Monday, November 1, 2010

Dude, where's your punctuation?

I have written 12 novels of fiction and have around six still to be put into manuscript form I have bought the writer and artist year book 2004 throuhg to 2010 and been through every agent and publisher from A to Z and never had a good result from any of them the list must be by now 600 to 700 maybe more.

I have sent comedy, romance, crime, and never had one good answer from any of them.
so i thought maybe my books are rubbish so gave them to friends workmates gave them to women and men and got back a great rapport from every one of them.

I nearly had two novels published in 2003 but just before printing he had to close down, I had two novels critiqued by a company on the US with rave results.

The question is do I give up or keep trying, I once sent a letters asking if they were taking on any new clients and the email came back we dont think your project is suitable for our company, can they see a project from asking them if they are taking on any new clients or is it just that being unknown gives us no chace of every publishing or getting an agent.

I have been through web pages, book companies, and many differant avenues to get some one to read just one of my novels and I dont know how they can tell from 3 pages or a synopsis, I have read many books all the way through and never really got the story yet read the first page of some book and it really grabbed me.

I have published this email almost entirely as it was sent to me, except I took out the name of a publishing company and the person who sent me the email, and I also inserted some paragraph breaks. And I'm making this point because the email gives a clue as to why my correspondent is not having any luck with his query letters and submissions. The letter lacks punctuation - commas, capital letters and full stops - in some critical locations and it was hard for me to follow it, especially when it came through in one block. If the query letters were the same, it would be hard for an agent or publisher to follow them too.

So, dear correspondent, presuming that your manuscripts are not suffering the same punctuation omissions - that you have polished them and redrafted them and checked them for spelling and punctuation errors - why not take the same care with your letters? The query letter is the first thing the agent/publisher sees. If the letter seems sloppy, then we make the same presumption about the manuscript, and we start reading it in that frame of mind - if we get to read it at all.

Also, here's a tip: never, ever say 'novels of fiction' or 'fiction novel' or 'non-fiction novel' (I've seen all three, as I'm sure all agents have). A novel is fiction.


Susan Wells Bennett said...

I enjoyed this post so much that I linked to it from my own blog. Thanks for saying what I've been thinking.

Anonymous said...

That's a little odd. I wrote a sarcastic post on basic grammar recently, at

It may help.

Louise Curtis

Vicki said...

I really feel for this guy. It's not surprising that he hasn't been able to get past first base. What is surprising, however, is that no one (until now) has pointed out his punctuation and grammar shortcomings. I'm not talking about the agents/publishers who rejected him, but specifically the US company he paid to critique his work.

You've probably done him a huge favour with this post. At least he knows why now and can do something about it.

Anonymous said...

This looks pathological.

Baz said...

This writer obviously needs to join a writing group.