I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wondered exactly what an agent thinks when they read my queries. Is it intriguing enough? Does it compel the agent to request the full manuscript? And please, pretty please God with a cherry on top, please don’t let it come of corny and unoriginal. I’m sure I’m the only one to think this, right ;)
Sure you can go to one of those stereotypical critique sites like Query Shark or Query Dice. They’re great if you want to see how a professional agent digs right into the heart and soul of the query, rips out its guts, and spews out all the disgusting and indigestible little bits. It really can’t hurt.
But before you get a toothy little grin forming on that sweet lil face of yours, do yourself a favor and check out Slush Pile Hell. This place is the holy grail of inner agent thoughts.
Not sure. Try this little taste of Hell.
Q: Dear Agent, I recently finished a story that can only be described as unique.
SPH: Can’t wait to pitch this one to editors: “Hey, girl. I’ve got a hot one for you. What? Describe it? Well, I can only describe it as unique. Yep, that’s right…unique. What else? Uh, well, did I mention it’s unique? Uniquely unique? (click) Hello? Hello?”
Q: Look, I have two international best sellers on my hands, you can trust me and and make lots of money or not trust me and miss out on making your career, either way, I’ve got the best seller.
SPH: Tough choice. Option A: trust you, make lots of money. Option B: not trust you, miss out on making my career. I’m going to choose Option C: suggest that you contact Kanye West—he wants his ego back. Oh, and learn some punctuation.
And one of my personal favorites
Q: Dear Sir/Madam…
SPH: Though I’m a man and thus enjoy monster truck rallies and scratching myself, I am so pleased that someone is finally affirming my softer, feminine side. Thank you for making my day, kind author.
Ah, makes me smirk just reading these ones again. Still, as entertaining as it is, it’s still a great learning site. Think of it as a negative reinforcement reason to avoid common sense mistakes….and avoid ever having a bit of your query featured on the site.