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Monday, May 12, 2008

Posting WIPs

Josephine Damian has been having a great series of posts on many aspects of blogging. It's a six-part series so far so I will just send you to her main page to browse all her posts. Just look for her label on Blogging.

The last part she posted on blogging was about people who posted their works in progress. I have serious reservations about putting work up in an open forum. In my opinion, three quarters of what I see posted should not be up. It reflects badly on the author, even if s/he thinks it's their best work.

Even if you don't doubt your talent, it's best to hide it behind an LJ's friends lock, or do what I do and start your own group within a secure forum. Don't toot your own horn without being absolutely certain it can carry a tune.

This leads me to another trend I've been seeing a lot lately. No doubt due to the Query Shark, there's been a lot of queries posted all over the blogosphere. Again, tricky stuff.

When you're that close to polished material and ready to query, it's a benefit to get professional advice, so Query Shark and its ilk are lifesavers. But posting strictly on peer blogs leaves you wide open to all manner of advice. That's fine if you luck into people who know what they're talking about, but often times they are unpublished as well. You get what you get.

My friend, Daw had one of the best queries I'd ever read. The meter was good, the information was precise and succinct, and her impressive credentials were the icing on the cake. You just know when a query hits all the right buttons. I can't explain it any better than that.

Agents will say that they can tell within the first few sentences whether a manuscript has potential. I think the same can be said for a great query. You just know.

I've read a lot of queries in the last few years and many times they are convoluted and a tad pretentious. The poor author has no clue that their stories are as clear as mud and their delivery is off putting. We are sometimes our own worst enemies.

So I'm with Josie on this one. Lock your work away until it's ready. Share it with trusted peers and don't swallow every line of advice thrown at you. The time will come when you'll have to decide what advice to heed and what to push away.

When you're ready, you'll know. You'll just know.

*****
I am off again for a few days. My second eye surgery is this morning. One more time under the knife. I'll have to go back in a month to laser off the lesions that will form from the incisions, but that should be it.

Be back soon!

4 comments:

dawtheminstrel said...

I hope all went well today, Maria.

Thanks for the query plug. Can I send you to talk to the agents I'm mailing it to?

Maria Zannini said...

I would probably make a better promoter for other people's work than my own. (grin)

Ref: surgery
This one was way rougher. My eye still hurts. Doc said I'll be okay in a couple more days.

I'm glad the more painful surgery came AFTER the smoother one. I don't know that I'd want to go through that one again.

Josephine Damian said...

Thanks for the plug. I'll have Part 7 up tomorrow. The Stuart Neville news delayed me.

I'm in a closed online yahoo group workshop on query writing right now. I vet some of my stuff in these workshops, which are not for public consumption.

Another eye surgery? Thought you had both done at once? Or ist his correct things the surgeon did wrong? Yikes!

Puts my mold infected thumbnail woes into perspective.

Maria Zannini said...

Had to do one eye at a time. The second surgery was a bit more...umm...stressful.

More on that later.