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Wednesday Inked WIP

I plan to keep it simple today. I was sooo excited about the ask an agent that I decided to post some of the comments, questions and answers I found informative and helpful. If you are in the wonderful world of a WIP, please keep these thoughts in mind as you write or while you are putting your ideas together.

And yes, I have one of my own fateful mistakes in here, so please don't laugh when you read it. My questions/thoughts are in bolded. Eric Ruben's answers are in BLUE. These were taken straight from Twitter #askagent #tenqueries

What about historical fantasy? Is that too much genre? Actually, time traveling
No. But again, it's got to be good.

What do you consider good? Plot? Characters? Voice? Uniqueness and originality? Thank you for answering my questions.

To which the answer was simply: Yes.

What makes a manuscript unique?  
By definition, I've never seen anything like it before. 

What makes a manuscript stand out to you?  
When the writing is so good it's transparent and lets me get sucked into a great story. That's all.

And yes, my friends. I did the most embarrassing thing. I spelled his name wrong. I've written his name how many times? and in my excitement, I SPELLED HIS NAME WRONG. SHEESH, WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME??? WANT PROOF? Here is is:

Eric Rueben is answering your ques. and discussing queries. I'm so excited I'm trembling. Awesome advice! 

To which, he MT to: MT : is answering your ques. & discussing queries. I'm so excited I'm trembling. Awesome advice!  

I was mortified. Yes. Utterly mortified. Do I read my own advice in my blog posts? How could I do something so stupid? I promptly apologized:

I'm so sorry I spelled your name wrong earlier It was a typo. I *know* how to spell your name. Must have been nerves/excitement 

His gracious reply: It happens a lot. No worries. 

*Palm on face. Head on desk*

And for a tad bit of humor: Is there something you would really *love* to see in your inbox? 

His answer: A yes from an editor. And a great story well told. No pics that will get me in trouble

Now, for the serious stuff. The query letters. Here is what he had to say about 10 queries in his slush pile. Read this, and take notes. Please! It's great advice for every WIP

#1 A historical romance at 147k, which was 50% too long, needed much editing, had a prologue and it was overwritten.
 #2 A YA that wasn't bad, but in a crowded genre, it wasn't his type.
#3 A fantasy with an interesting idea, but too much exposition.
#4 A paranormal thriller that's been done too many times already, in a much better way.
#5 A romantic comedy with a heroine that was unlikable.
#6 A thriller that was so unbelievable it couldn't even pass for fiction.
#7 A paranormal about vampires in a too crowded genre.
#8 A YA paranormal mystery with writing that didn't grab attention.
#9 Fantasy starting with dialogue that did not move the story forward, even though it wasn't bad.
#10 A paranormal romance with lots of drama but no plot to carry the drama and no originality. 

What about you? Any thing you've learned to help a WIP? Especially an Inked WIP



  1. At least he was cool about the misspelling.
    And safe to say I will never be rejected for too much exposition.

    1. Yes, he was, thank goodness. And I think you've got the no exposition down pretty good:)

  2. Oh, those nerves :) My latest was calling a Ms. - Mr. Unfortunately, they weren't so forgiving. Thanks for putting this all up.

    1. Oh:( Some are not quite as nice. sorry about that!

  3. Talynn, I could just feel your embarrassment. You know what I did? I won't say who, but I got a newsletter in my email and I went to forward it to a friend, adding a little note at the top. I hit "reply," and sent it back to him. It had an embarrassing little comment, something like, "Are you getting this newsletter? He's my bestie, you know." Of course I was just joking...but it went to HIM (and he's one of the "heavy-hitters" I follow). He sent it back saying, "Did you mean to hit 'forward' on this, bestie?" I was mortified.

    Hey...the sign up for the Progressive Book Club has begun. Get your butt over to my blog and put your name in the mix! It'll be great!

    1. The woes of technical embarrassments. Aren't they fun to make fun of??
      I'm all signed up and ready to go:)

  4. Mistake aside, the information was great and the feedback on the queries interesting to note. Thanks for sharing Talynn. Again, I keep saying this, but you've done so much work! You must be learning a ton right along with the rest of us.

    1. I think I'll be the one who learns the most! It's been one of the best growing experiences of my writing life. I'm so glad you are enjoying it! You are too sweet!

  5. i always tune in every week on twitter for his #askagent and #tenqueries, very helpful.

    1. Yes, they are so helpful. I just learned about them. Of course, I'm new to Twitter, but still. I've sat in on 2 #tenqueries, and learned A LOT both times.

  6. I'm so sorry I missed this! I very much liked hearing about his slush pile, and WHY they were slush. :)
    And I will have to say I too have a name that has misspelled my ENTIRE life, and it is something you get *used* to. I think it's worse when it gets mispronounced.

    1. I'll Tweet the next one he does, which he said would be about a week.

      Pronouncing names are hard. Mine usually gets Tal-lynn (with a short a sound.)

      It's Ta -lynn (with a long a sound)

      No biggie.

    2. Thanks so much for sharing this, I missed it entirely!

      Sara Megibow, who used to do #10queries, is now doing first five pages tweets. Also excellent advice.

      Twitter is such a difficult medium, esp. with the perceived time pressures. I'm sure a small typo isn't going to ruffle most people's feathers.

    3. Hi Ellie. I'm glad I posted the recap, then, so you could read his replies. They are such a tremendous help:)

  7. Great post, so interesting thank you.

    1. Hey Vikki! Thanks for stopping by! Hope things are going well...

  8. Hey Talynn,

    Sweet post! I honestly think it's cute that you made a mistake w/ his name!!! Because you were mortified and apologetic about it, and it was obviously a mistake. Great 10queries recap. I'm terrible at twitter, and so I missed this!! Thanks!

    1. I'm so new to Twitter, I'm not really for sure what it is, much less how to use it! hehe

  9. There's an agent who has requested two of my manuscripts and called me Martha both times. It may be an auto correct thing, or just a mistake, but you know what? She could call me Mephistopheles and I wouldn't care, as long as she's requesting my ms! Agents are just people, and people make mistakes (and yours was pretty minor in the grand scheme of things!). :)

    1. Best wishes on your requests! And I agree. IF an agent asked me for my manuscripts, I wouldn't care what they called me, either. Unless of course it was something mean like, jerk. ha!

      Let me know what happens with your requests!

  10. Thank you for sharing these tips. And even though you felt mortified about the spelling mistake, it really wasn't a bad one :-) People often spell my name with an extra e at the end (Rachael) and I just have to get over it :-)

    1. Yea, it was just embarrassing. Thank goodness he was kind about it all:)

      Congrats on your wedding! Can't wait to see the pics! and your honeymoon sounded so romantic (well, the links you put up were gorgeous...)


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