perpetual Beginner said...

Ehh - I'll be submitting a novel about two weeks after I finish NaNo. It just won't be this year's NaNo, nor even last years. The timing worked out that way, I suspect, because I was trying to finish it up to be ready before starting this years. Once NaNo is over, I'll go over everything once more and then start querying.

Anonymous said...

nir: Do people have no dignity?

You have to ask?


Anonymous said...

Miss Snark, while I appreciate these letters- it's NaNoWriMo. Learn it. WriMo rhymes with Rhino, and I'm fast losing respect for those who cannot remember that part. NaNoMo is a month spent doing ANYTHING with novels; NaNoWriMo a month spent WRITING them.

And a note: Zette has an agent and writes for a living. Many people use NaNo to get rough drafts; it takes a true nitwit (who generally won't last long through NaNo) to send it off without a thorough editing job.

Anonymous said...

On good writing trumping all... don't, won't and can't agree!

Snarkest, come now sweetheart. Which would you rather have, a banger hot commercial high concept idea with mediocre execution... or... a wonderfully written, swooning prose, "God, I wish I could string words together like that," navel gazer?

Or, put it this way, (Jurassic Park) watch dinosaurs roam the modern world... or... two old people open their summer home, (On Golden Pond)?

Haste yee back

Anonymous said...

Your Gilda Radner link has one http:// too many, this one works


We could all learn something from her example, thank you for the link.

This Nano whotsit is a fun idea that will at least encourage people to write something instead of always thinking about it.

First you have to get the words down (on paper or computer) then you have to revise, improve, create and polish until you have something special.

If you are a natural storyteller with a flair for writing this may not take long. If you aren't then it could take weeks, months, years of hard work. It's a case of "horses for courses."

People should stop getting all worked up about it and just get on with writing. Why are people worrying about what other people are doing? The more crap that's sitting on a slush pile the better my highly polished work of art is going to look, if I ever get round to writing it. :)

Anonymous said...

Re Jurassic Park vs On Golden Pond:
Golden Pond every time. Jurassic Park - for me - was crap. Golden Pond was deeply satisfying.

Anonymous said...

The queries spike about two weeks AFTER NaNoWRIMo ends.

This surprises me. Everyone I know who does NaNo (myself included) uses it to jumpstart a first draft that they then spend months/years working into a complete novel. I try to write a book a year and NaNo gives me a nice starting point for that.

And I love NaNo for a lot of reasons, but I don't see why it would ever be mentioned in a query letter. Do these same people describe what color pen they edit with or what kind of tea they drink while writing?

Anonymous said...

Golden Pond, deeply satisfying? Let me guess, you liked the fishing parts. I did!

Duck season here in Arkansas just opened. Wanna go? And deer, squirrel, rabbit and crow are available if that's more suitable. Bring the Yapp. We'll put some cockle burrs on 'im!;-)

Yes, Arkansas has Gin. But we, as a State, only have five electrons, (three of which we share with Mississippi.) So, leave your laptop home.

Haste yee back

Anonymous said...

Somehow I knew Rosanna Rosannadanna would pop up when I clicked on your link.

"My father would tuck me in my little bed and say, 'Rosanna Rosannadanna, it's always something.'"

I loved Gilda.

Golden Pond? I liked the getting lost picking blueberries part.

Jurassic Park? I liked the music. Oh, the book... The winged monsters.

NanNoWriMo writers are no more guilty of submitting prematurely than any other new writer. They just can't wait to get it out there. They all learn their lesson sooner or later.

Virginia Miss said...

If I were an agent who received a query in December for a nanowrimo project, I'd assume it to be a piece of crap. Not enough time would have gone by to have edited and polished it into publishable form.

Anonymous said...

LOLOL ... I say you're all right, and whoever above advised not to compare, gave good advice.

Since so many people are assuming it's a piece of crap, I do feel the need to defend. Some people can, and do, write a clean first draft.

Practice does help one write cleaner and faster. Lots of romance writers have written and published 5 - 10 books a year. You think some of those weren't written and revised in six weeks?

More people think they can write a clean first draft, than do, I'm sure. For a first time novelist, six weeks is probably pushing it.

none said...

Jurassic Park leads the audience down a long thread about a rhino-beast and possibly poisonous berries and mountains of crap and a scientist who insists she's going to get to the bottom of what's making the rhino-beast sick, whatever it takes, and then...nothing. It's never mentioned again. That's not good writing by anyone's standards.

Anonymous said...

I'm not Crichton (or one of his "true" fans) but the poisonous berries (and the) crap was possibly meant to show that reviving a few species of animals and plants and throwing them toghether does not an environment make, in the sense that maybe the plant was not contemporary with the triceraptos and so the animal ate it (and got sick) because it had no instinct to avoid it.
Or it could have been meant to illustrate that the dinosaurs should in no way be used to entertain the public as the vets did not yet know enough about them to "maintain" them.
Or maybe they just wanted to show big piles of crap on the screen for the sake of it. It evoked "yucks", "ewwws" and loud laughter from my kids and was a scene much commented upon afterwards.
Not all entertainment (or not each part of it) should aim to teach (or preach) some lofty message.

With respect,