Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Biggest Query Mistakes

J.M. Tohline has a fantastic blog post up about the biggest mistakes writers make in queries. He asked, fifty agents answered.

It's definitely worth checking out if you're querying (or will be). Some of it is common sense, some of it specific to different agents, and it's all worth reading, just to be sure. We spend so long on the damn novels themselves, might as well take the time to write a perfect query since that novel only gets one shot in the front of any given agent!

Here's a teaser borrowed from J.M's post:
As for further thoughts on vagueness, Michelle Wolfson had this to say: I think the biggest mistake people make is not telling me what their book is about. They give an overview of the book in flowery writing that really doesn't say much, or they talk about the genre or the main characters etc., but they never tell me what the book is actually about and there's no way for me to judge whether or not I'm going to be interested in the story. Tell me who the main character is, what conflict s/he faces and what's at stake. You'd be surprised how many people don't do this.

Now, go read the whole thing!

Hope you guys are having an awesome weekend!

14 comments:

Rachelle said...

Thanks for this link. I'm always looking for ways to improve my queries!

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for sharing this. It's funny because it's true.

Missed Periods said...

I am off to read the rest. Thanks for the link.

cyanyears said...

Thanks for the information. It'll definitely come in handy when I start pitching my latest novel. :-)

Old Kitty said...

A great link - thank you!!! All these sensible points bear repeating over and over! I did laugh out loud by the samples of how not to start your query letter - eg. "Hiya Helen"! Even I know not to do that in any formal letter and I'm nowhere near the query stage!! LOL!!

Take care
x

Carrie said...

Thanks for posting this. I'm going to check it out.

Colene Murphy said...

Thanks for the link!! Heading over now.

Shelley Sly said...

That was an incredibly valuable article. Thank you so much for posting! Hope you've had a nice weekend. :)

Talli Roland said...

Thank you! Headed over...

Abby Minard said...

Thanks so much- it's always good to get other agents viewpoints on what makes or breaks a query!

W.B. said...

Very insightful link! I'll check it out. One thing I've always wanted to do is try to improve all of my queries, and you've helped me do so! :)

notesfromnadir said...

Awesome, thanks for it. I also agree that some writers can be so mysterious about their work that they under describe it.

Bekah said...

OOHHH!! Nice link- I know where I am going LOL

Carol Riggs said...

Thanks for the good blog post, and the point to another good blog post! It was VERY informative. :o) I popped over here from Bekah's Stories blog. Nice to meet you!