I’ve sat down with a book editor and asked her how many pages she actually reads at the query stage, and she said, “Zero.” I got the same reply from a magazine editor. And two agents. Plus a publisher friend of mine. So what do they actually read when they get a query and manuscript? The cover letter.
And how much of the cover letter? The first sentence.
Peter Brown Hoffmeister, on how the importance of the first sentence of a query letter has become greater than that of the first sentence of a novel.
The last time I met my with my agent she said she was a little stressed because she had 900 queries waiting in her email in-box. When I asked her how many queries she receives per week, she said, “600 to 700.” Per week. Writer’s Digest and online writers’ websites say that the first paragraph of the query letter should be a hook, be informative, and one sentence. This is standard. So you have a one-sentence paragraph to sell your manuscript.
Hmmm…probably time to look at the query letter again.
If you have other things in your life — family, friends, good productive day work — these can interact with your writing and the sum will be all the richer.
David Brin (via writingadvice)
I was so excited when I framed this picture of my wife holding our son at the beach. To me, it’s the essence of adventure and mystery…the expansive world stretched out before us, just waiting for us to go explore. I decided to add a caption, but I think it may actually detract.
Anyone care to guess what these colorful shapes are? My ill-considered camera setting gave me a pretty nifty photo.
Visual Writing Prompt 76 Nature’s Glory. The sun and trees work together to create a natural light show. Write a story, flash fiction, or poem inspired by nature.
Blog site: Worlds Before the Door http://worldsbeforethedoor.tumblr.com
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/worldsbeforethedoor
Work in Progress: Modern Fantasy
Title and description: When Skies are Gray. Humans, vampires, witches and fey must unite in a multi-generational battle against a serial killer with the power to sense the rending of the soul.
Inheritance. When Ronan refuses to accept the powers he inherits from a serial killer the Witch of Darkness sees her chance to take control of magical inheritances.
Ronan’s Justicars. Protecting the Innocents from things which go bump in the night is the job of a small group of people who discover it is up to them alone to stop the zombie plague released on the world by the witch of Hopelessness.
When do you plan on finishing this work? Draft Finishing up: I originally wrote When Skies are Gray in two years. It is the first work I have every finished. I finished Inheritance in February. As soon as I finished Inheritance I began working on Ronan’s Justicars. A few months ago I realized I needed to go back and do a complete rewrite of When Skies are Gray if I wanted to think about publishing it at all. I hope to have the rewrite done by February 2012 and Ronan’s Justicars finished in February 2014. At some point in there I will also do a major edit of Inheritance just to clean it up. We’ll see if this is too ambitious.
I’ve been following Abby’s blog and Facebook page for a couple of months, and she’s working on some pretty cool and original material. I think it’s more than your typical fantasy/horror work. Check out her blog, and then make sure you follow on Twitter. She’s on Facebook as well, so please drop by and support this author!
You can view this profile and other Author Snapshots at the New Authors link on the left of the Sojourner Mountain page.
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Visual Writing Prompt 75 The Sun Sets On Misery. The day ends, but a a problem persists. Write a story or flash fiction where the end if the day brings no relief to your tormented character.
On vacation in Connecticut this week. Spending time in a few nice bookstores. R.J. Julia’s in Madison, Conn.