Sunday, December 4, 2011

Should I or Shouldn't I?

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3. FALL (INT)  9. Weaving a Tale or Two (US)  15. Publish Novels or Bust (US)  
4. Geek Girl (INT)  10. Tristi Pinkston  16. Heidi Murphy (US)  
5. Heart on a Chain (INT)  11. LDS Publisher (INT)  

6. Immortal Mine (INT)  12. Carolyn Frank (INT)  


Yes, that's a really big sigh.

My goal this month is to finish the edit for WIP #1 and send the first fifty pages off to an editor. AND I need to finish my query. Well, it's finished. The dang thing's just not right yet. ETA for clarification: This query has been critiqued by both my online and in-person critique groups. It's been critiqued by some other writerly friends and in its essential form given a thumbs up from the author I won the query critique from. But everyone--and I mean every who hasn't read the book--thinks a critical thing referenced in the query (and which is the hook) is a major plot-line. But it's really just a catalyst and sets into motion what happens in the rest of the book.

I've thought of submitting to Matt over at The Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment, and he said he'd be willing to look at it. Alex and Nancy have both said I should.

I just have this little problem about bearing myself in public, so to speak, and subjecting myself to ridicule. I'm good at my day job, and I work very hard to make sure I'm knowledgeable and up to date with my skills. I have to be because if I screw up I can get sued. Don't even mess with someone's bid to public office, believe me.

But I think the thing that really turns me into a quivering mess is the genre bias I talked about in this post. I'm not worried about Matt's comments. He a consummate professional and tactful besides. When I had one of my sons who's got a bright, creative mind (I love to bounce ideas off him) read an earlier version, his tone dripped with sarcastic cheese.

So, my adventure romance book's query could be said to have a melodramatic tone. If you read it the way my son did. Writing is so subjective I'm sure people will pick up on the cheese factor. And I'm so not into this:

Please note that my son made fun of the version approved by the author I won a query critique from.

It could just be him. Or it could be that the tone is there but fits the genre. The bottom line is that I'm at my wit's end over this thing. So I'm going to let you folks help me decide. On the right sidebar is a poll. Please comment here and tell me why you voted the way you did.

In the meantime, I'm going to be doing this:


  1. Go for it and let Matthew critique it. You know he'll be cheese-free. Wish someone could've helped me with my query. I guess I just got damn lucky with it.
    And why would anyone want to shave his cat?

  2. I voted Yes! It won't be as bad as you think, and you'll get good info to help make your query sparkle and shine.

  3. Yes you should let Matthew critique your query. He's as good as Janet Reid when it comes to that kind of stuff.

    I'm with you on the apprehension of hanging yourself out there for criticism. But as people looking for readers, we have to develop the thick skin now. If you can't handle the query, think of how your first bad review will hit you. It's inevitable. It happens to everyone...even J.K. Rowling.

  4. I think you should. I believe it gets easier the more you do it, the first step is the biggest - and hardest.

  5. Be not afraid.

    Better to know the truth than hide in ignorance. More than likely it won't be NEARLY as bad as the dread you are feeling now.

    Besides, who cares what anybody thinks? Who cares what I think? Why am I even responding?

  6. Do it. No matter what it will help your writing. And a pro will be much less scathing than a family member used to giving you guff.

  7. For clarification, my query has been seen (twice) by my critique group and by several writerly friends.

    I realize I must have tough skin when querying. But I'll be querying to agents who represent the genre. My reservations are for mocking from people who are genre elitists. I guess I need to shift my POV and realize that if I'm going to write a romance I need be prepare for mocking anyway.

    Heidi, have you been peeking?

  8. I'd say submit it for review. Another person sometimes sees something in our writing that we're too close to see ourselves. Best wishes!

  9. I didn't vote, Donna. I think you need to do what you feel comfortable with. I've had the pleasure of reading your query as you know. And other writer friends have critiqued it as well. If you feel it's ready, then go ahead and send it to a few agents to see if it's working for you.

    I have all the respect in the world for Matt. His query critiques are terrific. However, they are public and I'm getting vibes from you that you'd rather not put your query out there for all to see. I get that.

    I'd say to follow your gut. And if you need a friend to look it over again, feel free to send it my way. Good luck with your decision!

  10. We all go a little crazy. Querying is a lot like being naked in front of a whole bunch of people you don't know (Not like I'd know from experience or anything ;) And you want to work out as much as possible before you strip down. Sending it out to people will ease you into the scary query pool you're about to dive into.

    But don't worry. Hitting your head against the walls and becoming a big bundle of nerves is all part of it. And I'm over here with ya, yanking my hair out and biting my nails sore as I wait for a response on my work.

  11. Donna, DEFINITELY you should. I routinely stop by Matt's for the query critiques and throw in my 2 cents.

    However, it sounds to me as if you already know the problem: Your hook references something that is not a key element in the plot line. But you don't want to throw away the hook because it's GOOD.

    Well, hooks do sometimes mislead us. They are meant to grab our interest, but they don't always fulfill their promise. Sometimes that's okay if we get something else that's awesome instead.

    Some readers (agents) might be disappointed if the book doesn't include the elements they were expecting. Others won't care if they enjoyed the story.

    (Psst. The query that attracted my agent included a hook that *slightly* misrepresented the situation, but sounded really cool. She didn't complain. She signed me.)

  12. I'm with you on the 'public humiliation' thing. I also appreciate Suzie's comments about going with your gut, BUT, I would submit to TheQQQE. I hope he will look at mine when it's ready. Everything I've seen there has been kind and helpful.

    My personal experience with family is; "write off everything they say". I love it when they love it, but they are too close to me. Sometimes they aren't honest about the crappy stuff and then they feel like they can pick at something for dumb reasons. The bottom line is they are NOT my demographic.

    Nobody has bigger trust issues than me. But I figure I want my work published before I die. I better learn to trust somebody. Right? At The QQQE you get a lot of somebody's weighing in.

    Do this: First got to You Tube plug in Desperado by the Eagles. LISTEN. Next submit to Matt. LISTEN.I think it will help. Music solves everything. Right?

    Finally, I need a good 'on line' critique group that I can trust with my work and my ego. Got any suggestions?

  13. I say do it. You'll get great feedback and it will boost your confidence in the end. And I have a feeling yours is WAY better than you think it is. :)

  14. Well, you know I'm a big fan of making a spectacle of myself. :) I say go for it! :D

  15. You cannot fail if you never try, you also can never succeed. Go for it sis!

  16. Matt is an excellent query guy. You have chosen wisely. :)

    And we're friends, you know that. If you need an extra pair of eyes, I wouldn't mind having a look either.

  17. Yes! Yes! Yes! The more input the better.

  18. Critiques are always so helpful! You get new insights everytime. Good luck and I hope you finish editing WIP#1 soon!

  19. I say go for it if you want another critique on it. :) (And it's good practice for diving into publishing! It can be so, so hard to put yourself out there and let people see your work.)

  20. I say go for it (says the girl who's too chicken to do it herself). :D

    At least Matt isn't as scary as the Shark.

  21. Matthew and his faithful gang of followers will five you an awesome critique! They did mine and I'm so much the better because of it.


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