Sunday, January 9, 2011

Welcome to The Query Goblin

Hi. I will edit your novel's query letter. I'm masochistic like that.

I'm a writer with no particular qualifications beyond a willingness to do this. However, as all writers know, when you're gnawing your knucklebones in cross-eyed desperation trying to make that damned query letter sing, sometimes even the misguided biases of some random internet dweeb are helpful.

And this dweeb is here for you, baby. Smooch, smooch.

I can't promise the re-written query will be better, or that it will help snag you offers (or even that I'll get around to it), but it will be an edit given by a relatively objective stranger.

And, it will be offered without comment. Without judgement.

Critiquing necessarily focuses on the negative, and in my own oddball way, I'm trying to offer writers some positivity instead. Things that your query does well, I'll try to preserve; things that could be improved, I'll try to polish. Instead of saying what you did wrong, I will mutely try to make it better.

Then it's up to you to take away whatever lessons you can from the experience.

I will only discuss the quality of your original query in the comments section, as may other people. If you really, absolutely don't want to read anything negative about your work, then please avoid the comments section, although I promise to keep my own words tactful and to turf anyone who is simply being mean or non-constructive.

The fine print:
  1. If you post your query letter, you are giving me permission to reprint it and to hack, slash, sleekify, re-structure, disembowel, edit, and rewrite it on this blog.
  2. If you post your query letter, you accept that I'm promising you nothing in return. Nothing. I have good intentions, but there's no contract between us, okay?
  3. Yes, you can back out. If your feet feel icy, and dread is making a chew-toy your heart, please leave a comment in The Goblin's Maw and tell me you want your query removed from consideration.

The comments for this post--i.e. this one; you're reading it--have been turned off. Here's what you do if you want to: