Monday, April 21, 2008

I've Been Eviled

Evil Editor posted a shredding of my query letter. Since it takes a month or so to collect all the fake plots for a query, my REAL query is much improved. Still, EE's points are well-taken, even if he doesn't know that bound is the past tense of bind, in addition to 'going in the direction of'. Oh, well, nobody's perfect. Check it out at:

Evil Editor Shreds My Query

To rise to my defense, here's my query letter (at least the meaty part) after a lot of aid and assistance from the fine folk on the Query Tracker Forum. Feel free to make suggestions. I'm always fine-tuning.

Dear Lovely Agent Person:

[something here to show that this isn't a spam query, but that I know a bit about the agent] I hope that BAD SPELLING, a completed 44,000 word middle-grade fantasy, might appeal to you.

Katya wants to be a good witch, but her spells don’t just fizzle, they backfire with spectacular results, like when she tries to transform a rabbit into a frog and plasters the walls with green goo instead. She discovers that a shaman has put a curse on her father’s glacier- bound body, and it’s not only ruining her magic, but it’s spreading to the rest of her arctic island home. Katya and Rune, her half-vampire brother, race across the Barents Sea, fighting off polar bears, giants and magical attacks. Leaving the curse behind, she discovers her magical affinity with animals. She must use her newfound skill to confront the evil shaman and stop him from destroying her home and family. . .never mind burning her at the stake.

[paragraph boasting of my many writing credits]



  1. Much improved! This definitely has more zing to it. Looking at it, I don't think I would worry too much about the polar bears, as your book is clearly VERY different than Pullman's.

    I do think that the first sentence is too long. Maybe:

    Katya wants to be a good witch, but her spells don't just fizzle--they backfire with spectacular results. Like the time she tried to transform a rabbit into a frog and ended up plastering the wall with green goo instead. As if this wasn't trouble enough, she discovers...

    etc. Then you get a transition from the description of Katya to the main plot of the book.

    Also, what do you mean by "leaving the curse behind"? Does she abandon her cursed father, or do you mean "while struggling to save her dad"?

    But like I said, definitely better. Isn't it amazing how hard these stupid little things are to write? Hate, hate, hate queries.

    And yeah, Keeping King Tut is mine, and I am anxiously awaiting my skewering. I've been tweaking it a lot over the last while, and sent EE a pretty final copy. I can't think of anything left to do with it--hopefully he can!

  2. Do you remember the cave-man art critic in the film, History of the World, Part 1?

    Editors are like that too. ;-)