Saturday, February 16, 2008

Writing Exercise

The following exercise brought a lot of submissions, so let's try it again.

Here's your chance to practice writing a query letter, as suggested by Phoenix.

You'll need a random number between 1 and 490. You can get one here. Now get a number between 1 and 6.

Use the search feature or the archives to find the Face-Lift that goes with your first number. Now use your second number to find the fake plot of the book you'll be writing a query for. (If you happen to have the real plot, get a different number between 1 and 6.) If you happen to have a nonfiction description you may choose a different fake plot if you wish. If you happen to have a nonfiction book, and you prefer to do a fiction query, you may start over. If the instructions are too complicated, write to EE and I'll give you your plot.

You have the option of doing just a synopsis of the book, or a complete query with credits and other incidentals. Either way, limit yourself to 250 words.

Submit the title, the Face-Lift number, the fake plot you used, and the query. Deadline: Saturday, midnight eastern. Include a name if you want credit. After we read your query, we'll let you know if we think you should write the book.


Robin S. said...

Hey phoenix,

He's got your picture on here again.

Phoenix Sullivan said...

She'd make a good avatar for me. Blonde haired and cleavaged -- everything I'm not but could pretend to be. ;o)

Sarah Laurenson said...

Damn! I like this exercise, but don't have time right now. My girlfriend moved in, we're in box hell and her mother's coming for a visit - first time for her and I to meet to boot.

*sigh* Another time. Or I guess I can play on my own when I have time.

Phoenix Sullivan said...

Hey Sarah, good luck with the mom meeting. Always stressful!

You can always write a practice query and submit it to EE as a real query for critique. Just DON'T TELL him it's a fake one. He goes all into a tizzy. Thinks he gets the day off and that he doesn't have to funny 'em up. But, hey, teachers grade practice tests, don't they? How else do you know you're learning? So submit one, but shhh, let's keep it between you and me that it isn't real (kind of like the cleavage in the clipart), OK?

Robin S. said...

I'm slogging away here now, or will be in a minute, anyway.

I got a weird one this time, a really weird one, but I'll do my best with it, whatever that is.

The spousal unit is due back from his circumnavigation of the globe in a few hours - so I'm sending it in as quickly as I can.

You doin' one, phoenix?

Sarah Laurenson said...

Actually, I have a real query I've been working on. I can give it a different title for the blog, since I sent it in once before - quite some time ago - and it sounds very different these days.

The bad part is I'm up to 5 different versions of it now.

Anonymous said...

Got home not too long ago from the SF writers conference. Threw something together in 10 minutes. Not proud, but at least I'm here!

BTW, SFWC has been very interesting and well run. I'm very happy with it so far. Met some interesting people.

Robin S. said...

Hey Pete,

Glad you had a good timein San Francisco. I've only been to one writer's conference, and, while I have to say one was enough, I'm really glad I attended. It was good to get a bit of the lay of the land.

Sarah Laurenson said...

One was enough, Robin? Yeah, I guess when it comes to conferences, one was enough for me, too. But I attend a working writer's retreat every year, plus a few one day things during the year.

The one day things keep me in touch with my local creative community and offer some interesting tidbits from people in different parts of this business. I'm a volunteer at most of these.

The retreat is amazing. Exhausting, exhilirating, and wonderful, too. Plus it's a great networking opportunity and I get to read for and get immediate feedback from an editor and an agent during that weekend. Not to mention me and my writing buddies get totally crazy and have a great time together.

talpianna said...

Robin, I thought you WERE the lay of the land! Have you been misleading us all this time?

Robin S. said...

OK, you two. I just saw this.

Yep, one conference was enough - unless someone is attending that I specifically want to see, that will be it. I'm in Manhattan/NYC at least once a year, sometimes more. I understand where many of the agencies are 'housed', so that part's taken care of. I figure they won't wannna talk to me until I have a product worth talking about, and, believe me when I say, I'm working as fast as I can to make that happen. (Between comments, of course. Gotta get those babies in.)

Here's what I think: whneI have something finished, I'll be happy to talk. Until then, chatting works just fine right here.

I went on one 'field trip' last year, to Charlottesvile, VA. To see one person that I was interdsted in seeing. I saw him. I liked what I saw and I liked what he had to say, and how he said it. But frankly, I can't imnagine why he'd give one big damn about that unless I had a finished piece of marketable fiction to hand him. And I don't, although I'm working like a mad dog to correct that.

You guys are my writing community. Hope you don't mind.