Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Slam Dunk for Jessica

Over the past couple of months I've been reading on a number of agent's blogs about query letters. In a nutshell:

  • There is enough information on the web for every writer to be able to craft the perfect query - take the time to research it.
  • Agents have been knocking the idea back and forth of whether is would be okay for someone else to write your query for you. This includes work shopping the query.
  • It's about a 50-50 split as to those who don't mind a perfect query and those who are over it.

What I've gleamed from all the hoopla:

  • Write your own query letter after researching all you can about on the net. Same goes with the synopsis. You can ask others for help, but only on the over all content and general feeling. Nobody else is allowed to actually write it for you. This is because agents really want to hear your voice, so write the damn thing as you see fit.

A while back I was one who considered gaining feedback from others on all aspects of writing to be the most important thing short of actually writing. This changed my mind. I don't think anybody else has gotten the point across so well - well done Jessica Faust over at BookEnds.

In other news:

I reviewed a short story in the anthology Gratia Placenti sometime back by Mary Robinette Kowal. It went something like this:

"Concluding the anthology is Mary Robinette Kowal's futuristic "Tomorrow and Tomorrow", a tale of the desperate things people do for the sake of others, dare I say “for the sake of pleasing” others. Entrapped by her desires and wants as well as her responsibilities for her family, we watch as one mother falls deeper into the side of darkness for all the right reasons."

You can read the whole review here.

On browsing around the place, I find this exciting news. This proves two things to me. Deals for new authors are still being made, and the publication of short stories in anthologies helps build a readership. I know the second part is true as I'm definitely looking forward to reading her books as a direct result from reading "Tomorrow and tomorrow'.

It must be sign a new author day. S.W.Vaughn over at Murder by 4 has landed a deal as well, and the story about the journey is priceless and hauntingly familiar.

And then when you get that deal, Tess Gerritsen lets us in on how your life will change and what is expected of a published author in 2009 and beyond.

So now I'm all inspired to build my readership through gaining publication in anthologies, and to land my first book deal as soon as possible so...

Today, I'm going to work on Digging Up the Past. First I need to get all the versions sorted, then and extract the best story from all of them into a 'latest' version. Then polish that before final perusal by readers and submission.

Due to being under the weather, I didn't write anything last night, so tonight I'll be looking at writing the climax for Act One of Newland. We'll see how much of a good boy I can be.


  1. That's a good point. Editors opinions can vary so widely, it's smart to use your own voice. You never know who you'll click with!

  2. Glad you are feeling better and you don't know how much we appreciate the links you provide us with. You are better, and more efficient than Google.

  3. It is possible to over-edit, especially if your unsure of your voice and you let others decide for you.

    Thanks for all the great links.

  4. Akk! That should have been "...especially if you're unsure..."

    It's the time zone change. I posted a day ahead of myself. It's still Wednesday here.

  5. There you go - when I first started blogging and threw up the website, my whole aim was to present knowledge to fellow writers so they didn't have to traipse around after me, looking for the same stuff.

    A one stop shop for all things new and emerging writers should and would want to know. Glad to know I'm getting somewhere near that goal.