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did you really just ignore all the folks out there trying to help you?

July 6, 2010

After many years of freelance writing for corporate and non-profit clients, I felt confident in my knowledge of words, grammar, phrasing – linguistic gymnastics in general.

I knew that I could deliver a snappy slogan, translate tech-speak for the civilian reader, and hook a reader with information disguised as narrative.

But I didn’t know a thing about writing fiction.

When I set my creative energies to a novel, I was a baby again.  Or maybe a toddler – sure of my determination to walk, but spending a lot of time thumping down on my butt or cracking my teeth on the coffee table.

I had a lot of work to do: learning a new vocabulary, honing my craft, meeting industry folks.

Fortunately for newbies like me, there is a wealth of information out there, shared generously by folks in the industry who want to find and develop the best story possible.

There are publishers, editors, agents, authors ( published or not), and illustrators who blog, speak at conferences, and write instructional/inspirational books – all designed to elevate the work.

Given all that generosity and information, there is really no excuse for a bad query letter.  There just isn’t.  (Extra points for anyone who got the Legally Blonde reference there.)

DaMomm –  the tender, brilliant, funny genius behind Motherhood is Not for Wimps – had a tweet this morning about Slush Pile Hell.

If you have ever had even a passing interest in the publishing industry, these snippets from real queries to a real literary agent will have you howling.

Because YOU would never send a query like that, would you?  I didn’t think so.

Thank you, DaMomma.  I needed that.

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