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Monday, September 27, 2010

The Agitating Wait

Query Sent.

You bite your lip.

You check it over to make sure you got everything right.

What if you got the agent's name wrong?

Or what if you missed something?

Darn. But you didn't.

You check your e-mail.

Click. Click. Click.

You wait and click and refresh and read about the agent.

Weeks of clicking are over.

You no longer have fingernails to chew on, you ran out of coffee and red bull.

Should you open it?

It has to be a rejection.

Darn. You click again. They like it!

Manuscript request.

Toast yourself with champagne.

You send it off.

And now you have to wait...Again.

So how do you guys spend time waiting? I personally like to start to work on my next project and the other things I do in this funny thing called life. So, my next project happens to be book 2 of my trilogy. What about you?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Another GREAT Contest

Gosh, I seem to be postng about contests WAY too muh, but there are so many great ones to enter that I can't help it! In fact I myself will also be hosting a contest once my blog reaches 100 followers, so help me get there!!! The new contest update is re Justine Dell's Contest over at her awesome blog! Go and enter!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Writing Changes, So do Blogs

Hello, fellow minions!

This whole summer I have been actively working on my novel and seeking an agent/publisher/person of interest and I can say that so far it has been fun. Fun, sad and exciting at the same time. If you have started to query your novel that you love so much you know what I mean. I have good stats, I think. Scratches head...

5 MS Requests

3 Partials (My top agency is one of those!! YAY!")

6 rejections (3 of them personal, I think, I will post them at the end and you guys tell me...)

4 no replies.

So so far so good, but did I mention I got a rejection on my MS? That made me really flustered disappointed and when I read over my novel (for the umpteenth time) I realized that I know why. The writing isn't up to par with the opening and I have changed. I analyzed my first novel and analyzed the second which I recently started writing and understood my mistake, and the weird thing is that it looks like those two books were written by two different individuals. The first has way too much tell and the second in very show and exciting. So here I am going back to the drawing board and letting thos MS requesters know about this (They were actually nice about it and said they would wait!).

Basically what my post is about is the way we change and fluctuate. Like our characters and ourselves our writing goes through so many stages and I really didn't realize that until now. These changes can be minor or major, but you can still notice them and now I can really understand what those who say to hone your craft mean. I didn't think I could get better back then. Now my own previous thoughts sound silly to me. So how have you changed? How has it affected your novel?
And the rejections promised.....

***Drum Beat***

Dear Ariel,

Thank you for the interesting query. The concept has many worthwhile elements but it doesn't appeal to me. We are rarely able to add new authors to our roster.

Best of luck,


and another:


Thank you for your query. I've read the sample chapters that you've sent, but we just can't represent your manuscript at this time. It's interesting and gripping and I'm sure you'll find the right agency for your story.


The Last one:


I really enjoyed reading through your material. You have great potential with this novel. Unfortunately, I cannot offer representation at this time due to the fact that I don't believe I have the knowledge to sell in the Fantasy market. Best of Luck.


Have an awesome day!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

Query Critique #1

My friend Jon, who works at a publishing house as a slush reader promised to read some of your guys' queries. Here is the first. Leave your comments and suggestions, I am sure Kay will appreciate them.

I’m sending THE BAD LUCK MAGNET -- a middle grade fantasy set in 1921, complete at 44,000 words. It was very common to start with a small description of your story at the beginning of a query letter, but unless I am hooked by the idea I don’t care for the title or the word count. At the same time, those can lead to a rejection themselves. Personally, I recommend sending the agent directly into the story.

Thirteen-year-old EMMA KLOKEN just knows she’s the unluckiest girl in the world. Just knows? I would recommend something along the lines of… “is the unluckiest girl in the world.” She could know, but really is she? The hook is interesting. But you are setting yourself up for another question which I want to see answered. I want to know why. Every time she turns around, her grandmother locks her in the broom closet -- even before she thinks about doing something wrong. Ok, I believe it would be very strange is her grandmother locks her is a closet every single time that she turns around. Does she lock her in the closet every time she sees her? Does she punish her in that way, or is she trying to let loose her own angst by taking it out on Emma? Just some things to think over. Emma wishes she was able to tell the old bat to go jump in a lake, but she daren’t. So she hats her grandma, but the conflict isn’t set up straight up and right in this query. There has to be more to her hate if she wants her own grandma stone cold, if you know what I mean.

When her family moves to Hardscrabble in the California Gold Country, Emma’s bad luck holds. I didn’t really hear of any bad luck in the first paragraph, other than her grandma locking her in a closet and I wouldn’t call that bad luck. Bad luck is when everything seems to mess up for you. But a nasty grandma isn’t luck its your family, and family you cannot change. The first girls she meets [NANCY and GLENDA] hold a grudge against her because they think Emma’s father ‘stole’ Nancy’s mother’s promotion. Here you mention bad luck again, but you don’t explain it. Why would two girls that are strangers hold a grudge against her because of something her parents did to one another. It doesn’t really make sense to me. You need more explanation and detail. Not a longer query, I am still recommending short but concise. When Nancy and Glenda take Emma for a picnic in the foothills, they throw her new bike down an abandoned mine shaft and ditch her. I still don’t see why they would do that to her. Because of her parents? Trying to rescue her bike, Emma slides into the mine where she encounters GRIMM, a hobgoblin, who rescues her.

When Emma learns Grimm was punished for helping her, she decides to go to Faery to rescue him. What is Faery? This should be mentioned WAY earlier. This IS the importance of the book I imagine. Not the way she got there but the adventure she will have there. Only problem, Nancy insists on joining her because Glenda has disappeared into Faery too. How exactly did that happen? I though they both ditched her?

Overall, I think you have a nice premise, but the query needs work. Not too much, but some rearranging will really make a difference. I wish you the best of luck!


Kay, thank you so much for sending in your query! I really like the premise as well and I am sorry I posted this so late. You can visit and FOLLOW Kay’s really awesome blog here: If anybody else would like their query critiqued by Jon, just e-mail me or comment and I will e-mail you and send it to him. :D

A toast to getting partials, manuscript requests and contracts for all of you guys!!!