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View Full Version : How to write a great query. NOT.



aruna
07-21-2010, 08:25 PM
Agent Nelson posted this link (http://slushpilehell.tumblr.com/page/1)in her blog a few days ago.
Coffee/Keyboard alert.

kaitiepaige17
07-21-2010, 08:28 PM
Hahaha! This is great! The first is my personal favorite....

Phaeal
07-21-2010, 09:05 PM
Yeah, those are greatness. I had to stop eating my Greek yogurt.

Hathor
07-21-2010, 10:01 PM
:roll:

shaldna
07-21-2010, 10:02 PM
mkes me feel better about mine

Jamesaritchie
07-21-2010, 10:51 PM
God, I wish I hadn't read those. I'm already having slush pile flashbacks.

MJRevell
07-21-2010, 11:04 PM
I saw this tweeted around the other day, it's hilarious stuff.

Chris P
07-21-2010, 11:15 PM
:o

None of those are mine, but I recognize the "advice" given over the internet (Be different! Agents love that!), and used in early versions of my query. *sigh*

Tepelus
07-22-2010, 12:13 AM
Funny stuff!

Soccer Mom
07-22-2010, 12:30 AM
Oh, I love, love, love Slushpile Hell. It's one of my daily joys. :heart:

djf881
07-22-2010, 12:45 AM
More query-related humor:

http://www.yankeepotroast.org/archives/2010/03/novels_submitte.html

http://somethingpersuasive.blogspot.com/2009/10/agent-provides-feedback.html

Eddyz Aquila
07-22-2010, 01:30 AM
I've been following Slushpile Hell for some time, and I love it. At the same time I am a bit disappointed there aren't more.

Calla Lily
07-22-2010, 03:19 AM
This is an RSS feed totally worth subscribing to! :ROFL:

Margarita Skies
07-22-2010, 03:34 AM
:ROFL:

MissMacchiato
07-22-2010, 04:27 AM
lol, too funny. But I feel just a teensiest bit bad for the people who wrote them :)

Bartholomew
07-22-2010, 05:27 AM
Oh, wow.

Midnight Star
07-22-2010, 05:40 AM
Day: Made.

auntybug
07-22-2010, 06:22 AM
:roll:

Thanks for the giggle!

Sevilla
07-22-2010, 08:19 AM
That's gotta be awesome good fun (in a sad sort of way) for the agent. Anywhere you work, there's always Stupid People that make you want to poke fun at them over the internet.

jclarkdawe
07-22-2010, 05:00 PM
And for those of you who wonder why Query Letter Hell is such as sad place, I've seen every one of those there, with the exception of the guy in the Econovan. Usually with a comment on how carefully they've studied queries and read through QLH. Despite the incredible amount of information that are out there on queries, a lot of people just don't get them.

But the repetition of the mistakes just lead people who look at a lot of them to be snarky. After the first few times of seeing the same mistake, it's hard to not be entertained. Or run screaming from queries.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

nocturneequuis
07-22-2010, 09:12 PM
This is funny stuff and pretty useful if you're new and are not sure how to write the darn things. Thanks for posting the link!

Monkey
07-22-2010, 10:23 PM
LOVE the one about copyright. ^.^

Said The Sun
07-22-2010, 10:33 PM
While that made me laugh I also found myself blushing.
Ode to whoring out your book and sounding like erm.. a whore :e2tomato:

Kitty27
07-23-2010, 01:46 AM
This stuff makes my polished a thousand times query look good.

I can't believe people would send this kind of lulz out into the world. LOL!

Sweet Tea
07-23-2010, 03:11 AM
Needed this laugh today...

aruna
07-23-2010, 11:12 AM
Yesterday s/he held a Worst Children's Book Ever Contest on Twitter.

Our WINNER was: @MJsRetweet (https://twitter.com/MJsRetweet): Daddy Has an Itch. Mommy Smells Like Fish: A Child’s Rhyming Guide to STD’s Congrats to @MJsRetweet!

The 25 runner-ups are also posted.



http://slushpilehell.tumblr.com/

seun
07-23-2010, 02:54 PM
As funny as those examples were, I find it a bit sad that so many people think they have a chance in hell of getting anywhere with queries like that.

Eddyz Aquila
07-23-2010, 03:13 PM
Some amazing imagination here :tongue



Toy Story 3: Buzz Gets a Woody

The Smith & Wesson Coloring Book for Kids

Dismemberment Donny Needs A Hand

Princess Poledancer And The Twirly Tassle Gang

Why Do Grandma’s Boobies Touch Her Waist? (And Other Questions Not to Ask Out Loud)

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Mercury Poisoning

Ashley Has Two Daddies, and They’re Both Going to Burn in Hell

aruna
07-23-2010, 03:18 PM
The titles were spoofs -- it was a contest for the WORST kid's book title.

Eddyz Aquila
07-23-2010, 03:23 PM
The titles were spoofs -- it was a contest for the WORST kid's book title.

Oh...but even in that case, some guys really have some weird imagination :tongue

Jamesaritchie
07-23-2010, 05:39 PM
So what's wrong with The Smith & Wesson Coloring Book for Kids? I love Smith & Wesson, I own a 686, and I'd buy a such a book for all my grandkids.

aruna
07-23-2010, 07:54 PM
Oh...but even in that case, some guys really have some weird imagination :tongue
....and one-track minds!

Eddyz Aquila
07-23-2010, 09:35 PM
So what's wrong with The Smith & Wesson Coloring Book for Kids? I love Smith & Wesson, I own a 686, and I'd buy a such a book for all my grandkids.

So, you'd let them colour with lead from a Smith & Wesson metal-spitting crayon? ;)

Robin Bayne
07-25-2010, 11:28 PM
Thanks for the link!

Jamesaritchie
07-26-2010, 06:49 PM
So, you'd let them colour with lead from a Smith & Wesson metal-spitting crayon? ;)


OOOHHHH, what a great idea!

Fulk
07-27-2010, 07:37 AM
These queries make me want to laugh and cry at once, but mostly laugh. Better to see these now and prepare myself for them, though, as I expect to be sitting in Query Letter/Slushpile Hell at some junction of my life.

Inky
07-27-2010, 07:49 AM
Doh!
Bastids stole my ideas!

Eddyz Aquila
01-23-2011, 07:35 PM
Not that I would compare myself to Hemingway, but if you read my novel, you’ll see that it’s as brilliantly simple as The Old Man and the Sea, as poetic as The Sun Also Rises, and as epic as For Whom the Bell Tolls.

Well, at least you didn’t compare yourself to Hemingway.

My keyboard is temporarily out of use because of this.

And I have a six pack now too!

Snowstorm
01-23-2011, 08:18 PM
SlushPile Hell is a favorite of mine. I try real hard to read it to improve my queries ... but I confess my eyes pop or roll occasionally.

seun
01-24-2011, 08:04 PM
It's funny. I'd forgotten about this thread and was going to start one regarding slushpiles and if they're really as bad as the stories say. I don't think I need to, now.

scarletpeaches
01-24-2011, 10:35 PM
I was summoned to this thread by PM.

Can you believe someone read through this and thought, "I must contact SP and get her to contribute?"

I mean, me?

When was I ever snarky about incompetent, illiterate fuckwits clogging the internet with their special brand of gonna-burn-in-hell-for-making-me-know-this-crap-exists fuckwittish douchebaggery with shiny brass knobs on?

Snappy
01-24-2011, 10:47 PM
It frightens me, like running down the hall flailing arms and sceaming type of frightening. How can people expect to garner an agent's interest with this type of craziness?

scarletpeaches
01-24-2011, 10:54 PM
If anyone ever calls me arrogant for claiming to write kick-ass queries and synopses ever again, I shall direct them to this thread and say, "This is my competition. This."

skylark
01-26-2011, 05:34 PM
1) I want this person as my agent.
2) I'm never, ever going to dare to query her.

Eddyz Aquila
01-26-2011, 05:43 PM
1) I want this person as my agent.


Good point. Anyone have any info? Can we query her?

DeadlyAccurate
01-26-2011, 10:10 PM
Good point. Anyone have any info? Can we query her?

Several times the agent has referred to himself as "he," though of course that might be to throw people off the trail. I seriously doubt they'd want their identity known. (It could even be several people).

Eddyz Aquila
01-26-2011, 10:14 PM
Several times the agent has referred to himself as "he," though of course that might be to throw people off the trail. I seriously doubt they'd want their identity known. (It could even be several people).

Well those who queried he/she would know the name of the agent so their identity is already known :tongue

ResearchGuy
01-26-2011, 10:20 PM
Agents Michael Larsen & Elizabeth Pomada will be putting on a workshop on how to interest an agent (sponsored by the Sacramento Branch of the California Writers Club (http://www.cwcsacramentowriters.org)) on Saturday, February 5, 2011, in Sacramento, CA. See http://www.cwcsacramentowriters.org/wp-content/uploads/Workshop2011Feb.pdf for registration details.

Seems pertinent to a thread on queries (albeit with a how-to, not a how-not-to tilt, of course) . . .

--Ken

Eddyz Aquila
01-26-2011, 10:53 PM
Agents Michael Larsen & Elizabeth Pomada will be putting on a workshop on how to interest an agent (sponsored by the Sacramento Branch of the California Writers Club (http://www.cwcsacramentowriters.org)) on Saturday, February 5, 2011, in Sacramento, CA. See http://www.cwcsacramentowriters.org/wp-content/uploads/Workshop2011Feb.pdf for registration details.

Seems pertinent to a thread on queries (albeit with a how-to, not a how-not-to tilt, of course) . . .

--Ken

I'm sorry but I couldn't help but chuckle for a couple of seconds after reading the "Ready to take your writing to the next level" which seems oh so familiar after reading the Slushpile Hell. :D

But thank you for the link :)

jonbon.benjamin
01-27-2011, 12:45 AM
Ha, some great things on there.

Makes me happy, as i feel i can avoid that list at least.

I feel like winner right now :)

JB

whimsical rabbit
01-27-2011, 02:11 AM
When was I ever snarky about incompetent, illiterate fuckwits clogging the internet with their special brand of gonna-burn-in-hell-for-making-me-know-this-crap-exists fuckwittish douchebaggery with shiny brass knobs on?

:kiss:

Prawn
01-27-2011, 05:35 AM
Who exactly is in hell, the agent?

KingM
01-27-2011, 05:52 AM
These are not made up, sadly, as I have seen some of these very queries.

Prawn
01-27-2011, 05:57 AM
King, isn't the opposite also possible? Don't you get queries that a great because they have been workshopped to death, but then the requested chapters doesn't measure up?

Seems like these crappy queries are honest at least, and therefore save the agent some time.

Cyia
01-27-2011, 06:00 AM
If anyone ever calls me arrogant for claiming to write kick-ass queries and synopses ever again, I shall direct them to this thread and say, "This is my competition. This."


And that is why people who have been on this site and made use of the help available are already ahead of the game.

I'd imagine your average AW-trawler is more adept at writing queries/synopses than your average writer.

EMaree
02-01-2011, 11:51 PM
I feel sorry for the authors in SH, but I love the snark dearly. It's up there with Clients From Hell (http://clientsfromhell.net/) for schadenfreude goodness.

stormie
02-02-2011, 12:50 AM
I just spent the last half-hour laughing.

elmoie
02-02-2011, 06:17 PM
:roll:I love it!

Chewbacca
02-02-2011, 07:11 PM
OH MAN!!!

and I thought the query letters on Query Shark were funny. These are priceless. I'm not sure what got me laughing harder - the letters or the agents comments....

Hahahahhaaa!!

This is a great "how not to" especially for me, as I've been working for 4 weeks to write my frigging query letter. It's driving me nuts.