Thursday, March 24, 2016

#FicFest SubTips

A few of us #FicFest mentors tossed out some query/writing tips, and I wanted to post them all here for easy viewing.

#FicFest #subtip
Query letter =
1st paragraph: MC/setting intro
2nd paragraph: describe conflict
3rd paragraph: show what's at stake - J.Z (@demoness333)

#FicFest #subtip Your query letter should be professional, but don't be afraid to add a little voice and flare. - J.Z (@demoness333)

Be sure that your query has a great hook. Need tips on how to write one?
#FicFest #Subtip - D.H Poirier (@PoirierPages)

#FicFest #subtip Know the recommended word count for your genre. Too high/too low suggests plot pacing issues. - J.Z (@demoness333)

Never, ever query a project that isn't 100% completed, edited, and ready for an agent to read. #FicFest #Subtip -D.H Poirier (@PoirierPages)

A little #subtip for #FicFest and #PitchMadness: them adverbs: kill 'em! A few can help, more may hinder. -Laura Brown (@AuthorLBrown)

#FicFest #subtip Be prepared to read your script again, and again. There are many rounds of edits before a final proof hits your hands. - J.Z (@demoness333)

Only mention one project in your query. Focus on one manuscript alone, and make that shine. #FicFest #Subtip -D.H Poirier (@PoirierPages)

Need to practice your elevator pitch? Try Twitter pitches. They'll help you drill down to the bare-bones of your story. #FicFest #Subtip -D.H Poirier (@PoirierPages)

When looking for an agent, go the extra mile to read agent interviews. #FicFest #Subtip -D.H Poirier (@PoirierPages)

#FicFest #subtip A query letter should be 250 words or less. Highlight the story's plot and unique elements, leave out personal opinions. - J.Z (@demoness333)

If you're writing historical, many agents will ask WHY your MS is based in that time period.  #FicFest #Subtip -D.H Poirier (@PoirierPages)

#FicFest #subtip Read widely in your category/genre. It'll help you avoid cliches, and gain insight on your market. - J.Z (@demoness333)

Do not attach anything to your query unless it is requested in the agent submission guidelines. #FicFest #Subtip -D.H Poirier (@PoirierPages)

Follow submission guidelines exactly. It reflects poorly on you if you don't follow them. #FicFest #subtip -D.H Poirier (@PoirierPages)

Don't pre-query to see if an agent is open to queries. If their website/Twitter don't mention they're closed, just query. #FicFest #Subtip -D.H Poirier (@PoirierPages)

#FicFest #subtip Critique partners and beta readers are invaluable. Seek out others who write in your genre and swap pages. - J.Z (@demoness333)

#FicFest #subtip Always, ALWAYS, follow submission guidelines, not doing so is self sabotage. - J.Z (@demoness333)

#FicFest #subtip Allow character and setting descriptions to unfold through action instead of dumping the info all at once. - J.Z (@demoness333)

Need a good starting point for your query?
Be sure you have:
Word count, genre, audience
#FicFest #Subtips -D.H Poirier (@PoirierPages)

#FicFest #subtip Be sure the spelling of the agent/editor's name in your query is right, & include a short line on why you're querying them. - J.Z (@demoness333)

#FicFest #subtip If you can remove an adverb without changing the meaning of the sentence, kill that darling. - J.Z (@demoness333)

Have a few people who have never read your MS read your query. If the plot doesn't make sense to them, revise. #Subtip #FicFest -D.H Poirier (@PoirierPages)

#FicFest #subtip A character's age doesn't dictate a story's category, the tone of the narrative does. The voice has to match the category. - J.Z (@demoness333)

#FicFest #subtip Create a new document for every draft. You never know when you'll go on a fever driven edit rampage and ruin everything :)  - J.Z (@demoness333)

#FicFest #subtip Don't be vague in your query letter, show what makes your story unique & suspenseful so it can stand out in the slush pile. - J.Z (@demoness333)

#FicFest #subtip If your MC glares, shrugs, smirks a lot, you're telling. Instead, show the underlying emotions of those actions. - J.Z (@demoness333)

#FicFest #subtip Backup your work after every editing/writing session. If you don't have a flash drive, email the doc to yourself. - J.Z (@demoness333)

#FicFest #subtip Before sending a submission packet to an agent/editor/contest, send a test email to yourself to check the formatting. - J.Z (@demoness333)

#FicFest #subtip Clarity is key, in both your query pitch and your script. Say what you mean, in the most beautiful and suspenseful way. - J.Z (@demoness333)