1. My work is copy written.
1. My work is copy written.Fearless Reider
"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
― William Goldman, The Princess Bride
#1 is so multi-level wrong it makes me sad. It's the kind of over-correction people do when they're desperate to sound educated or professional and therefore legitimate, but instead marks them as outsiders.
My dear sisters-in-law must have a had a teacher who tried to educate the farm girl out of them by teaching them that "well" is correct and "good" is not. The first time one of them announced she had made a new dish and it "didn't taste well" I wanted to weep for all the destruction that has been wrought over the ages by self-appointed grammar guardians, well-meaning (or should that be good-meaning?) and otherwise.
As almost all of you pointed out, this is the wrong way to say "I registered the copyright for my book", and furthermore, you don't need to register copyright. It's a real pain in the ass if you do before publication, as I know from experience.
The larger problem here is that the writer wants to sound knowledgeable and professional, as Fearless Reider pointed out. Unfortunately, as many of you also pointed out, when you start querying, you don't know a lot.
And here's the takeaway: it's ok to not know stuff.
No one expects you to know the ins and outs of publishing.
Don't pretend to know more than you do, or guess at how things are done.
Write a good book.
Tell me about it.
That's ALL your job is.
2. My novel has been professionally edited and ready for publication.
Adele has a very clear concise answer here.
#2: "ready for publication" isn't for them to say and it's not for the editor they hired to say; it's for the editor who paid them money for the right to publish it to sayIt doesn't help your query to say how the sausage gets made.
3. This is a retelling of Beowulf/Iliad/A Night at the Opera.
What's wrong with that QUESTION!
This question was poorly written I'm sorry to say. And since I'm the one who wrote it, I have no one to blame but
What I did not make clear was that the retelling is one of the three not a mashup of all three.
3. An Old English poem, an ancient Greek epic, and a Marx Brothers/Queen Album walked into a bar...Emma
Not that I have any skin in the game, but I have seen multiple agents recently say that they would really like to see a modern retelling of a classic fairy tale (or am I hallucinating?) maybe with an #ownvoices twist.
Additionally, quite a few novels that do exceptionally well are, at heart, retellings of myths, the Orpheus one being most popular from what I can tell.
So is the problem that the querier is retelling ALL of those in one novel, or attempting any retelling at all?
#3 One of my favorite YA novels of recent years is GRENDEL'S GUIDE TO LOVE AND WAR by Ariel (then A.E.) Kaplan, a brilliant spin on the Beowulf yarn. WIDE SARGASSO SEA by Jean Rhys forever changed the way I read JANE EYRE, which is still my favorite novel of all time. They aren't "retelllings" but imaginative responses to previous work, and are stories in their own right. If you can't figure out a more enticing way to communicate your inspiration in your query, it doesn't bode well for your MS.
What I was trying to convey, and did not, although some of you saw through my sloppy sentence to suss out what I meant was that a simple retelling isn't interesting.
You need to put a fresh spin on it, or change something in a way that builds on the originating work. Fearless Reider hit the nail on the head with "imaginative responses to previous work, and are stories in their own right."
Fresh take on Beowulf, now set in space,
Fresh look at the themes of The Iliad with all the gender roles reversed.
A Night at the Opera set in the world of publishing.
Dena Pawling is the first to get them all right
1. If you meant copyrighted - yes it is, from the minute you wrote it. If you meant a copywriter - you need to hire a new one who can actually spell it correctly.
2. Professionally edited - not necessarily required, but not a bad business decision. Ready for publication - glad you think so, as there's nothing worse than submitting a manuscript that even the author knows isn't ready for publication.
3. Retellings are fine, but how is your story different from the original? Please do tell.
Steve Forti, as usual, is hilarious
The problem is clearly that the author did not split "Beowulf", "Iliad", and "Opera" across multiple words to hide them as prompt words. Tsk tsk.
Unknown saw the real problem:
What's wrong is they were all clearly lifted from my certified query letter, which I did not give permission to do.
Kudos to you all for some darn good assessments!