Yes, this is filled with whisky

Yes, this is filled with whisky

Thursday, December 17, 2009

There's formal..and then there is just annoying

I can certainly respect your desire to be more formal than "Hey Snookums" in a query letter. Truth be told, I'm glad of a certain formality. But "I presently require the services of a good literary agent" isn't so much formal as it is annoying.

And of course, you don't even need to include this kind of sentence in a query letter. It's one of those things I take on faith: if you're querying me, you need an agent.

Other things you don't need to cover: you're a mammal; you're breathing; you're writing in English.


Caroline Starr Rose said...

Glad you covered the mammal business!

Kyler said...

Vraiment? Moi, j'ecris toutes mes lettres en francais.

Scobberlotcher said...

LOL! There must be similarities between query letters and on-line dating profiles. :)

jmartinlibrarian said...

But you still want to know about the poetry contest I won in second grade, right?

*scampers away*

Travener said...

I sort of sympathize with the writer. Querying reminds me a lot of dating. Some people are naturally good at it. Others are awkward, overly self-conscious, tongue-tied, never knowing the right thing to say. So they wind up saying something stupid, even though they're not stupid.

Or maybe that was just me.

BTW, Janet, Merry Christmas.

Heather Wardell said...

I will be querying you in February (mark your calendar! :) and I so desperately want to begin with "Hey Snookums". I won't. But oh, how I want to.

Susan Quinn said...

Have the monkeys started querying yet? Maybe I should differentiate myself from the monkeys by stating I am human.


Thanks for the funny.

Becky Mushko said...

So instead of "I presently require the services of a good literary agent," we should say "I presently require the services of any literary agent who is a mammal, breathes air, and comprehends English"?

JS said...

I may not be a mammal.

Now that the whole world knows that octopuses make themselves tents out of coconut shells, the secret of octopus typing may be the next big story to break.

But perhaps I've said too much already.

Susan Quinn said...

The invertebrates are using tools now? I can barely keep up.

Those coconut shells are kind of attractive, I must admit . . .

Christine said...

Completely off topic, but if you're not already reading it, I think you'll love this blog -

It's 16 year old Jessica Watson, who's sailing around the world. Her voice is just amazing.

Josin L. McQuein said...

Dear Snookie-ookums:

I am personally in dire need of the professional services of a competent octopus with close ties to the Herpat-American community.

It personally behooves me (though I'm not personally looking for anyone with hooves) to seek out only those octopi who double as sharks on occasion and I personally prefer those who do not inhabit pilfered coconuts.

My personal non-fiction novelized serial book: How to Succeed in the Office Aquarium will appeal to all creatures who live under water.

Thank you personally.
My personal-self.

Indigo said...

A shark with tentacles? Makes sense since your part Octi. Umm... honestly you want us mammals to stick out toes in the same pool? Admittedly I could use a few extra limbs.

Alas, I'm back to being frightened of the awesomeness that is you. After all those compassionate agent appreciation post, I soon forgot how very ferocious a shark with tentacles could be.

I'm going now before this starts sounding like a crazed version of Winnie the Pooh.

Chumplet - Sandra Cormier said...

I have an irresistible urge to hide the word 'snookums' in my query through code. Maybe I can spell it down the left side.

Steve Stubbs said...

You wrote: "Other things you don't need to cover: you're a mammal; you're breathing; you're writing in English."

How about: "I can still fog a mirror whether my reflection appears in it or not"?