Monday, October 8, 2012

The Haunted Writing Clinic

Hello fellow writers, minions, super villains.

Thanks for stopping by.  As a former acquisitions editor for Curiosity Quills Press, I saw a lot of queries. Some good. Some bad. Some horrifically ugly, covered in slime and ooze, brandishing knives, and shooting turds. (Okay, I was just doing that to stay in the spirit of Halloween--or something.)

One of the biggest flaws I observed was wordiness. Not spelling--because we ALL spell things wrong. Not because you didn't follow our submission guidelines--which is my second biggest peeve. The biggest flaw is WORDINESS!


Well, acquisitions editors read non-stop! If you want to capture the attention of an editor, you need to do it immediately. Write clear, concise sentences. Punchy lines that build tension are my favorite. I usually tell people to imagine a trailer for a movie. If that movie was about your book, what would it say? Television doesn't allow you to be wordy--that would be too expensive, and viewers would allow their ADD to get the better of them and leave the room. So, treat your acquisitions editor as if she/he has a severe case of ADD.

That's all the advice I have for you today!

This is a blog hop, and you can still participate!

For the Minions: You are hereby commanded to post your query for slaughter on or shortly after 10/8. Then through the course of the week, visit the sites of the other minions to attack their queries (aka give helpful and respectful critique they can use to improve their submission). You are also commanded to visit the sites of the super villains for tips on how to make your query more likely to frighten editors into doing your bidding.

Remember minions, this week is purely to help you improve your query and will not be part of the judging for the contest. You may edit your query based on feedback and re-post throughout the week if you wish.

For the Super villains: The honorable and fiendish super villains will be doing the following on their blogs this week:

-Posting their spooky team name and theme

-Posting tips on how to write a query or anything else they think the minions may find helpful regarding getting published

-Posting their successful query (if applicable)

-Visiting the minions' blogs to critique their query

Sharon Bayliss - The Dark Side (you know you want to come over)

James Wymore - Dark Brain, master of hypnosis, seeking Darkling minions

Court Young - The House of Gaunt (pure bloods only)

Dawna Raver - The Mystical Masters

Gerilyn Marin

Thea Gregory - The Zombie Culinary Institute

Mike Robinson

Krystal Wade - Frankenstein's Laboratory

The Criminal Masterminds

Is this the first you're hearing about the contest? Learn more here. New minions are welcome to join until 10/21.

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  1. Hello! My query is bound, gagged, and waiting with bated breath for Super Villains and minion hordes to arrive. It's been tortured before (both by its creator and helpful parties of various stripes) so it knows the drill. Literally. Along with the clamps, thumbscrews, and sundry other instruments... Go make it beg for mercy.

  2. Thanks for the great advice. I'm ready for the gory details...

  3. Krystal,

    Thank you for taking the time to stop by my blog and comment on my wuery. Your corrections are very helpful. Will soon revise.

  4. Ha! I just found your blog. I am still working on my ms, but I had a practice query for it just in case. Perhaps I'll join. :)

  5. Looking forward to this month and all the great advice that will opefully make my query shine.
    Thanks for such a lovely opportunity:)

  6. Again, thank you for the encouragement and honest feedback of my query.

  7. This is the thing I have put off, and now it is time to face the music. Ugh. At RWA a few months ago I attended an elevator pitch panel and found mine pretty much sucked. LOL. No surprise there. I'm getting dragged into this part of the process kicking and screaming. {Insert big sigh here}

  8. Definitely join in! I'm having a great time tearing these babies up, all in the name of helping you guys out!

  9. Don't put it off any longer, Debra! You must get your query ready!

  10. Any time. Your story sounds really interesting!

  11. My only question is, am I allowed to join if the ms isn't finished yet? Or can I do the query stuff but not join the contest?

  12. Wow, I never made the connection between queries and movie trailers before. What a great way to think about it! Thanks for the advice. Now I am off to imagine Mr. Movie-Phone reading my query...
    -Minion Mara


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