Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #amquerying

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I want to start off the #RevPit #10Queries with an explanation for those new to it. Authors entered a raffle and were drawn at random to send in their query letter and first 5 pages. 20 pro editors read the subs and wrote feedback on them. Today, we are tweeting that feedback...
...but it's anonymous. That way, it can help any author to see what works and what doesn't in these materials. #RevPit has done several of #10Queries events in the past, and we hear each time how helpful it is for #AmQuerying authors, even if they didn't enter.
So, buckle up. I'll post 2 tweets for each sub--1 for the query, 1 for the pages. I'll be around afterward to answer questions and give some general feedback and advice on these materials. Check the #RevPit #10Queries feed all day for some amazing #WritingAdvice
Read 32 tweets
How about a query advice thread this fine morning?? (actually the morning is gray and gross and appallingly wet, but hopefully it's fine wherever you are)

#amwriting #amquerying #amediting #querytip
Query tip 1: stay succinct! Here's the thing about query length--too long means an agent might skim (or even skip) rather than reading closely. Agents have limited time, plus a rambling query can often indicate a rambling story. #querytip
I advise keeping your query to 300ish words total; over 350 is edging toward the danger zone. 400 is almost always too long. There are (always!!) exceptions, but this is a good rule of thumb. Shoot for 220ish words for the story part, 50-80 for the bio and about-the-book part.
Read 27 tweets
For those new to #10Queries, these are anonymous tweets that don't give away whose query it is. This way, we can give advice that will help lots of #AmQuerying writers. If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask! #RevPit
Q1 Digging the dark premise and antihero, but it's hard to find the plot. What actually happens? You're trying too hard to sell the reader. My best advice: Write more simply. Focus more on plot & stakes. Don't try so hard to make it sound like a movie trailer #RevPit #10Queries
P1 ☑️ Starts in scene with MC. 1st sentence has great hook, gets reader asking Qs. But it feels like you're trying to get too much in. 1st 2 pgs needs more orientation. After that, voice shifts--feels like a different character. Simplify & limit * transitions #RevPit #10Queries
Read 27 tweets
I want to discuss personalizing queries. I'm seeing a lot of authors feeling pressured to personalize queries without knowing how to do this well. #amquerying First, you should address the agent by name instead of Dear Agent. And then next...
If there is a specific reason you are querying me, I'd like to hear it. Like a book I reviewed on Goodreads, something specific on my wishlist, a client's project, etc. If it's just because I represent your genre, don't mention that as a reason.
I also have my bio quoted to me so many times I have it memorized, but none of it is usually very specific to each individual story. There is a specific line in my bio that has been used hundreds of times across multiple genres and has become meaningless to me. So instead...
Read 5 tweets
#writer and #amquerying folk, I wish you could hear how editors talk about their books at lunches and in-person meetings. I think it would be such an education for authors looking to generate compelling ideas.
Editors describing their books often start with a compelling detail. She's a roller-derby all star, or his best friend is his hairless cat. Instantly there's something different or unusual to pull you in, snag your interest.
Then there's a layer of conflict. She's got to save her mom's holistic pottery center (another place for unique detail), or he's finding first love against the backdrop of the Challenger shuttle disaster.
Read 10 tweets
Let’s talk about the first paragraph of a query letter! In my mind this is the most important part to get right, and I want to share some thoughts on how to make it strong.

#querytip #amquerying #amwriting #amediting
I look for the first paragraph of a query letter to include a birdseye view of the project—AKA the basic stats (title + age group + genre + word count), as well as a sentence-long elevator pitch. This grounds the agent in the project + shows that you know your stuff. #querytip
Something like: BIPPITY BOPPITY BOOP is a YA Romance at 80,000 words in which a young magician enters a televised magic competition only to find out that the competition is rigged to make the producer’s son win—and even worse, she’s falling in love with him. 🧙🏼‍♀️🧙🏼‍♂️✨💜
Read 9 tweets
1. You
2. Can't
3. Build
4. An
5. Army
6. Of
7. Fans
8. On
9. Social media before they're already fans of your work so
10. Become part of a community by being yourself.
The usual disclaimer: YMMV, my way is not the only way, everyone's journey is different. Advice is intended for new writers of genre fiction in the US aiming for traditional publishing. I'm a straight white cis lady, so your difficulty setting may be higher.
1. Why do people follow you on social media? Because you add value to their life. If you don't have a book out that they love, don't expect them to follow you as a fan. Find another way to add value. Helpful links, encouragement, recipes, poems, whatever you can do consistently.
Read 20 tweets
THREAD: How can I create a better pitch while not also killing myself mentally, aka Pitching is tough, please help.

#ontheporch #writerscommunity #writerslife #amquerying #amwriting #writetip #iamaneditor #thisishowitworks
I think the first thing we have to cover today is that not everything you want to say about your story is going to fit or belongs in your pitch. Many things you think are critical to "understand" the story don't have to come into the pitch.
And this reveals the point of the pitch - not to understand the story (that's what reading the manuscript is for), but to become interesting in it, so that the pitch-audience says "I want more information, I will go check out this manuscript."
Read 25 tweets
(THREAD 1/7) My formula for #amquerying #writingcommunity. <3

Dear Ms. __,

Start w 1-2 sentence personalization. Ex: I noticed on MSWL/an interview with M4L that you enjoy “soft-spoken boys” and “friends-turned-lovers,” so I think you’d be a great fit for my MG Fantasy: ____!

Here’s my 1-2 sentence PitMad-like hook that'll drop your jaw. Ex: When MC discovers __, he must __, before __ happens.

Mine: 12-yr-old Noah assumes he’ll be a mute forever—until a snow princess named December gives him 30 days to speak, or she’ll turn him to crystal.
(3/7) This is extending my pitch. This is my MC, and why he’s compelling. This is his problem. This is what he’s going to do about it. This is what might happen if he doesn’t succeed. This part should be ~200-250 words. Hint: don’t say “their world is turned upside down”
Read 8 tweets
Good morning #writingcommunity #amwriting & #amquerying friends. I owe several threads. I’ll try to do today between chores, edits for a friend and my own writing. I’ll try but my life is nuts. lol
Today’s 1st sage advice is regarding the Jimmy Thomas incident. On Fat Shaming: 1/
I am fat. I know it. It’s hard to not know it when I’m 5’1” and weigh 200#. It stares me in the face daily. But I’m not dead and I’m usually very happy so I’ll take fat over dead and sad any day.
Let me back track a bit so you understand why I’m totally fine w/ myself and 3/
Read 27 tweets
Strap in, #amquerying and #amwriting Twitter! Time for some primo, uncut #writingtips from an agent.

Something I've been thinking about this week wrt a particular type of #nonfiction book proposal:

The one structured around Examples Of A Phenomenon.

For these, first proposal draft submitted to me is usually structrd such that 1 chapter = 1 example.

Intro: This book seeks to answer the eternal question "what is a sandwich"
Ch 1: Hot dogs
Ch 2: Burritos
Ch 3: Falafel pita
Ch 4. Choco taco

This is a dumb example on purpose, but you see what I mean--it's basically a listicle. The chapters could be anything: Countries Doing Austerity, Stolen Artwork In Museums, 10 X That Changed Y

And the form can work, but it's trickier than it looks because...

Read 14 tweets
I think this morning's thread is a pretty good one. It's one of my favorite "it's important but boy oh boy do people freak out about it" topics.

This morning, I want to talk about "characterization"

#amwriting #ontheporch #amquerying #amrevising #writerslife
CHARACTERIZATION is a big word that carries a lot of weight conceptually, but often gets blown out of proportion when the panic starts.

What is it?

It's making a character feel like a person. Like you could relate to them or find them out in your world pretty easily.
Now if there's a reason why I'm making this sound like it's kinda straightforward, that's because it is kinda straightforward.

Let's dispense with the bullshit of "it's so hard" and go give you some practical tools for it.

Go get some paper and your character.
Read 37 tweets

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