Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Good enough just isn't

I've been waffling about this post. See, as it turns out, I can't help myself. I can't quite follow Janet Reid's advice. Last night I was lucky enough to put my query in the pot to go through the ringer with Roseanne Wells. It was hosted by the folks over at WriteOnCon, and it was awesome. When she got to my query, she basically said, good idea, but not strong enough to take a peek. I can't thank Roseanne enough. Her take sort of boiled down to: There's nothing wrong, but it could be better. (caveat: I'm interpolating, so don't quote this or pretend that she actually said it).
I think the part here that struck me, is that I've suspected it. No, I've known it. The query that sent to die for my laziness is: adequate, ordinary, run of the mill. I don't know that I'd pick up the book if that was printed on the back cover. I sort of got sucked into the lurking evil thread, and that was bad bad bad. I know better. So it's a classic case of me knowing that there's something wrong, and not knowing how to fix it. I sent it out anyway, knowing that it wasn't there. It's a pretty classic case of jumping the gun. And now, I've rewritten the letter again. Now I think it's great, but I'm convinced that first drafts are actually laced with dopamine.


  1. Is this for Godmother? Because you know I friggin' love that premise.

    I'm going through the same thing with the query I'm writing now. I know the world so well, I've nearly forgotten what's so extraordinary about it. In a way, this is good, because when the novelty of a character wears off, that's when you really get to know her. But as first impressions go, it's the literary equivalent of, "...she has such a nice personality!"

    I'd love to see your query, if you want a second pair of eyes. If not, that's OK, too. I'm rooting for you either way!

  2. It's so hard to be objective!

    I think first drafts are laced with dopamine, and heroin, or else we wouldn't keep coming back, right?

    I agree with the Other Elizabeth. You should post your query for critique. If you don't want to do this on the blog (because that might upset some agents? Maybe? I don't know) you could always send it as an email. That way, we crit your query, and you can rest happy.

    I HATE it when I know there's something wrong with the query, but I can't figure out what.

    Kristin Nelson has a FABULOUS mini-video on her blog today regarding queries.

    Email me if you want some feedback at writer(dot)elizabethpoole(at)gmail(dot)com

    (in the immortal words of the other Elizabeth, spammers, if you spam me I will cut you).


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