@smoulderingsea: Don't send your publication history as an attached PowerPoint with covers & blurbs. Title, publisher, year. Text. IN THE QUERY. #editortips
@smoulderingsea: In 1st or deep 3rd POV, it's crucial that your first line is in your POV character's voice and plants us firmly in their mind.#editortips
@smoulderingsea: Only send one version of your sub. Don't send multiple versions and tell me to pick the best. You decide which represents you. #editortips
@smoulderingsea: When sending partials (or fulls), send all chapters in one document. Don't send it broken down into one chapter per document. #editortips
@smoulderingsea: Personality and humor in a query can do a lot to make you stand out from a crowd, but don't get too chummy. I don't know you. #editortips
@smoulderingsea: The same can be said of Twitter. I like to play and love snarky humor, but some of the things people say to me...no. Just no. #editortips
@smoulderingsea: On a good day, I review 10 queries an hour. That means you get six minutes of reading time to make an impression. Make it count. #editortips
@smoulderingsea: If, after reading your query, I ask "But where's the conflict?" your query isn't working. Or your story has no driving conflict. #editortips
@smoulderingsea: You don't write hard SF if it's PR with sexy vamps swapped for sexy aliens. That's soft SF. Not bad--but know the difference. #editortips
@smoulderingsea: If you get a rejection with feedback, don't reply asking for more. If the agent or editor had more to say, they'd have said it. #editortips
@smoulderingsea: Don't just workshop your first 5-50 pages and leave the rest. When we read the full, we'll notice the sharp dropoff in quality. #editortips
@smoulderingsea: 25% of the time, I hit one line that makes me stop short and say no before finishing five pages. Check your story for WTFery. #editortips**
@smoulderingsea: Don't whine that an agent or editor couldn't have judged your story from five pages. Problems in those pages tend to persist. #editortips
@smoulderingsea: Some will say there's an upper limit to your writing ability. Ignore them. Strive to be better every day, and break your limits. #editortips
**Several people asked me to define WTFery. It's not necessarily bad grammar, POV issues, or the other common writing issues that might make me pass on a sub. It's more the sort of thing that makes you stop and just make this face. Like getting trolled by Lemon Party or something. Things like fetishization of stuffed animals. And hentai tentacle porn.*** And amputee kink/objectification. Or misogyny, misandry, trivializing rape, homophobia, racism, etc. written in a way that makes it clear it's not a character trait/flaw, but just something the writer thinks is natural, funny, etc. Or Scientology. Yeah. Scientology.
***I am so going to get porn-spammed for that. And some scary Google search terms.
#editortips is a daily rash of tweets from an only partially crazy editor, chock full of random chocolatey morsels about writing, editing, and querying vaguely disguised as helpful pointers and/or really bad humor. I tweet as @smoulderingsea, and try to post with some consistency every weekday at 6PM CST. Weekends optional, depending on if I’m spending yet another Saturday night editing because my social life consists of Netflix and chewing nails like a G6. Wait. That's not how the song goes. Crap. I fail at rap.
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