Last Query Roundup of 2012

Queries were cleared out by 8:00 pm, 12/16/2012

Total Queries in the Inbox: 209

Manuscripts I Requested: 3

YA Fantasy
YA Sci Fi (something I haven't seen yet!)
Adult Women's Fiction

In my queries, there was a lot of YA and a lot of really long manuscripts.

The thing about long word counts is that manuscripts a little over 100k words don't necessarily scare me. Manuscripts that are 150k, 170k, or over 200k, those do scare me. I know there are some great manuscripts that are that long, but for every great one there are hundreds that need a lot of work.

If you have a really long manuscript, make sure you check your pacing. Go scene by scene. Get into each one late, get out early. Make sure each scene moves the plot forward in some way. Check the dialogue and cut any repetitions.

Then have a beta reader go through your manuscript with the same things in mind.

Then, if you still have a long manuscript go ahead and query. But maybe, and don't quote me on this, leave your word count out.

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Eric Steinberg said...

Thanks for these helpful roundups, letting us in on what's out there and what you're requested.

The bit about work count was particularly helpful to me. My almost ready to query YA sci fi is in concern rather than worry territory...still trying to get it down.

Sam Mills said...

I think it helps to envision your word count in page count, because it's easy to get lost in your plotting (it seems faster to you because you've got the whole thing memorized!). It's always a really rough estimate because of font/size/yadda but when every 50K adds another 150-200 pages, you've got to start thinking, "Would I pick up a 500 page young adult novel if I didn't already love the author?"

Anonymous said...

Well now, seems the blogging gods are against me. Third time lucky to post a comment! Seems that the favored amount of first time writers should write is roughly 100k-120k words. This may seem like a lot. But it isn't really. I am past that and while not quite done yet, I am roughly 3/4's through and closing on 150k. I can’t see myself breaking the book up into two just for the sake of keeping my word count within a boundary. So perhaps I should rather 'forget' to mention how many words I have written.

Unknown said...

Thanks for all you do for the writing community! :-)
♥ Merry Christmas! ♥

Unknown said...

The very first MS I finished, came in at 180k words and I SWORE up and down that nothing needed chopping. Every scene in the book was absolutely necessary and even if I cut one chapter, the reader would be completely lost. Man, was I wrong. Wrong, wrong WRONG. I am currently in the process of completely overhauling and editing the entire MS. Sometimes, less really is more.

Anonymous said...

Dear Suzie,
I nominated your blog for the Blogger of the Year 2012: Every week you accept manuscripts according to your guidelines and list how many you accept and reject. Thank you, Suzie for your time and dedication to helping writers.

Celebrate you.
Never Give Up

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