Slow night at the toaster!

It's Friday, it's slush.

The things you do that turn your query into toast:

1. Remind me that you telephoned to ask permission to query. It's bad enough you did it. If enough time passes, I'll probably forget it was you. But no! no no, you lead the query letter telling me how nice it was to talk to me.

Here's a news flash: it wasn't nice to talk to you. I wasn't rude cause I'd run out snarl sauce and the new shipment is on hold at Customs pending a vermin search, but make no mistake about it, calling to ask if it's ok to query is stupid. Unless an agency specifically says don't, you can assume they want queries.

2. The letter is all one paragraph.
Ok, that's charming...not.
Then you single space your pages...which isn't the narrative, but descriptions of characters.
Not just toast...burnt toast.

3. "My novel is x thousand words but it reads longer". If you don't know why this is funny, need to sharpen your Sardonica bone.

4. A string of adjectives to describe the work (never a good choice anyway) topped off by the failure to tell me whether it is a novel or nonfiction. I don't know if you only tell me it's well written, riveting, and important.

Only four servings of toast in today's slush.
My dog, can it be...are you paying attention to the rants??
Miss Snark faints dead away at the horrifying idea of doing good in the world.


David L. McAfee said...

Only 4? Is that a new record?

Anonymous said...

Oh, looks like she hasn't gotten to mine yet. It's printed on light lavender, single-spaced and spritzed with White Shoulders. Also included my hairdresser's review of the gripping, erotic, adventure, paranormal, historical romance with some light ménage, until it becomes heavy ménage, novel. I’m sure you’ll be asking for the full so I included that too. I expect a call back Monday, you’ll have the whole weekend to enjoy it. Happy reading Miss Snark.

Chumplet said...

Only four servings? Ah, today is a lovely carb-free day.

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Well, neener neener, Snarkfulness is definitely having a positive effect on me. I just got another request for pages today with my Snark-sharpened (snarkened?) query. Whoo! Request number NINE in two weeks, baby!! Go Snark!

Ozal said...

What, no fiction novels?
No wafting of second-hand smoke from the paper?
No thoughtful enclosures like chocolate (melted), cookies (smashed) or vouchers (expired)?
Glitter-wielders of the writing world, where have you gone?

Simon Haynes said...

Check on the lavender-coloured paper, but don't forget the glittery unicorn sprinklies.

Anonymous said...

Um...you need a break from the 212, girl. Your lips froth up when someone comments it was nice to talk to you? Chill with a better gin, darlin'. Your advice is usually good. On that one you're...starting to remind us of Richard Nixon...

Jillian said...

And another (scary?) thought is that those of us who are still in dogged pursuit of an agent are actually able to offer solid advice to greener, just-starting-the-process writers, who will hopefully end up with sharper, more effective queries than their predecessors.

That, and the fact that I keep getting requests for more material, keeps me encouraged on a daily basis.

As I've said before, you really do make a difference.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2, you're having reading comprehension difficulty. The issue is that the 'nice to talk to you' reminded her that the idiot phoned, which is a huge gaffe.

If you don't know why agents might not want to hear from every unpublished writer who wants to send a query, you need to read more.

Shelundra said...

I would like to ask for help with my query letter. I fear it is somewhat a mess.

I am Shelundra Santiago, and I would like to introduce you to THE MYTHICAL CREATURES OF MILSHEM. The MYTHICAL CREATURES OF MILSHEM is a fantasy story, which has a word count of 75,401. I started working on this story in 2004, and it really has been a treat. I am a first time writer. I have an Associates Degree from Columbia College, here in Savannah, and I am working on my Bachelors in Psychology.

My story takes place in a small town in the land of Milshem that happens to be divided by a mythical mist. As Jade, Kale and his sister start out on a journey to another land, they encounter a half-dark elf named Alters and his comrade Malic. After Malic, and Alters return to Pallory Docks they are ready to start life in the new town of Klovenstein, until they find out that many of the inhabitants of Milshem have disappeared on the journey to this new land, which they now embark upon. After being sucked into another reality Kaleen, Kale, and Jade are told that they will have to restore the evil that a druid has caused upon the land. They will have to merge with Malic and Alters in order to remove the druid. In order for everything to heal, the mist has to make it to the land of Ubav, the home of the druid. However, due to the evil black magic that the druid has placed over the waters West of Milshem nothing can reach Ubav. Yet, if Milshem is to restore, the group will have to reach Ubav to end the evil druid’s hold on the land.

I wish to gain representation for my novel. The MYTHICAL CREATURES OF MILSHEM is now completed, and I am looking forward to the next stage. Thank you for your time, and I hope you have a nice day.