Author Topic: A little moan about queries  (Read 1685 times)

luvwriting

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A little moan about queries
« on: October 07, 2008, 05:58:36 AM »
Ok, you lot, you've been leaving it up to Wolfe and I to do all the work. Wolfe has the expertise and I have the gob, and it's definitely not a good combination as without a third party to keep the peace we just end up rubbing each other the wrong way. Plus we seem to be frightening off other people who have perfectly valid points of view: Think of it as being like that thread about 'what do you think of my opening paragraph?' - members shouldn't be shy of saying what they think of other members queries:
Does it work for you?
Do you understand the plot up to that point when the writer leaves it at a hook?
Do you know who the main protagonist is, the main antagonist, the motivation/crisis/conflict facing the main character?
Does the hook work for you?
Would it make you want to ask for the manuscript?
Does the style it's written in work? Or are there too many cliches trying to do the hard work of explaining the plot/motivations? Have parts of it been reduced to the point of short meaningless phrases?
These are all questions I ask myself when I read someone's query - First impressions count.
If you've got a view then don't come on and apologise for expressing it with the words 'I'm not an expert', because with that attitude you'll never be able to do your own when the time comes.
Eric and Andrew have had a lot of of feedback from Wolfe and I and yet neither of you are applying any of it to Ma's query. How can you expect to learn how to do your own if you can't critique other people's?

I'm busy this week so you're on your own.
Good luck.



luvwriting

Offline Andrewf

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Re: A little moan about queries
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2008, 07:50:10 AM »
Eric and Andrew have had a lot of of feedback from Wolfe and I and yet neither of you are applying any of it to Ma's query. How can you expect to learn how to do your own if you can't critique other people's?

Given that my own query writing appeared to be growing worse with each itteration, I am most definitely not qualified to comment on someone elses query.

Those that I did, where I thought it was good and said so, were improved still further with the help of Wolfe (JHMull's query specifically).

As I truely don't know query writing, and I'm not an agent, I'm not going to muddy the waters with my unfounded opinion as to what works for me.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2008, 08:51:08 AM by Andrewf »
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Offline ma100

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Re: A little moan about queries
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2008, 08:39:58 AM »
Luv I am not trying to be rude here so please don't think I am, but I feel you brought me into this thread by mentioning my name.

Quote
Ok, you lot, you've been leaving it up to Wolfe and I to do all the work. Wolfe has the expertise and I have the gob, and it's definitely not a good combination as without a third party to keep the peace we just end up rubbing each other the wrong way

Uhm nobody asked you too I don't think. Wolfe has never been anything but helpful in his advice as far as I can see and being as he knew what he was talking about people listened. Nadine also used to help with the queries but she has sadly gone now. It was his choice as it is yours to answer threads. I am not saying your advice isn't appreciated by anybody because that is so not true.  :) but it is your choice to answer threads and I feel other members should be afforded that choice.

What you are saying here it appears to me sounds like the school yard 'You will do things my way as I can't trust myself from biting you'

I am not an agent or an editor or even a writer. I ask questions. I cannot give feed back that I feel would be totally wrong for the poor person whose query it is. I would be mortified if I gave the wrong advice to people and steered them wrong. I would imagine others feel that way too.
I won't say I know unless I clearly do.

Quote
Eric and Andrew have had a lot of of feedback from Wolfe and I and yet neither of you are applying any of it to Ma's query. How can you expect to learn how to do your own if you can't critique other people's?

Singling out people like this is unfair. If the kids in the playground don't want to play... ;)

As I said I am not being rude I just think a bit of forthought before writing a post might be a better way to go. ;)

Orpheus

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Re: A little moan about queries
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2008, 10:19:50 AM »
In my opinion there's only one paragraph that decides whether an agent will seriously consider your manuscript, and that's where you state your writing credentials. If that's blank then I'm convinced (being an eternal pessimist) the query will end up being returned no matter what.

Shoot me if I'm wrong. ;)

Offline Foxy

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Re: A little moan about queries
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2008, 10:29:16 AM »
Very well said, Ma. I was thinking along similar lines when I read luvwriting's post.

And, Orpheus, consider yourself shot because you are wrong  ;)
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Orpheus

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Re: A little moan about queries
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2008, 10:43:51 AM »
Well I can only get shot once (I think). Let's say I'm already dead just in case I get riddled with bullets.

Besides, you could always lie. It worked for Clive Custler. :D


Offline Foxy

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Re: A little moan about queries
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2008, 10:50:57 AM »

Besides, you could always lie. It worked for Clive Custler. :D


Great idea!


...Now, why didn't I think of that.
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Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Re: A little moan about queries
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2008, 11:46:27 AM »
Luv said:
Think of it as being like that thread about 'what do you think of my opening paragraph?' - members shouldn't be shy of saying what they think of other members queries:


I first joined MWC in Sept. '06. Anyone who remembers me from that time may also remember that I was very active and willing to give advise when I felt it could be helpful.

Now that I am back after a long absence, I have been trying to do the same. But there are some areas where I don't feel qualified to offer my opinion - poetry springs to mind. I enjoy reading the poems people post, but there is very little about poetry I can say that I feel would be helpful to anyone. One the other hand, I learn from some of the critiques that others offer, especially Sat and Eric.

When it comes to queries, I have very little experience with writing queries, so first hand experience is limited. But I had friends and mentors who are experienced with such and are generous with sharing their knowledge. On top of that, I actually enjoy doing online research from time to time and I'm happy to share what I find when I think it might be helpful.

When it comes to prose, I feel more confident in the advise I offer and when I feel I can made a difference, I'm happy to get my feet wet.

Luv, with all that said, no one is insisting you critique queries or anything else. You do so because you choose to. Everyone else has the same choice.
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Offline Jakey

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Re: A little moan about queries
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2008, 06:34:52 AM »
I have to agree. Commenting on queries is an area where (I assume) the majority are less confident in, and could be more reluctant to comment. This is especially so for me, I've sent queries, but I don't think they are good; but I don't blame the query note for my book not been accepted, brobably my book isn't to the right standard or haven't chosen the right publishing house. I think when I have attained a level of success, then I would love to help, but am not ready and respect other members thinking similar thoughts.

What I would encourage is all members to give feedback to stories and poems (haven't done so myself yet), because, in my view, it doesn't matter if it's 'wrong', because my comment on a story can only help me to develop my skills as a writer and a reviewer. Even if I think I am wrong because another member has a different opinion, fine. I use this feedback to understand what the difference of opinions are. I've also found upon further review that I have sometimes been wrong, and other times, right! It's a great learning experience and can highly recommend considering this to improve your own work.

When I critique, I aim to be as honest and direct as possible. Don't worry about 'hurting' or 'offending' the author who's asked for help, it's really what they want, even if their ego is a little dented. I always go to the people who are brutal and love them for it. I don't critique as much as I would like, even privately, because of time, but I'm using my time to review and want to make the most of my valuable time effectively for both parties.

Everyone has a choice, no-one forces anyone to do anything here, but why not make the most of this wonderful opportunity to critique...

Jakey
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