Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the ... HORRIFIC.

I created this blog with the intention of sharing with you my writing journey. And by writing journey, I mean ALL of the journey - the good, the bad ... the horrific.

Ah yes. Horrific.

What constitutes horrific in one's writing journey? Well, I'm sure we all have varying ideas on this, but let's just talk about mine for now.  Since, you know, its my blog and all that.

What would fall into the horrific category then? Let's see ...

Creating a query letter? Possibly. But, though its tough and miserable, and ALL of us hate doing it, I wouldn't quite classify query letters in the horrific category. Bad, yes. But not horrific per se.

Ok, what else ... oh, I know! The synopsis. Oh yes, that dreaded synopsis has caused a few of my hairs to turn the shiniest prettiest gray color you've ever seen. Now, these are unlike the parenting gray hairs I've been gifted with over the years. The synopsis gray hairs reflect the sunlight, and have been known to blind and momentarily stun unsuspecting drivers, causing accidents and ten-car pile-ups.

Ok, you got me - that's a bit of an exaggeration. But truthfully, the synopsis sucks. I'm sure we can all agree on that. But, again, not necessarily horrific. We'll keep synopsis writing in the "bad" column with Mr. Query over there.

So, though I could beat around the bush a little longer, and frankly, I'd LIKE TO, I will not keep you from my painful admission any longer.

I did something today that fell right into the horrific category. It plummeted right past BAD and into HORRIFIC with a deafening THUD and some weird sticky stuff.

Get ready to feast your eyes on the awesomeness that is ME.  This is after having my coffee, so I have NO excuse. I wish I could say I was drunk, but again, no such luck.  Just not paying attention I guess.


Dear {agent who will remain nameless}:

Torn between loving two boys, seventeen-year-old Ever Van Ruysdael has no idea that more than just her heart is on the line. Until she discovers a countdown for her soul.

Ever’s love life has been in purgatory since the car accident that took the life of her best friend – and secret crush – Frankie, but spared hers. For the past two years, she’s had to wake up every day to Frankie’s ghost, making it impossible to mourn him or move forward with her life. But that all changes when Toby moves in next door. His honest interest in Ever makes her feel like the only girl in the world, and his relaxed confidence is hard to resist.  Faced with choosing between an exciting new relationship with Toby, or the deep, comfortable love she feels for Frankie, Ever must make a decision. 

When an ex-girlfriend enters the picture, hell-bent on getting Toby back, Ever learns that losing her heart is the least of her worries. She’s not only put her very own soul in danger, but Frankie’s soul as well. 

EVER is a YA romancestringer lit
 with a ghostly twist, complete at 90,000 words.  I wear many hats, but I’m usually rocking a ponytail and a pompadour. I’ve won a few flash fiction contests, but my greatest award was for Outstanding Citizenship in the third grade. I’ve been trying to live up to that one ever since. My qualifications for writing EVER stem from being a teenager in love at one point in my life.  It was a long time ago, yes, but my heart still thinks it lives in the body of a sixteen year-old girl, and I try not to argue.   

The first ten double-spaced pages have been pasted below. Thank you for your time and consideration. 

Jessa Russo

As you can probably imagine, horrified doesn't even begin to cover it. I am SO CAREFUL. I have done SO MUCH research its borderline OCD. I have color-coded Excel spreadsheets and detailed information for every agent that I query. 

Yet SOMEHOW I missed this horrific typo/mistake/blunder. 

And to answer your question, NO. The agent I queried with this MONSTROUS typo does not work at typo'd lit agency. Of course not. THAT WOULD BE TOO EASY. 

I'm sharing this because I am so incredibly embarrassed and I want to remind all of you to seriously seriously seriously DOUBLE CHECK EVERYTHING. I thought I was so prepared, and I still made this embarrassing mistake.  

So, learn from me, young grasshoppers!  LEARN FROM ME!  

That concludes my PSA for the day. 


  1. This could just be me, but I don't think it's that bad. Really. I've heard of worse, and your query flows so nicely w/o typos that I think by the time someone made it that far, they'd believe it was just a typo. An obvious typo. Which if I were an agent (I'm not) would be forgiven if I was interested in the query (I am). Hang in there and forgive yourself! =)

  2. I don't think it's as bad as you think. I wouldn't worry too much. We all obviously copy and paste our queries from their original file into every email we send out, and then tweak and polish them, adding all the different attachments/pasted in bits like synopses, pages, etc. I've done just as horrible things, myself. I sent a query last week in which I forgot to put the "Dear _____" in. The body of the email just started with the first line of the query. Ugh. It was a rejection in under 4 hours. Surprise, surprise. If you haven't heard anything bad yet, I'd take it as a good sign. :)