Another technical technicality question

Submission protocol, query etiquette, and strategies that work
Post Reply
User avatar
Watcher55
Posts: 741
Joined: November 27th, 2010, 8:25 am
Location: Plantser-ville
Contact:

Another technical technicality question

Post by Watcher55 » August 6th, 2011, 4:49 pm

When an agent's guideline calls for "the first three chapters or first fifty pages", does that imply "which ever is fewer" or "which ever is more"?

My first three chapters take up only 17 pages. My first fifty pages consist of the Prologue and eight chapters.

User avatar
Quill
Posts: 1059
Joined: March 17th, 2010, 9:20 pm
Location: Arizona
Contact:

Re: Another technical technicality question

Post by Quill » August 6th, 2011, 6:18 pm

I'd send the fifty. The agent can always decline to read further than the first three chapters. Seventeen pages might be cheating yourself. The eight chapters might anger the agent, but I think it's worth the risk.

Reminds me of a poetry venue in my town where an open mic occurred weekly and the MC of the event had a rule, three poems or five minutes (per poet, per round), which ever came first. I thought that was arbitrary and unfair to those who write or present shorter works. I decided to recite three of Ogden Nash's shortest poems (Celery: Celery raw develops the jaw. Celery stewed is more quietly chewed) and get off stage in under a minute, to call attention to the dumbness of it, but then decided it wasn't worth the flack.

Collectonian
Posts: 159
Joined: February 17th, 2011, 4:42 pm

Re: Another technical technicality question

Post by Collectonian » August 6th, 2011, 7:26 pm

Basically the agent is asking for partials with the query. Since your chapters are short, send the first 50 or so, making sure you don't stop mid-chapter. So if page 50 is one page into chapter 8, just send the first 7, but its most of the way through 8, send all 8.

User avatar
Watcher55
Posts: 741
Joined: November 27th, 2010, 8:25 am
Location: Plantser-ville
Contact:

Re: Another technical technicality question

Post by Watcher55 » August 6th, 2011, 7:41 pm

Thanks y'all, that's kinda what I guessed - but guessing always get me in trouble. I'll just go with 51 pages which covers the last four lines of chapter 8, and like Quill pointed out, the agent can stop reading whenever he wants. Thanks again.

User avatar
Watcher55
Posts: 741
Joined: November 27th, 2010, 8:25 am
Location: Plantser-ville
Contact:

Re: Another technical technicality question

Post by Watcher55 » August 9th, 2011, 10:25 pm

What do you call high school boys in a query? YA males? YA men? YA boys...?

User avatar
Ishta
Posts: 167
Joined: February 22nd, 2010, 3:31 am
Contact:

Re: Another technical technicality question

Post by Ishta » August 15th, 2011, 4:27 am

Watcher55 wrote:What do you call high school boys in a query? YA males? YA men? YA boys...?
You call them the same thing you call them when you're talking to somebody: teenaged boys, high-schoolers, whatever fits.

Queries don't have any special language, apart from the housekeeping section, where you define your genre and your book and talk about the length of your manuscript and things like that. But the meat of the query, the part where you entice the agent to read more, is just normal language. Make it read like the jacket copy, make it match the voice of your novel, and you should be fine. Post it in the forums here for feedback.

User avatar
Ishta
Posts: 167
Joined: February 22nd, 2010, 3:31 am
Contact:

Re: Another technical technicality question

Post by Ishta » August 15th, 2011, 4:28 am

Just saw your new location, Watcher: "Plantser-ville"! LOL! I love it!

User avatar
Watcher55
Posts: 741
Joined: November 27th, 2010, 8:25 am
Location: Plantser-ville
Contact:

Re: Another technical technicality question

Post by Watcher55 » August 15th, 2011, 12:08 pm

Ishta wrote:Just saw your new location, Watcher: "Plantser-ville"! LOL! I love it!
Thanks, I wish I could remember where I picked it up... ;)

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests