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AQC Members' Feedback about the Query Critique Forum


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#41 JordanTheNinja

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 06:51 PM

Hello. I've been on here awhile and have recieved extremely great feedback from a lot of people on here. This is one of my favorite site ever. As my username says, I'm a teenager and am proud to be on a site with fellow writers. I guess the reason I like it so much is that we're all pursuing the same goal: getting published. Of course, that can vary between writers and branch off into different things, but you get what I'm saying. Haha.

I can say that if and when I do get published it will be greatly because this site and the poeple have helped me get to where I need to be. Yes, I'm young, but I know quite a bit. (Don't take that as if I'm being cocky - xD)

Let's all take this writing journey, guys!


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#42 Cat Woods

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 01:10 PM

I'm not a newbie to AQ or the writing biz by any means, yet I find myself continuously inspired by the great ideas, the poetic words and the heart-wrenching perseverence that everyone brings to their queries and their query critiques.

Additionally, I'm always impressed when I see writers come to AQConnect who conduct themselves with professionalism from the start. Likewise, I love watching writers grow in their own understanding simply from offering up an honest and heart-felt response to their fellow scribes.

Yay!

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#43 Robin Breyer

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 02:21 PM

I think what I've gained most from AQC is confidence in myself as a writer. Queries are hard to write. Right off I could easily see what some of the problems were with other queries, but finding those in my own was harder. I was too close to the story. I appreciated every hard critique I got because it pushed me in the right direction to learn how to write a query. Oddly some of the best points were from members newer than myself. So if you are new, don't be afraid to critique a query from anyone. You never know when the right comment could come from the most experience or least experienced of us.

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#44 Ian Isaro

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 03:10 AM

I would like to get some criticism on blurbs for ebooks, since they are like cousins to queries and require the same kind of thinking. Would those be appropriate here?

If yes, should it be one blurb per thread? It feels strange to have a thread for something that's required to be under 400 characters, especially since I have three different blurbs I'd like critiqued. For my novel I do plan to take advantage of the extended space, so that is more like a full query, but I don't want to spam threads for short story blurbs.

#45 AQCrew

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 12:33 AM

I would like to get some criticism on blurbs for ebooks, since they are like cousins to queries and require the same kind of thinking. Would those be appropriate here in the Query Critique forum?


We suggest that you post one or two of them for feedback in the Digital Pubbing group, and then a "Wanted Ads" post for the rest. Down the road, we may set-up a separate public critique group for this kind of thing, but likely not until next year.

#46 ranjit

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 10:41 AM

It's been a long time since I posted a query for critique (over two years to be exact), and I'll share my perceptions with you from then.

-I got a lot of conflicting feedback. Some loved my query. Some hated it. I viewed this as a good thing. It made me realize my readers felt strongly about my writing. If every comment was "meh" I wouldn't have gotten anywhere. But, conflicting advice is hard to balance. Writers need to be diligent about understanding their voice, their story and their motives behind choosing each word they write. This can be intimidating, and if writers are very new to the arena, a bit scary and hurtful. We try to accomodate every piece of feedback to make others happy, often to the detriment of our query.

-Some feedback was harsh. Seriously, one critter flat out said he hated it and wouldn't keep reading past the first few words. He told me why. This kind of honest feedback is welcomed--well, not the hate part. Another said I was being "cutesy and unprofessional". This commentary was an attack on me as a writer and is never constructive. So, even an honest critique that stings isn't all bad. It really makes you evaluate your goals for how you laid out your query and how effective you were in succeeding. But all feedback must be given respectfully. There's a huge difference in how that feels and the impact it can make on a writer. Particularly a new writer with little experience in receiving a critique.

Over the years, I've seen many critiques that virtually say the same thing. One will be encouraging while the other will be defeating. It's all in the way we say it. I try to build up the writers I crit, while providing honest, helpful feedback and the reason behind it. That, to me, is the key to a solid critique. We can't learn from someone saying, "I hate that," or "Do it this way." We can learn from someone saying, "This doesn't work for me because..."

At times, I also try to provide an example to better illustrate my point. My hope is that writers will get a better grasp on what I mean and then use this new perspective as a jumping off point for further creativity on their behalf.

But that's just me...and apparently the novel I just wrote. Sorry for the long post. No wonder my childhood nickname was Mouth.


This!

The critiquing person has every to right to give advise/suggestions/opinion, especially if she is an established author. BUT that shouldn't mean you get a free pass to be rude. (and I'm not talking about those who critiqued my query. I've seen one - or more - really hurtful comments in others' threads.)

#47 Jenny

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 11:48 AM

I personally like to be the kind type of "feedbacker", and I think this is the best approach. You can tell the truth and still be kind, mention the good aspects of the query as well as the bad.
Being too harsh is, in my opinion, pure bitterness. Having said that, feedback in this site is really great, I love it. Just my kind of feedback, even though I get some scrooges every now and then :happy:

I feel like I've gotten some scrooge comments...although I am sure they didn't intend that. I think the #1 thing to remember is, that no matter how sound or correct something is, each person will still end up looking at it through their own eyes...from their own perspective. We can all be gazing at the exact same house but all see something different. Why is that?? I'll use this metaphor...no one can stand on the exact same spot, at the exact same time while viewing the house, therefore no one will see the house like I do, or you do. I have written for years...yet never sought to publish what I have written. Subsequently, I have read a lot about query letters all over the internet...and almost every one I looked at were being shown because they were successful and each of these were different then the next or the one before it. My husband is a successful writer and something he said rang true to me...is that even tho there may be more popular query formats, there has still has not been a worldwide gathering of all authors and agents that have approved one specific format.

Also, if the standard is harshness or having to be thick-skinned with one another...then I believe that is wrong (bitterness). I can expect it from agents perhaps when I get those rejection letters, but we should extend the benefit of the doubt with one another, especially if someone has a bent that we are unfamiliar with...instead of jumping on the person because what they present is unfamiliar or strange. In this instance it is better to ask questions and clarify 1st so we know that the comments are on target, rather then assuming the person is doing something totally wrong. When I enter a book store, I see "bazillions" of books...and each are different and some are really different...so, it is still ok to be unique and to come out with something that some people have not seen or thought of before.

Thanks...sorry for being long-winded! :blush:

#48 thom71gt

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 01:25 PM

I've responded to a couple of query's but since I am struggling so much with my query, I don't feel that my opinion is very good.

Also, its been a week since I've posted my latest query and I haven't had any response to it. Also, I've not got any critique on my synopsis. Just wish I had a little more action so I can start to submit to agents.

#49 Dreamweaver

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 10:44 AM

I voted for School of Hard Knox because ultimately I think that is what is going to be most helpful. I certainly try to be positive in all regards and offer some compliments about a query as well as some (what I hope is) constructive criticism. On a separate but connected issue, I find myself avoiding a lot of queries because I don't read enough YA fiction (okay, I don't read any) or Science Fiction and Fantasy to feel that I understand enough about those specific genres and if, within the standard query guidelines, there are certain elements agents and editors look for.


I want you to ciritique my first query when I post it on this website. I am not looking for a soft, gentle, kind review. I need to have somebody who doesn't know my novel or me, read the query and be totally honest. The most important issues for me are clarity and and whether or not the hook works. Does anything make you stop reading the query? What feels out of place? Feedback like this is priceless.

Being an expert in other fields and becoming a novice in another, is humbling. I have no desire to send off my first query to agents that looks unprofessional. I want my query to look polished and get the right kind of responses. With the help of this website, I hope this will happen.

#50 vondrac

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 09:43 AM

Personally I like some blunt critiques, it's a lot better to get a "yeah I don't think so" before you actually submit it to the people who make the final call.

#51 INCspot

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 09:39 AM

I haven't gotten much in the way of critique yet, but what I've gotten has been good (aside from one comment that I can't tell if it's supposed to be serious or not.)
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#52 JB Delatta

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 08:54 PM

I think it's possible to be honest and helpful without being just plain mean. If some people like your work and some don't, you're on the right track. That's just a microcosm of the literary world--and the world in general. Not every reader is going to love every book/query/MS/etc. that gets (bravely) put out there for all to see. If everyone's telling you how bad it is, it's probably not simply the fact that nobody "gets" your writing, you need to take heed and realize that maybe your writing needs improvement. This can be a tough business with lots of negativity and rejection, so you may as well get used to that. If you're putting something out there simply hoping that people will rave about it and stroke your ego, you probably shouldn't be writing in the first place. But if you're looking for honest, sincere crits that will help you see the errors you can't see because you're too close to your work, or are simply trying to get ideas on how you can improve your craft, this is definitely the place to be. I haven't been here long, but I have seen nothing but helpful, insightful feedback from everyone and that's great. We all suffer the same fate; we love to write, and let's face it, writing is by definition a lonely trade. So it's nice to commiserate with our fellow sufferers and see that they are often going through the same hell as we are. Personally, I'd much rather someone be honest and tell me what they didn't like about my work and why, rather than have them give me an obligatory "Good job!" simply to avoid hurting my feelings.

#53 AQCrew

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 06:36 PM

Personally, I'd much rather someone be honest and tell me what they didn't like about my work and why, rather than have them give me an obligatory "Good job!" simply to avoid hurting my feelings.


Word up.

#54 Sa'di

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 05:07 AM

I am looking for feedback that is frank and short.

#55 Jeremiah Ex

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 10:16 PM

I am a newbie, and simply love this website. Posted my so called query and got hammered :laugh: but truly, I am thankful for this amazing place that gives much needed knowledge! :biggrin: DARE TO BELIEVE! For you are born with greatness!

#56 Leigh Teale

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 10:50 AM

I try to be helpful, no matter how much work the query takes, but it can be exhausting trying to strike that right balance of "No, no, bad writer" with "It'll all be okay." We all started out from square one and someone had to help us along, so I guess it's my way of paying it forward. Plus, giving others advice also helps me to see where my own could use some work.

There have been a few times, though, when I've put threads on ignore. Especially when I've tried to help someone and they obviously don't want assistance. The wanna-be-mom in me is all, "LET ME HELP YOU!" but I know it'll just lead to me being overly snarky and saying something (generally) out of character. I try really hard not to be a bitch, but sometimes the only way to keep her locked safely inside is to just walk away.

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#57 Kryista

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 03:59 PM

I always try to be helpful. I try to put myself in their shoes and think about how I would want something delivered to me. Granted I can take criticism and use it to my advantage. I do know that not everyone can do that. I try to gauge the tone of the person, see how they are and then try to be as gentle as possible. I do know that I got a lot of very good constructive criticism on my query and it helped me. But I did post my synopsis the other day, it had to be a really short one, but didn't get any response. Hoping that my final rewrite was good enough since that is what I sent. Has anyone else ran into this problem? Or was it so bad that no one could comment?

If anyone has a moment to spare, I, too, am in need of a critique. Thanks for the help!

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#58 Leigh Teale

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 05:05 PM

Kryista, I think it's all about balance. It seems like few people comment on the things that either need too much or too little work. The problem is that it's left to the author to figure out which is which! Also, there's been an influx of new people recently and it gets a little overwhelming to try to keep up.

In retrospect, that last line looks a little puffed-up since I've only been a member a month longer than you. It feels like I've been a member longer, though, since I've been lurking for so long!

Edited by LeighTeale, 03 October 2012 - 05:28 PM.

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#59 Kryista

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 09:38 PM

Thank you, LeighTeale. I appreciate your insight. I hope you are right and it is just because everyone is so busy. Plus my synopsis had to be really short so that could have also thrown people off.

Don't worry about sounding "puffed up". I feel the same way sometimes. I think, "I have been a member less than a week, what do I know?" I just try to help the best way I can without offending anyone.

If anyone has a moment to spare, I, too, am in need of a critique. Thanks for the help!

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#60 swirlyhead

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 08:57 AM

Here's the thing that stops me from critiquing some queries: the writing is so bad that I feel pretty safe in assuming that the book is bad, too. So what point is there in a lot of people spending a lot of time helping to polish some gem of a query for a book that's not even close to acceptable? It's a Trojan Horse, arriving on an agent's desk, looking all spiffy, deceiving them into thinking the book that's behind it is equally fine. Taking up their valuable time, which they could be using to look at MY (polished, well-written) manuscript. Kidding here, but then again not.

What about having people select a short (500 word?) example from their book, and inserting it prior to the query, so that others can "hear" the voice, and get a feel for the writing quality before spending lots of time on the query? Then people who should take a few good writing courses can be gently encouraged to do that, before spending time, energy and heartache on query-writing.




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