Friday, March 14, 2008

I'm stunning alright...this claw hammer makes sure of that

I'm working my way through a bazillion query letters as I mainline my first NYC coffee in ten days. Probably not the luckiest day to have your query letter here, but oh well.

Just a quick word about how you describe female characters: if the first or only word you use is "stunning" "gorgeous" "sex-bomb" "limber limbed" or any other description of her physical self, you've just made me reach in for the auto-no response button. I loathe this.

"Stunning physicist assassin" is almost as bad but at least there's hope she'll disfigure herself in the heat of battle.

I look for interesting compelling characters in every single book I take on. That means tell me what they DO, not what they look like.

5 comments:

kitty said...

That means tell me what they DO, not what they look like.

Thank you! And while we're on the subject, as a reader I loathe lengthy descriptions. In fact, I'd prefer the writer had some faith in his/her readers and allow us to paint our own pictures of the characters. Verbosity kills a good story.

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Katie Alender said...

And for the record, no woman over 29 is interested in reading about a protagonist who "looked younger than her 30 years".

kitty said...

Amen, Katie!

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Sean Ferrell said...

I'm curious: are these queries from men or women?

S.F.W. said...

Then again, how little is too little?

My Alpha readers constantly complain that I don't describe my characters enough