Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Workshop Wednesday

Thanks to all of your contributions, Workshop Wednesday has been a success. We're going to continue on with it for as long as we have entries and the energy to comment on them. If you haven't yet submitted but are still interested, don't be afraid to participate as per the guidelines in our original post.

For anyone wanting to comment, we ask that you comment in a polite and respectful manner, and we ask that you be as constructive as possible. If you can be useful to the brave souls who submitted their query and comment on the query, that's great. Please keep any anonymous tirades on publishing or other snarky comments to yourself. This is and should remain an open and safe forum for people to put themselves and their queries out there so that everyone can learn. I'm leaving comments open and open to anonymous posters, as I always have; don't make me feel the need to change that policy.

And for those who have never "met" Query Shark, get over there and do that. She's the originator of the query critique, the queen, if you will.

Dear Ms Faust

Every 100 years there comes upon this planet a writer whose work enlightens that generation and those that will follow. Until that person arrives you'll have to make do with me.

While I did chuckle a bit at your opening line I wonder if the self-defeating tone might hurt you in the end? It didn't bother me, but I'm not sure other agents wouldn't have a different reaction.

Mae Clarke is a nineteen year old girl who's been alive for six months after being created in a test tube having been brought up by robots and an insane non-scientist. Her mother, Carla Neill, is on the starship Dravid (currently patrolling the Colonial side of the Zone), trying to avoid everyone and who everyone tries to avoid. Her father, Alan Radford, is passing the rest of his life on early twenty-first century Earth hoping that he won't be kidnapped and sent into the future again.

I'm having some trouble following this. Your first sentence was one I had to read twice and I guess the introduction, this entire paragraph, doesn't grab me. Nothing about this feels particularly riveting or different.

All three are destined to meet (there wouldn't be a novel in it if they didn't) at least that's what Harold, the insane non-scientist obsessed with his and their destiny, thinks is their destiny. Aided, abetted and obstructed in his plans are two robots, a seven foot reptilian doctor, the commander of the Dravid and a dictatorial Dagon who is determined to resurrect her military career by breaking as many rules as she can without her rusting brick of a ship falling apart.

I like how your humor comes through. I think that's my favorite part of your query, your asides, however since I doubt you do that in the novel I'm not sure it's going to be enough to make me want to request the book. I think part of the problem with this is that you're so focused on trying to put the comedic elements into your query that I'm getting no sense of what the book is about or the story. When querying a humorous story the humor needs to come through in the showing of the story, not trying purposely to be funny.

A Stitch In Time is a Science Fiction comedy written by [redacted] (that's me) and has some vague similarities to Blonde Bombshell by Tom Holt and the Space Captain Smith Trilogy by Toby Frost.

Good comparisons.

I have had two short stories published in failed ezines, two on failed websites and two non-fiction articles for succesful magazines as well as being a regular book/film/tv reviewer for the irregularly published SFF ezine Hub. I have three teenage boys, an old car, a rented flat and act out my fantasies for the Knebworth Amateur Theatrical Society twice a year, as well as being the author of this stunning query.

I think this is funny. Obviously I appreciate your humor, I only wish I could get it in the blurb of the book, without you trying to be so in-your-face about it.

I look forward to hearing from at your earliest convenience.