12.05.2006

Abacus Snark's Beady Eye


Dear Miss Snark,

I am a moron. So I was sitting here today, muddling through the job I loathe, growing more impatient with each second as I finish up my novel, and my impatience got the better of me. I figured, what the heck, I'll send some e-queries to the agents on Agent Query that show they accept them. I fired off four before it dawned on me that I am being ridiculous in trying to query about a book I have neither finished nor reviewed.

I now have four queries floating out there. I'm terrified. What the hell do I do if they ask for the freakin' manuscript? Fess up?

You know, in a way this is your fault. I was perfectly happy plodding along then I read about the upcoming Crapometer and wrote my 250 word hook. I saw it, loved it, and just have to whip it out and wave it around so I could get those love letters in return. So I was thinking, would you float me $100,000 until I get my royalties? Honest injun, my books going to be great, I give you my word as a gentleman. I just need to quit my job so I can finish it before everyone starts asking for a manuscript and I look like the ass that Iam.

Anticipating your positive response,




Here's a picture of the last guy I lent money to

28 comments:

Zany Mom said...

LOL

I polished up my hook in anticipation of the upcoming crapometer, but as I sat down to put the final spit and polish on the work itself (it's been polished already ad nauseum), I suddenly had the urge to do a complete rewrite. The story is the same, and the hook will be the same, but I think I can rewrite the whole thing and make it better than trying to rework what I already have.

But maybe I should make sure the hook isn't crap before expending the energy, LOL. I should finish project #2 first (it's a stronger novel) than rewriting the first. Oh, to have some free, uninterrupted time to THINK and WRITE. Sigh...

Heidi the Hick said...

This is rich. Buddy there hasn't finished it at all but really believes that those four query letters are going to result in four agents calling him to see his novel.

I really don't think he has anything to worry about...

Katie said...

Is that photo before or after the loan? Or after you sent the goons after him for non payment?

Anonymous said...

I really wish you'd take my picture off your site. I have your money and you'll get it once that image is down.

-J.J.

michaelgav said...

Miss Snark,

So NOW I know why your snarkiness seems so strangely familiar.

And don't think I didn't appreciate the loan.

And I will pay you back with interest, I swear. I'm working on a couple of Big Ideas right now, as a matter of fact.

And even though you "outgrew" our Delta House lifestyle, and even though you said, "It's not you, it's me," I think we both know that was a lie.

It wasn't you. It wasn't me. It was George.

angrylil'asiangirl said...

eww! that image is heinous! my eyes!

that was not money well-spent, miss snark!

~Nancy said...

LOL! :-) That could be a pic of my hubby's fondest wish (there's a microbrewer near where we live, so it would be pretty easy for him to, um, go there au natural.

Snark.

~JerseyGirl

December Quinn said...

I hope what he's hiding behind that keg was worth it...

Ryan Field said...

That's what happens when you whip it out and wave it around.

Kim Stagliano said...

Guess he was "tapped" out.

(I'll be appearing in the Catskills over Hanukkah.)

;)

Julie Carobini said...

Hope that guy has at least one card left. lol

Anonymous said...

Re: I really don't think he has anything to worry about...

Well, I sent off 4 equeries two weeks ago and *immediately* heard back from 2 of the agents asking to see the whole thing...

So if it IS a good query, his concern is not far-fetched.

Anonymous said...

Injun
Offensive term for Native Americans
red man[offensive]
Redskin [offensive]

can you dig it?

Manic Mom said...

One problem, he spent the money on a keg of beer, not a pail of gin!

Phshaw, children these days.

Kim said...

Let's be thankful it was a keg :)

Just remember Murphy's Law - there MUST be one for writer's that goes something like this

"If you query before the project is spit-shined to perfection, all queries will result in requests for fulls."

Anonymous said...

re: Injun
Offensive term for Native Americans

Uh, Injun, slang for Indian, Webster's Ninth Collegiate defines Indian 2. American Indian

So, "Native American" not offensive, but "American Indian" offensive?

Common denominator American, remove.

"Native" not offensive, "Indian" offensive.

Personally, I'd rather be called an Indian than a native. :)

Anonymous said...

I sent out ten e-queries on a novel that I thought was revised and rewritten to perfection only to realize while waiting for replies that another rewrite would make it better still. Thank Dog, I got no requests for partials or fulls, and I've still got over a hundred agents on my to-be-queried list that have never seen one line from me.

Steve Prosapio said...

They've got it all wrong.

Miss Snark lent me money when I told her that I'd found the perfect outfit for $100. After emptying it of its precious contents (gin), she violently disagreed and informed me that I was overdressed. Then she handed me an 8 oz thermos.

jeff resnick said...

Yes, the responses to that picture are very funny...but does anyone, including Miss Snark, have an opinion on the guy's question? I'm also curious to know what agents would think if they received a great query letter, asked for a partial or full manuscript, but was then told it's not 100% complete. What if it's 75% complete? I'm imagining this is not a good approach, but...would love to hear examples if there are some. Gracias!

Termagant 2 said...

I wouldn't sweat the completion part. Chances are, any agent who wants to see some of it will ask for a synopsis and the first three chapters anyway. While they're spending six+ months mulling over whether they can represent him, he has time to finish the thing.

Nothing moves fast around here--except when you're on a deadline.

T2

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I have to confess that the thought has crossed my mind. All those agents say that they aren't going to respond for weeks and weeks, so I've been tempted to send out queries to try to time it so that they respond just as I'm finishing my final polish. I wonder how long you can stall them.

LadyBronco said...

Duuuuude!

Look what I scored from some chick in heels!

She even had this freaky-ass poodle with her!

She wouldn't gimme her pail of gin, tho....

Bummer!

greeneyes said...

I think it would be tricky to query on a novel that wasn't at least close to being completed. On the off chance that the agent wants to see a completed MS and you can't provide the goods, the future relationship would be rocky at best I assume.

Diana Peterfreund said...

Don't query unless you're ready to deliver the goods. They may say they'll take forever, but they *can* be awfully quick.

I sent my first query when a book was 3 chapters in, figuring I'd have six months to hear a response. Wrong. The next day I had a request for the partial. The day after, a request for the full. I had no full.

From then on, I promised that I woudn't query until I was ready. But after my friend pitched my new unfinished book at a conference, I sent out the partial, and had my first offer within the hour. Yes, this is rare, very very very very very very rare. But be prepared. They aren't happy to get excited about a project they can't have, and there's no guarantee they'll be excited about it when you finally do get around to finishing it. Make sure you have it in a shape so that when they do ask, you can give it to them.

Katie said...

Even if the gentleman who asked the original question could whip up an ending to his book in time to send it out, I would be extremely wary of submitting pages that were essentially a first draft.

I would think he would do a little bit of tap-dancing and basically say that he's revising it (I know Miss Snark herself has said wait to send a better version of something if you anticipate having one soon), and in the meanwhile, whip that sucker into shape. Then, a few months later (when he's had a chance to edit a bit), send it out and say it was requested.

That's my take, although I don't actually know if it's the right answer.

Anonymous said...

I was on the toilet at LAX before my flight to East Boola Boola when I became inspired and wrote eight words onto the toilet paper roll. I heard my flight being called and raced out of the stall without wiping, thus leaving my oeuvre(s) behind. "Don Lazaar" was next in that bathroom - he read my words on the toilet paper and tracked me down. I had a twelve book deal before my plane took off. But for everyone else, you've got to have your entire MS finished before querying.

Anonymous said...

Wait... Is it just me, or is Miss Snark implying that she lent money to someone in exchange for a naked picture of them? X_x

Anonymous said...

If she only LENT him the money for the photo, then she got a much better deal than he did. He has to give her naked pictures AND the cash back?