Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Stuff about queries I haven't seen elsewhere

When you're writing your fantasy query, do NOT say anything that will lead an agent's mind to the tired, old, same stuff written by every other newbie fantasy writer.

I won't go into detail, but just say I had an agent comment on my first page. She had EXPECTATIONS about the story because of some of the names I selected. Point is, her expectations were stupid. If she wanted trite and typical, than her expectations were spot on.

Unfortunately, my story is neither trite nor typical. However, I did get the lesson. If you say ANYTHING that has ever been used in the entire history of the world (e.g., dragons, elves, etc.) make sure your query doesn't lead the reader to believe you have the same old trite typical crap. They'll not get past that first dragon or elf mention without expecting you'll have a trite typical dragon or elf. Don't even use the words!

Just leave it at a mystical race of creatures if you're talking dragons or elves. Say 'dragon' or 'elf' and you've typecasted your book into oblivion.

I'm seriously considering taking a pen name of Kassandra. That way, I will tell the truth, but expect to be ignored. Makes life much easier. Mortals just can't help being stupid.

Since nobody reads my blog anyway, it won't hurt to mention that I've been turned down by a lot of (ahem) less than diligent query-readers who jumped to conclusions so fast, you could hardly see them move. FTL agents. Hey, I like that. We could get our rejects before we even send the queries. Saves a lot of time and stress.


  1. I know this is off topic, but do you remember that once, years ago, I promised you that if I ever won my SSDI appeal, I'd purchase Tales? Today, I kept my promise.

  2. Kassandra? . . . I prefer your real name, lol.

  3. Joel, I despise my real name. A name rhyming with larva is so not cool in grade school.