Dear Miss Snark,
A writer friend is currently making final revisions on (I believe) a beautiful novel about a Japanese mail-order bride in 1917 in Hawaii (not a romance). My friend is of Japanese heritage and was born and raised in Hawaii. My question is, how would you respond to a writer comparing her book to famous movies. For instance, my friend said, “I guess I'd call it a cross between the films, "Picture Bride" and "The Color Purple."
Would including a comment like that in an agent query be a mistake? Would comparing it to other classic novels be better?
How about you just include five beautiful pages of writing and let me figure out what to call it.
More people shoot themselves in the font by over reaching for comparisons that are just plain nuts (books are not movies) or out moded (classic novels).
I know everyone tells you you need a log line but honest to dog try to come up with something that doesn't depend on whether I've seen a particular movie or read a classic book. And you better hope I liked the movie or book. People who tell me they have something just like Hannibal Lecter just raised the bar another six feet cause those books scare the crap out of me.