Carrie Harris | Young Adult Author

Monday, May 18, 2009

Query Ninja - Da Rulz

Welcome to the awesomeness that is Query Ninja. (See how modest I am?) There are plenty of people out there in the webverse that are giving free query assistance, and I think it's pretty safe to say that most if not all are better qualified than me. But, and this is a big BUT, I think there's one thing that I can bring to the table that most people don't. And it's this:

Queries can be fun.

Quit laughing at me, because I'm quite serious. You argue that queries are a whole heckload of work, and this is true, but so's writing a book. And if you're crazy enough to think THAT is fun, then you're only a Froot Loop away from enjoying the wonder that is querydom. That's where Query Ninja comes in. Starting tomorrow, we're going to critique queries submitted by readers of The Wonder That Is My Blog. The first one will be from Super-Brave Mercedes (and you must refer to her by her full name if you mention her in the comments). However, in the interest of FUN, I've MadLibbed the query. The structure of the letter is the same; I didn't change sentence structure or add or remove anything. But I did replace a bunch of nouns and adjectives that describe her book and background. In other words, do not think she is insane for writing a YA book about Teletubbies, because I replaced all those words to make it silly. We're going to be critiquing the structure of the query itself and not the topic of the book.

And I know I don't have to say this, but I'm going to be thorough: laughing at queries does not translate to poking fun at the people who have put their all into writing them. In no way do I intend any insult to Super-Brave Mercedes or anyone else nutso enough to submit a query for Query Ninja. I'm just trying to have a little fun with it. Furthermore, I have never deleted a comment on this blog (except for blog spam), but I will if someone insults our Ukes (although I know you won't).

Uke = training partner in ninja-speak. So Super-Brave Mercedes will be the first Uke for Query Ninja.

And if you're not a writer? I still hope you'll read and chime in on the conversation. Writing queries uses a lot of the same skills as writing a cover letter for a resume, and that's something you'll need to do eventually unless you plan on moving to a commune and selling yak butter for a living, in which case you won't need a cover letter and could probably get away with not bathing ever again too. You can't say, "I am awesome; buy my book!" in a query; nor can you say, "I am awesome; hire me!" in a cover letter.

Well, you COULD, but I doubt anyone would actually do it.

20 comments:

Jamie Eyberg said...

I need what you're having this morning. Far too perky for a Monday. :P

K.C. Shaw said...

I'm fighting the sudden urge to madlib one of my manuscripts. It might improve it. :)

I'm so excited that you're doing the Query Ninja thing!

Natalie said...

I'm excited. Good luck to the Ukes.

Lady Glamis said...

Awesome idea, Carrie! *rubs hands together* This will be fun and really helpful!

Catherine J Gardner said...

Can't wait. :)

Kiersten said...

Rock on! I'm excited for this.

Shelli said...

im still waiting for the blog ninja contest! ;)

Natalie L. Sin said...

That's not the only thing "uke" means in Japanese. *wiggles eyebrows suggestively*

-Sin-San, the Seme ; )

Carrie Harris said...

Confession time, Jamie: I write some of these things in advance but post them at insane hours of the AM just to make you feel inferior.

Natalie S: Has anyone ever told you that you have the skill to make ANYTHING sound lewd? Because ya do.

Everyone else: I'm glad you're excited for Query Ninja! I am too.

Davin Malasarn said...

I think this idea is brilliant!!!! I'm very excited about it. Yes, we need to change our perception of the query. I can't wait.

Mary Witzl said...

I'll try and show up for this -- I need all sorts of help with queries!

And wow -- I've only just figured out what Natalie must mean, if 'uke' is contrasted with 'seme'.

My kids knew this right away, but it took me a little time to figure it out. No wonder they think I'm naive...

Mariah Irvin said...

You madlibbed her query? This should be interesting...

Keri Mikulski said...

Interesting. :) I love writing queries too, but I love resumes and cover letters - I guess that explains all the jobs. ;)

Caryn Caldwell said...

Great idea! And I love that you're laying down the law about being respectful of the query writers. There are enough rejections and other negative reactions out there!

C.R. Evers said...

querries scare me. But maybe if I become a true Ninja, the will no longer possess a hold on me. hmmmmm . . . must practice Ninja moves.

abrokenlaptop said...

I am super brave! I am super brave!

Bring it on, Query Ninja!!!

-Super Brave Mercedes, Slayer of Teletubbies

BT said...

Okay, call me dumb...where is your email address to send you a query for da Ninja to pull apart?

Carrie Harris said...

Yeah, that email address is hidden ninja-style on my profile. :)

It's carr (dot) harr (at) yahoo.

BT said...

Thanks, Carrie. Is that @yahoo.com or just yahoo?

Carrie Harris said...

Yahoo.com. Got distracted there. Le sigh.

 


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