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Marry the prince and end this, they say. What no one understands is if Willow marries George, a piece of her, the Finn-sized piece, will die.

Details like this catch my eye in the query. I really respond to meticulous writing. A truth that could set everything right, or send Atlantis crashing into the sea.

So, Willow is trying to avoid her destiny, I get that. In other words, she IS going to marry George unless she can figure out a way to save Atlantis.

I had to look up this comparison, and it seems pretty apt, but it's also a TV show, and generally you want to use books, not other media forms as comparisons.

I earned my B. I taught 8th grade and 10th grade English classes. Currently, I am raising four readers who borrow a back-breaking number of books from the library, which makes me proud and my chiropractor happy.

This is a lovely bio, with a delightful zing of humor!!! Thank you for your time and consideration. So, we may have a problem with the book, in that Willow really needs to demonstrate her heroism by agreeing to marry Boring George to save her people.

The essence of being the hero is that you Do The Right Thing even when it costs you. The hero runs IN to the fire, not away from it; toward the gunfire, not away from it.

Make sure Willow does this. Then revise the query and resend. I feel like this draft meets your criteria and has the most voice. My beta readers are split.

My objectivity died a horrible death about 53 drafts ago. Is the writing coherent and the voice clear? If a bio is required, should I just keep it to 2 sentences about my former education and teaching experience and stick it right before the closing?

Does a boring bio turn agents off? Let me stop you right there. I never EVER want to hear you refer to yourself as boring because you are a stay-at-home mom.

You may not be curing cancer but you are raising readers, and by god if you don't recognize how important that is, I do, and I'm coming to your house to smack you around with the spiderpus.

Posted by Janet Reid at Sunday, September 16, My suspense novel is roughly k. Is that instant death? Should I not include the word count in the query unless required?

I left him out of the query because I felt it made the query too cumbersome. This leads to my second question. Is it misleading to not personally include this second POV in the query?

So technically he is represented by what's there already Dear QueryShark, The rules of Witness Protection are not only absolutely clear but incredibly simple: Keep a low profile and under no circumstances make contact with anyone from your past.

Not for twelve-year-old Kadyn Hopplar. The past is so much more than just a reference point. A time before her father was killed by the bad men.

Walk a Web of Spiders is a , word suspense story and my first novel. I also write short stories, two of which have been published.

I'm very VERY leery of a suspense novel that clocks in at K, because suspense should be taut, not languid. The idea that you just not mention the word count in a query is Textbook Example of Foot Shooting.

If I'm intrigued by the query, and request the full, the first thing I do when you send it, is download the manuscript.

My word processing program tells me the number of pages and word count automatically. Sunday, September 9, I have yet to receive anything other than a form rejection from an agent with this query.

To me it feels 'ok' but on life support, meaning it's alive, but barely. I feel that I just need an extra oomph to get it up and running in a manner that would garner attention.

This is why I'm fully tossing the chum in the water in hopes of getting a bite. Eighteen-year-old Adira never imagined herself a hero, much less a savior of the kingdom, but she found herself in the middle of a dark war nonetheless.

After learning that a dark entity, thought to have been banished generations ago, has resurfaced, she finds herself targeted for death, just for knowing of its return.

I'd stop reading here. There is absolutely nothing new or compelling about what you've described.

You absolutely must make a story your own, and you haven't. Darth Vader is a dark entity but what made him scary as all hell was the face mask, the breathing, and his menacing intentions.

Even his name sounded evil. Telling me something is a dark entity is boring. Showing me that he can strangle someone just by raising his hand and using The Force for evil Forced to flee her home after her adoptive father is killed by men who pledged their allegiance to the entity, Adira vows revenge.

Of course she does. Again, this is too generic to be interesting. Seeking refuge at a faraway outpost, Adira hones her fighting skills alongside well-trained soldiers.

When an ageless and powerful Seer arrives, Adira finally decides to reveal what she knows. This knowledge, coupled with a shocking revelation about her adoptive father, convinces the Seer that Adira may be the key to stopping the evil from spreading across the land.

Of course she is. So far you don't have anything different that the fifty other YA queries like this that I see every week.

As Adira begins seeking her own personal revenge and fighting alongside new friends to defend the kingdom, a conspiracy begins to unravel and could lead to death for everyone.

Of course it is. You may contact me at email address or you on twitter. I have your email address already since my email inbox shows the return address, and the place for your twitter handle below your name.

Thank you for your time and consideration, There's nothing here that's fresh and new. You haven't put your spin on any of this.

Everything is too generic to be interesting dark entity, faraway outpost, ageless seer. This could be Star Wars One of the things that made Guardians of the Galaxy so fun was how the movie played with standard character tropes.

I don't know if the query doesn't do justice to the book, or you haven't written a book I want to read. Go back to your favorite books in this category and read them again.

This time watch for how the author surprises you, or twists a plot. That's what makes a story individual. Watch for how the characters are described that lifts them from generic to interesting.

It takes a long time to write something all your own. It's not a character flaw or failure that this doesn't work.

It's a step on the writing path. Every single writer learns how to do this exactly the way you are: Sunday, September 2, - FTW.

Money is tight for me, so I can't buy new books and my library can be slow to get requests in. A CP suggested reading a summary of books so I can find comps, but that feels dishonest to me I thought about leaving comps out altogether, but I want to highlight my MC is an anti-hero.

What's your opinion on this? I struggle heavily with depression, so I've had to take steps to protect myself from querying. I have a separate email for queries only and check it once a week, and only if I'm mentally prepared.

Should I make a note in my query that my response should I be so lucky! But when she accidentally brings her dead dog back to life instead of summoning his ghost, Katrell gets dollar signs in her eyes.

Talking to the dead is one thing, but people will pay top dollar to see their loved ones again. I really like this. Her plan runs smoothly at first.

Good enough for Katrell. And the best thing: I can see how the precipitating incident will lead to trouble down the road. That's a good thing when you're able to get your reader anticipating things.

Revenants rob citizens of her town and present stolen money and jewelry to Katrell. When her first Revenant graduates from theft to murder, Katrell has a decision to make.

But if she continues, the body count will keep inching higher, and the people Katrell love may end up in the crossfire.

I really like this! It features an all black cast and is ownvoices for the African-American lead and struggles with poverty. If it were possible to like this more than I did before, I do.

I was an editorial intern with company name Publishing for a year. So far anyway let's keep it that way!

I love this a lot. If your pages hold up, I think you'll get requests. As to your questions: However, if you want to include them, it's ok to have read summaries not the entire book.

Choosing when and how to reveal that you struggle with depression has no right or wrong answer. Anyone who says otherwise should be ignored.

I don't expect an instant response to a request for the full manuscript, but I'm always much happier to get the requested full sooner rather than later.

In your case, I'd want it sooner cause I'd want to start reading. Monday, August 27, Revised once. When an asteroid hits Earth, Lauren Sand considers herself lucky to stumble upon a Cold War bomb shelter down a mine shaft—until she shuts the door.

Time-locked for two years underground, Lauren has no connection to the outside world. Nothing but the final radio broadcast of conspiracy theorist Mick Parks, who claims a nuclear error caused the catastrophe.

When the door opens, Lauren emerges into a drastically changed world. The sea has a new shore, breaking six-thousand-feet high into the Rocky Mountains.

With everything she has ever known covered by salt water, Lauren sets out to find other survivors. I can see a couple places where the writing could use some polish but when I read a query, a good compelling concept trumps all.

Struggling to survive, Lauren is grateful to befriend members of a commune called Camp Genesis. When he stakes his claim on Lauren, she flees.

Honestly, I'm so so so over this plot device. Women as chattel, women as victims. One of the GREAT things about a post apocalyptic novel is your chance to discard old tropes and invent some new ones.

I'll keep reading but my enthusiasm has dwindled. With the cult leader on her trail, Lauren treks across the desolate remains of Northwest Wyoming where algae devour the landscape and holiday resorts have become fiefdoms that kill trespassers on sight.

Death and destruction greet her at every turn until she meets homesteader Jay in the lawless last city of New Casper.

Jay offers Lauren sanctuary, and the future she always dreamed of. But Lauren sees the future of humanity at stake and believes the truth about the asteroid will help give closure and peace to the dying city.

And now, I'm utterly and completely confused. I'm guessing you mean the people who live in the fiefdoms. How do you have a homesteader in a town?

And why is Lauren worried about the future of humanity when she's got more immediate concerns?

Closure and peace to a dying city? What does that even mean? Posted by Janet Reid at 8: Sunday, July 15, The first person viewpoint character of my novel is blind but the story is not about her blindness.

Is it too far down? At the end I talk mention the blurb author promised-- is that worth including? You're missing a verb here. As I read your query that kind of typo stands out like a pink flamingo on Astroturf.

It leads me to form some opinions about your work and they're not good. I cannot over stress the ironclad necessity of making sure these kind of glitches get revised out.

We ALL leave out verbs, make typos, have too many thats , and discover errant the thes in our writing. Other than that, this is pretty funny.

But when a boy who smells like spearmint invites her to see his band and her boy-crazy, best friend, June, overhears? And this is splat.

The second paragraph should build on the first. You have an alien space craft or something! Your BFF hearing a boy invite you to a concert is pretty anti climatic.

Move directly to the next paragraph. Why do they have to unravel the mystery? What's at stake if they don't? Unicorns will go extinct? What's so important about this concert?

One of the things agents say at writers conferences panels about queries goes like this: That's why I ask writers to submit a synopsis.

You're trying to be witty here. Oh hell you ARE witty. But the purpose of a query isn't to show your wit, it's to entice me to read your novel.

You're undercutting that here by using the word "interrupted. It is completed at 60, words. Posted by Joe Wilcox at 9: Blog Wisdom Required A blog reader asked an intriguing knitting question.

Since I don't know the answer, and I'd like to, I'm going to ask the folks who read this blog if they might know. Non Rolling Stockinette Thuy asks me if there is a way to cast on or off so that stockinette stitch won't roll.

She has a scarf and a sweater from J. Crew with no hem, done in plain stockinette stitch that doesn't roll. Does anyone have any ideas on how one might accomplish this?

Craft Sale Manic Knitting This weekend has been non-stop knitting. Mostly for the upcoming craft sale on the 20th of December. So far this weekend, I've completed four scarves and two London Beanies, and I'm well on my way to finishing a fifth scarf.

I also have two Pep scarves and two Koigu scarves at the local yarn store and four Headhugger Hats left over from the previous craft show.

I'm hopeful to have about three dozen items that I can sell at the show I get to see my friend who's hosting the craft sale this evening for movie and a dinner, and I wanted to show her my extensive progress.

Not really enough to merit an updated picture. I also brought Ronas Hill into my localy yarn store when I went in to buy more novelty yarn, and everyone fawned over it.

There was a newly obsessed male knitter in the store when I went in. When he saw me, he said he had been to my web site Hi Clark if you get to read this.

Hope your hat is coming out well. The Pep yarn is a Lana Grossa yarn. It' similar to Fee and some of the other "hairy" yarns. Pubah asks if I've ever seen anyone wearing these scarves?

I actually have seem some folks wearing them, and like funky clothes, some folks can get away with it, and some can't.

And as Kathy mentions, it's the folks that go way overboard with this stuff by wearing it all at once that makes these scarves look way more stupid than they might otherwise.

The best comment I've seen so far from my readers is actually on Wendy's blog. For any of you who have made contributions, you are amazing For those of you who haven't, please consider doing so if you can.

Click here to contribute. Posted by Joe Wilcox at Holiday Knitting Charity Interested in charity? Want to find a way to make yours knitting related?

By leveraging all of the folks that read their blogs, they are looking to make a charitable donation to Heifer International that helps the needy and is knitting related.

I won't go into detail here, since Wendy and Theresa have described it very well, but if you don't regularly ready either of their blogs, and don't already know about this kind thing they're doing, please stop by their sites and contribute whatever you can.

I wholeheartedly support their efforts and hope you will too.

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Here are two links where you can read how to do tubular cast-on: Thanks everyone for your advice and tips.

The experience of the folks who read this blog are amazing. In a week, he got someone to teach him to knit, made a large swatch of knitting and purling, found my favorite local yarn store and bought a pattern and yarn for a hat which he's already finished.

And he found my site. It doesn't hurt that he's one of the most attractive men I've ever seen in a yarn store either sorry girls and boys, he's married.

Welcome to a new and fearless knitter. He also builds boats and teaches at one of the best prep schools in the country. Quite a Renaissance man.

Posted by Joe Wilcox at 9: Blog Wisdom Required A blog reader asked an intriguing knitting question. Since I don't know the answer, and I'd like to, I'm going to ask the folks who read this blog if they might know.

Non Rolling Stockinette Thuy asks me if there is a way to cast on or off so that stockinette stitch won't roll.

She has a scarf and a sweater from J. Crew with no hem, done in plain stockinette stitch that doesn't roll. Does anyone have any ideas on how one might accomplish this?

Craft Sale Manic Knitting This weekend has been non-stop knitting. Mostly for the upcoming craft sale on the 20th of December.

So far this weekend, I've completed four scarves and two London Beanies, and I'm well on my way to finishing a fifth scarf. I also have two Pep scarves and two Koigu scarves at the local yarn store and four Headhugger Hats left over from the previous craft show.

I'm hopeful to have about three dozen items that I can sell at the show I get to see my friend who's hosting the craft sale this evening for movie and a dinner, and I wanted to show her my extensive progress.

Not really enough to merit an updated picture. I also brought Ronas Hill into my localy yarn store when I went in to buy more novelty yarn, and everyone fawned over it.

There was a newly obsessed male knitter in the store when I went in. When he saw me, he said he had been to my web site Hi Clark if you get to read this.

Hope your hat is coming out well. The Pep yarn is a Lana Grossa yarn. It' similar to Fee and some of the other "hairy" yarns.

Pubah asks if I've ever seen anyone wearing these scarves? I actually have seem some folks wearing them, and like funky clothes, some folks can get away with it, and some can't.

And as Kathy mentions, it's the folks that go way overboard with this stuff by wearing it all at once that makes these scarves look way more stupid than they might otherwise.

The best comment I've seen so far from my readers is actually on Wendy's blog. CockyBoys just introduces another cute new gay porn model.

His name is Finn Carson and he shows his versatility in his first sex scene, Finn Carson and big-dicked gay porn star Calvin Banks flip-fuck bareback.

November 8, 15 Comments Categories: Archer Croft , brand new tattooed gay porn stud from Florida, just started sharing his bareback sex adventures on JustFor.

I think he is one of the newcomers to keep an eye on. Check out some preview videos below. November 8, 12 Comments Categories: But for one last time, they brought gay porn stars to have sex on stage in front of live audience and you can watch it in this upcoming gay porn movie from NakedSword, NOB HILL.

Check out the XXX trailer and behind the scenes teaser below. The first scene drops next week, November 14th.

November 8, 3 Comments Categories: Toby is a new gay porn model from Corbin Fisher who recently topped hottie Beau in his gay porn debut.

Now for his second scene, Toby fucks big-diced jock Max bareback. And why is Lauren worried about the future of humanity when she's got more immediate concerns?

Closure and peace to a dying city? What does that even mean? Posted by Janet Reid at 8: Sunday, July 15, The first person viewpoint character of my novel is blind but the story is not about her blindness.

Is it too far down? At the end I talk mention the blurb author promised-- is that worth including? You're missing a verb here.

As I read your query that kind of typo stands out like a pink flamingo on Astroturf. It leads me to form some opinions about your work and they're not good.

I cannot over stress the ironclad necessity of making sure these kind of glitches get revised out. We ALL leave out verbs, make typos, have too many thats , and discover errant the thes in our writing.

Other than that, this is pretty funny. But when a boy who smells like spearmint invites her to see his band and her boy-crazy, best friend, June, overhears?

And this is splat. The second paragraph should build on the first. You have an alien space craft or something!

Your BFF hearing a boy invite you to a concert is pretty anti climatic. Move directly to the next paragraph.

Why do they have to unravel the mystery? What's at stake if they don't? Unicorns will go extinct? What's so important about this concert?

One of the things agents say at writers conferences panels about queries goes like this: That's why I ask writers to submit a synopsis.

You're trying to be witty here. Oh hell you ARE witty. But the purpose of a query isn't to show your wit, it's to entice me to read your novel.

You're undercutting that here by using the word "interrupted. It is completed at 60, words. Thank you for your time and consideration, Your questions: You handle it very deftly.

Since the book is NOT about her blindness, you don't lead with that. At the end I talk mention the blurb Brandon Sanderson promised-- is that worth including?

Where you'd run into trouble is if he'd already blurbed it. You can't ask an author twice and often books are revised and reshaped in the acquisition and editorial process such that the book read before sending out to agents is much different than the book now on its way to bookstores.

There's a longer blog post about that here. There's essentially no plot on the page here, and even in a rom-com, you must have a plot, or what's at stake for the characters.

You've got the wit; now we need some substance. Queries can have frothy whipped cream but it's got to be on top of the hot chocolate, not in place of it.

Tuesday, July 10, This is what a non-active link could look like: To read up to 88 pages of the book on Zoho TeamDrive, go to tdrive. Thank you for making query writing educational and entertaining.

You can chomp my arm off now left please since I write with my right. You're solving a problem that doesn't exist. If I want to read your manuscript all I have to do is hit Reply to your email, and ask you to come to my house and read it.

Alternatively, I can just email you to send the manuscript as a word doc. In other words, the system works fine, don't screw around with it unless asked to do so.

The only reason I can think of that made you want to do this is being afraid you'll miss the email requesting the full. Unless you are headed for a long prison term, on a voyage to Mars, or stalking the wild asparagus in Borneo, you'll be available enough to send something.

I don't need the manuscript the instant I read your query. I generally read queries in batches, and requested fulls when I've set aside a block of time.

I'm sure that's not the real you, so don't do stuff that makes people think so. Also, I like to have the manuscript here on my hard drive so I can adjust the font, clear out all the crazy margins you set, insert double spacing, AND be able to send it back to you with some notes marked in track changes.

In other words, what I ask for is what I want, and what I want is not arbitrary or whimsical. A clone in the kitchen that looks exactly like him.

This is actually pretty good, and enticing. Protect it at all costs. Make it rain in the school gym. Steal a priceless artifact from a museum.

Battle a year-old changeling at the zoo. And those were the easy parts. Something invisible is stalking Josh. Angels fight over him, try to recruit him, and force him into dangerous situations to test his powers.

And vampires and aliens want to steal the weapon, and they threaten to kill him and his family and friends to get it.

Josh must learn to use his superpowers quickly, because if he fails, everyone and everything he loves could be lost. Angels, vampires and aliens.

You've got a LOT of weird here. Often the best plots are pretty simple. You don't need fusion cooking for a tasty treat Brussels sprouts, raisins, walnuts with ice cream!

Corn on the cob. Over stuffing the plot is something I see in writers early in their career. It takes confidence to pare down, and confidence takes a while to build.

It's not your lunatic page link that will earn you a pass here; it's the overly elaborate plot. And ditch the link idea forever. Sunday, July 1, Revised once.

Every time Rosie runs into Theo, her new neighbor, inspiration follows in his wake. Words that have been dead and gone for years flow free and easy.

Things are looking up. If inspiration follows in his wake, who's being inspired? People standing around chatting at the neighborhood t-rex roast?

Words that have been dead and gone flow free and easy? Dead words are flowing? That sounds like a horror novel to me. Don't try to be clever.

Just tell me what Rosie wants and why she can't have it. My guess is that Rosie wants to be a writer and she's having a hard time wrangling words.

Stumbling through a portal is one of those devices you use cause you haven't figured out how to get them to a different world in a more interesting way.

You know characters and plot are made up things, right? Cause at this point you've taken this whole "my book is a living thing" metaphor right up to the edge of aw c'mon.

And if that means killing Rosie, then so be it. Theo sounds like the guy with the problem, not Rosie.

There's all that world building you need, plus of course a plot. This is my debut novel. This is still the best part of the query, and it gives me hope.

The really bad news is that books about writers and writing are generally best left to non-fiction. Only writers find the travails of writers to be interesting.

It's a little too inside baseball. I see these kinds of books from writers often enough that I know it's a response to being frustrated about your own writing career.

Unfortunately that's not enough to drive a novel. If you can turn this on its ear, make the writer the villain gasp! If you don't want to make that kind of major change, you still need to be much more specific about Rosie's problem: Sunday, June 24, revised 2x.

Could it be Magic Realism? I can never remember the distinctions on these, so I'm always looking it up.

Here are some places to start. And category can be more fluid than genre for sure. She asks Rona the housekeeper if she knows if there had ever been anyone murdered on the old Georgian estate?

Rona reacts annoyed, and when Alice tells her about a ghostly swan with human eyes that tried to warn her about the forest, she becomes agitated and changes the subject.

You mention in an earlier query that English is your second language. A native speaker would catch this I hope! Alice finds a dead guy in antique clothes.

The first thing she does is ask the housekeeper if knows of any dead people? Or call the police. Or someone who could help her. Is Rona the only other person on the estate?

Determined to find answers, Alice searches her room and discovers a secret compartment containing old letters dated The letters, written by the eighteen-year-old Melissa, intrigue Alice and slowly a tragic life lived years before starts to unfold.

After Alice finds a murdered young man in antique clothes in the garden, something no one on the estate seems to want to talk about, she decides to search for clues about his identity.

The cache of letters from that she finds in a secret compartment in her own room seem to hold the answer.

Anytime you have something this long, revise into shorter, blunter sentences. Lack of plot is a consistent problem in ALL these iterations of your query Consider this revision: Why would Alice suspect him?

I grew up in Ireland and have always loved the stories told me by my teachers at the various convent schools I went to. The novel is told in a dual time narrative and complete at 96, words, targeting a YA Crossover readership.

Facing a devastating truth is NOT stakes. What choices she has to make. Stakes are why we care about what happens. There are templates on this blog for how to get plot on the page.

Use them as the starting point. Yes, it is entirely possible to write a book without a plot. Great writing, great voice, but no plot.

Those break my heart. This isn't a compelling first sentence. If you show us why the Georgian estate is mysterious, or why Leda and Dad are moving there, you'll have a better chance of engaging your reader.

But really the best way to start is with what Leda wants, and what's getting in her way. In the throbbing heart of the forest not far from the house, where shadows duck away from sunbeams like wild cats, she stumbles on the murder of a young man dressed in strange old-fashioned clothes.

She realizes she must have witnessed something from the past. Forests don't have throbbing hearts of any kind, and this kind of metaphor makes me roll my eyes.

That shadows duck away from sunbeams is telling me something I already know, and not in a way that makes me see shadows or sunbeams in a new light.

If you start with "In a forest not far from the house Leda finds a young man dressed in antique clothes. And he's dead" you've got my interest.

In other words, don't try to be fancy. Not here, not in the novel. Too much fancy is like an overdecorated cake. Save the marzipan filigree for the top of the cake, not covering the entire thing.

Terrified and lonely, she finds old letters hidden in her bedroom written by a teenage girl dated The letters strangely comfort her, and visions of past events start to trickle into her daily life.

This is too abstract to be compelling. We have no idea why she's terrified, why she's lonely, why she's finding letters hidden in her bedroom.

And if she's having visions, what is she seeing? Is that what's scaring her? If so, you have this in the wrong order: But the big problem here is we still haven't gotten to the plot.

I really need to know what the problem is, and what's at stake for Leda. As she uncovers the secrets of the letters, she discovers that the murders that started years ago have never really stopped and Connor may be hiding the darkest secret of all — she might lose more than just her heart.

What does Leda want? What's keeping her from getting it. Written for a readership that also enjoyed Atonement and The Miniaturist, The Ghost Swan is a general fiction novel of 96, words, set in and , and told from two perspectives, the young, murdered man in and Leda.

There isn't really a "general fiction" category when you're talking about your novel. Atonement isn't a book you'll want to use a comp. First, it's now too old to be useful it was pubbed in But, more important, Atonement sold very very well.

You'd think that would be a plus as a comp, but it's not. More than anyone, agents know what a crapshoot it is to get a novel to sell hundreds of thousands of copies.

Hell, tens of thousands of copies is hard enough. And of course, it was nominated for the Booker Prize. Comparing your book to an outlier like this is akin to saying "The woman who won Miss America played the trombone for her talent.

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