Query Tips, in Convenient Bullet Point Form

Writing queries was never my favorite part of being a writer, and I don’t pretend to be an expert, but I did learn some things during my time in the querying trenches. Here are some of them: There are three things your query must clearly convey: character, conflict, stakes. Focus on those. They’re so importantContinue reading “Query Tips, in Convenient Bullet Point Form”

Contest Requests: Awesome, But Not Where the Rainbow Really Ends

I adore pitch contests. I think they’re an amazing way to meet other writers, get feedback, connect with the writing community, test out your pitch/query/first page without closing any doors, and more. They are absolutely amazing, and I think every querying writer (or about-to-query writer) should participate in them. That said, you know what? InContinue reading “Contest Requests: Awesome, But Not Where the Rainbow Really Ends”

Honest Answers to Querying Writer FAQs

For fun, here are some honest answers to the questions querying (or pre-querying) writers REALLY frequently ask. Q. Is my book any good? A. Yes. But it could be better. Q. OK, is my book good enough? A. WRONG QUESTION! It’s never good enough. Back to the revision pits! Q. How do I make this book better? I’ve lookedContinue reading “Honest Answers to Querying Writer FAQs”

Dear Newbie Querier Me, Part Two: Forget Personalization

(This is another thing I wish I could go back in time and tell myself at the beginning of my querying career.) Dear Newbie Querier Me, I know you keep reading that you need to personalize each query to the specific agent you’re querying. I know you see agent interview after agent interview where theyContinue reading “Dear Newbie Querier Me, Part Two: Forget Personalization”

The Dreaded Vagueness

Whenever I did pitch workshops of any kind, I kept seeing the same crucial piece of feedback appear over and over again, both on my own pitches and others’: don’t be vague. If you read a bunch of query or pitch feedback by people who know what they’re talking about, one thing rapidly becomes apparent:Continue reading “The Dreaded Vagueness”

Dear Newbie Querier Me: Part One – Do It In the Right Order

While I was querying the book that landed me my awesome agent, there were several moments when I wished I could go back in time and give Past Me querying tips. I don’t possess the power of time travel (which is just as well, really, as I’d age myself out of existence in short orderContinue reading “Dear Newbie Querier Me: Part One – Do It In the Right Order”