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Tiffanie
05-09-2013, 06:09 AM
I don't know if this is the right place to post this (feel free to move it if it isn't) but I have a querying question. My question, stated generally, is how do you know when your query* is ready? To get more specific: my query is getting mixed results from critters. Some seem to understand my concept, while others question me like I jumped up and started speaking French backwards in a purple tutu on an elephant. The results are polar opposite and it's giving me a headache. I know there's no way to satisfy all agents, but how many critters should say, "Yup, I understand this, you're ready," before I send? Or is it really up to me to decide? 'Cause I did that once and I was nowhere near ready.

Hope someone can help. I haven't even started my synopsis yet and that's supposed to be the dreaded part.

:Headbang:

*As of 08/05/13, my query is not ready. But some people like certain lines while others don't.

kaitie
05-09-2013, 06:21 AM
Send it to a few and see if you get a response?

ETA: For what it's worth, I find synopses to be easier than queries. I just pretend I'm telling the story to a friend and then clean it up a little.

Siri Kirpal
05-09-2013, 07:05 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

If some of your critters like the query and so do you, try it. But don't send to everyone on your list. If you don't like it, though, don't send it.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Drachen Jager
05-09-2013, 07:25 AM
I just popped over to SYW and had a look.

IMO your query is NOT ready.

When judging the quality of your critiques it often helps to look at three things. The number of posts they have here at AW, some of their critiques on OTHER similar works (because it's easier to judge their critique when you're not biased about the material) and their own work posted in SYW.

Tiffanie
05-09-2013, 07:49 AM
IMO your query is NOT ready.


I know it's not ready yet. But some people just don't seem to get the concept, which won't change no matter how I write it (or at least I don't think it will).

Mr. Mask
05-09-2013, 08:07 AM
Siri's advice is likely best. I took a look at your query and posted my opinion of it... but I might just be confusing you more, considering what I posted. Sorry.

Tiffanie
05-09-2013, 08:16 AM
I took a look at your query and posted my opinion of it... but I might just be confusing you more, considering what I posted. Sorry.

Ha ha :). Yeah, you did. I think I'm going to try writing a few more versions of my current query (the most recently posted) and then go back to square one.

Old Hack
05-09-2013, 10:44 AM
I know it's not ready yet. But some people just don't seem to get the concept, which won't change no matter how I write it (or at least I don't think it will).

If you can't communicate your concept in your query, you're kind of stuffed.

Putputt
05-09-2013, 11:11 AM
I've been following your query thread for some time now. There is nothing convoluted about the concept, but the query itself presents the story quite vaguely, which is why so many critters are left confused. The problem lies not with the concept but with the way it's presented.

quicklime
05-09-2013, 04:34 PM
there's no absolute, but if you're spending even half the time in QLH you should be (and that includes studying other queries besides your own) you should be getting a fair idea of how much stock to put on relative opinions. I could likst a dozen people here (hint: several already posted in this thread) who's advice I would give far more weight to than any number of others who are relative unknowns, but that's because I spend a lot of time in QLH, so I get a feel for who posts well, picks out the weak spots, can articulate why, etc.....

but again, you gotta do your own homework here, and hang out there enough to get a feel for that.

AshleyEpidemic
05-09-2013, 04:45 PM
You'll know when it is ready when you get more nitpicks than issues. At least that's how I view it. Might I suggest that you start at a fresh query and come at it from a different angle. That was I found the structure for mine.

rainsmom
05-09-2013, 06:44 PM
I knew my query was right when I read it to a group and got a wide-eyed "Wow" response instead of a polite smile. It took me a year of finagling to get there.

Tiffanie
05-10-2013, 12:44 AM
Thanks guys. :)

mayqueen
05-10-2013, 01:31 AM
Ditto what's been said:

1) Spend time in QLH critting other people's work because it will, in part, teach you whose crit you should be paying extra-special attention to.

2) If critters aren't getting the concept, it's not them, it's the query. I always want to scream, "Work on your reading comprehension!" at my screen, but I've learned that it's not them, it's me. It's your job as a writer to communicate your concept clearly.

I knew my query was ready to go when critters were nitpicking punctuation and word choice. It's still not perfect, but no query ever is. You just need it to be as perfect as it can be.

(FWIW, I haven't read your thread in QLH.)

Susan Littlefield
05-10-2013, 05:28 AM
I'd send it down to Query Letter Hell in the Share Your Work forum. People are so darned honest down there, and many of the people there are experienced in query letter writing.

jclarkdawe
05-10-2013, 05:26 PM
If you can't communicate your concept in your query, you're kind of stuffed.

It's that simple.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe