There were 35 total queries this week which feels much closer to the right number. The big drop is in people querying for categories I don't take on.
Here's the rundown on this week's results:
Category I don't take on: 5 (there were 21 last week)
I reply to these but it's just a very plain "I don't do YA fantasy" kind of thing. It's not a problem to send them, but the answer isn't going to be all that useful.
Didn’t get my interest or attention: 4
Often times writers are sending good serviceable novels but they just don't gleam enough to catch my attention. A lot of these are first novels, and I think writers have to write them, but then it's time to move on to the second novel. I'm looking for something I haven't seen before. A new take on an old trope. Almost every agent I know says this same thing.
A category I don't much like or have affinity for: 3
I'm not much on historical fiction set in the US but I do like historical fiction set in other places. So, this isn't "I don't do this category" but it's "I don't do this subset" I also don't much like satire, or quiet domestic dramas.
Referred onward: 3
Not for me, but query someone else and tell them I said to do so.
Overused tropes: 2
If you describe your main character in a way that evokes more than one successful series, a Die Hard movie, or lots of the old TV shows on Netflix, it's overused. I'm not looking for overused. I'm looking for something I haven't seen before; a fresh perspective on the old tropes.
No plot: 2
Generally this means no stakes. You have to tell me what's at stake in a novel or I don't care what happens. If I don't care what happens, I don't want to read it.
Memoir without the larger picture: 2
The larger picture means what value is this story to the reader. Without that, it's a story like every one else's. Why this one?
Mismatched tone/content or comps: 1
If you've got a serious subject and a whimsical tone, or a comp titles by authors who started publishing 20 years ago, you've got a problem. (Guys with 20 year publishing careers have more leeway in what they write than debuts)
Can't sell: 1
Too scary: 1
Writing isn't polished enough in query to give me confidence in the pages: 5
Send a badly written query and I suspect it's a badly written novel. This is not to say that all hot mess queries are badly written.
Made the QueryShark weep bitter tears: 2
Those who claim to have read QueryShark but put their contact info at the top of the page send the Shark into existential despair: SarteShark is not what you want swimming about. Really.
First draft writing: 1
Not bad writing, just not polished.
No fucking pages: 1
A query that might have survived, but failure to include pages would have led to a form rejection in the unchummy bucket.
Requests for fulls: 1
Yea. One in 35. Those aren't bad odds.