Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Q & A

Hey Evil--

Instead of
just query letters for novels, maybe you should request that people float their writing ideas in general past the Minions. Got an idea for a story, book, screenplay, Nanovel? Give it a query and send it out for the minions to chomp on. Maybe it will get more material incoming.

Not sure if you mean people should write the query letters for works they haven't finished (or even started), in order to get feedback on the concept rather than the query letter, while also getting feedback on what would be a rough draft of the query letter assuming the book turns out the way they currently envision it--in which case they would be sending standard query letters, or if you mean they should just lay out the concept (not in query-letter format) to get our opinions on how they can improve it or whether they should even bother trying.

I'm okay with either. Anyone who wants input from EE and his minions about anything you're writing or considering writing or have no intention of writing, don't be shy. 

EE is not responsible for anything that happens to anyone as a result of this policy. 


Anonymous said...

Both. Throw your concept at us and we'll tell you whether an electrical engineer who can't write code would ever conceivably be shuffled into a high-performance IT team on the eve of Y2K. If you like, write it as you imagine your query letter will be.

SB said...

This could be fun and helpful, but I would remind people that it's not really the idea that determines if a book will be good or not, it's the execution. A terrible idea could end up being a good book, and vice versa.

Anonymous said...

A good idea can be a terrible book, but I don't know about a terrible idea being a good book.

SB said...

Look up Jim Butcher's story about how a guy on the internet challenged him to write a good book based on a terrible idea. His response was that he'd make a good book with TWO terrible ideas. And then he wrote the Codex Alera series.

Anonymous said...

So I looked it up, and the site where I found it concluded, "there are no bad ideas." On a high enough level, that's probably true.

Anonymous said...

There are lots of bad ideas:

sticking a metal knife in a live electric socket
jumping into ice cold water over 10 feet deep with a heavy object chained to you
covering yourself with honey and sunbathing on an anthill
opening the forbidden door too early (the one enclosing the recently fumigated room)
messing with the guy known to take a sharp knife to guys that mess with him
etc, etc, etc

being a bad idea never stopped them from making interesting fiction

SB said...

I'm pretty sure there a lot of books where the protag or antag had a bad idea or two. That's a whole different thing from whether an idea for a story is inherently bad/unworkable or not.

Speaking in general enough terms, at least, I think that an excellent writer with enough good ideas could take a "bad" idea for a story and make it work.

One thing I think is fascinating is when multiple authors take the same idea (even a very specific idea or set of ideas), each write their own take on it, and you end up with a bunch of very different stories (often of varying quality). Fanfic challenges are a good example of this.