Author Topic: Stupid things we've done  (Read 40970 times)

munley

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Re: Stupid things we've done
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2015, 10:06:29 AM »
Okay, I posted this embarrassing story on some other ancient thread, but I'll re-post it here.

Eons ago, when Mr. Whitworth was the editor of the Atlantic Monthly, I sent him a short story.

This was in the days of typing manuscripts on paper being the only option.  No easy cut-and-paste option or backspace key to delete a typo seen on a screen. 

By the time I got the cover letter done, I think I was so tired of the white-out-and-rubber-eraser method of fixing errors that I just was not going to see any more typos.

Now, of course, you're all aware that the S key is just below the W key.

My first error (the kiss-of-death one, for sure), was  "Dear Mr. *hitworth:"

Needless to say, he didn't even honor my submission with any sort of reply.
Yes, I did include a S.A.S.E.

Offline Falthor

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Re: Stupid things we've done
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2015, 09:04:03 AM »
“The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't.”

-Douglas Adams, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

Offline Dani Donegan (Cradle)

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Re: Stupid things we've done
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2015, 01:39:07 PM »
I once wrote hot 'hawt', and couldn't figure out why my spellcheck was screaming at me.
???

« Last Edit: January 11, 2015, 02:30:46 PM by Cradle »


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Offline Pandean

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Re: Stupid things we've done
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2015, 01:45:10 PM »
I posted a story on here once when I first came on. It was about an island off the coast of Ireland being plagued by faeries. There was a line that I meant to be "we had a plague of insects" but instead I wrote incest. Someone else on the forum caught it.
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Offline gckatz

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Re: Stupid things we've done
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2015, 02:30:20 PM »
Munley wins.

I once started personalizing a query, forgot I was doing so, and sent it with a half-finished sentence. Got a full request.

Offline Dani Donegan (Cradle)

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Re: Stupid things we've done
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2015, 02:31:21 PM »
Munley wins.

I once started personalizing a query, forgot I was doing so, and sent it with a half-finished sentence. Got a full request.

That is so awesome lol!


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Offline AlythiaB

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Re: Stupid things we've done
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2015, 05:53:51 PM »
Oooh!! I definitely have several of these stories! I think the first stupid part of my querying process began in thinking (at 20) 'Oh, I'll just go get an agent!'

Just like that, huh? *cringe*

This thought was followed by query letters that read more like journal entries-- explaining when and why I decided to become a writer. I think some of them even mentioned my grandparents and bits of my childhood, complete with purple prose. *cringe again*

But what kills me the most now is the fact that I was once sitting in a course on How to Get Published with a super star literary agent (before all of the above) and never pitched a story to her because I thought it was all a scam. Seriously. I used to think literary agents were just scam artists. (Mainly, because I'd never heard of one.) My mom had kindly registered the two of us for an event in SF with this lit agent and I had no idea how esteemed she was in the publishing world until after I went home and decided to research those suspicious lit agents. Le sigh.

@Kodi - Bahaha!!! I've done something similar. I swapped the words 'yearn' and 'urn.' I meant to use yearn, as in she yearns for his affections. But I wrote urn, as in the thing for dead people. We should keep a notepad on QT somewhere for these awesome mix ups...
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munley

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Re: Stupid things we've done
« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2015, 05:58:48 PM »
Munley wins.

I once started personalizing a query, forgot I was doing so, and sent it with a half-finished sentence. Got a full request.

Just goes to show you -- there's some tolerance for a goof-up in an interesting query with promise of a good story.

Offline Missus Braidyhead

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Re: Stupid things we've done
« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2015, 10:09:28 PM »
Like any good querier, I first targeted my friends' agents (with their blessings & their kind emails telling their agents to look for my query). For Friend A, I ended the query letter with an additional, "...and I contribute to "Group Blog Fantastic," of with Friend A is also a contributor" or something along those lines.

I then sent the exact same query letter to the other three agents. Who were probably wondering why it was such a big deal that Friend A blogged with me, since they barely knew her.

It's not a terrible mistake, but I was mortified.

The one I'm embarrassed about was that I queried this very geeky agent, and I completely geeked out over a show that she and I both love. I probably sounded like a lovestruck fangirl, swooning over a certain screenwriter for a paragraph.

Terse form reject. Obviously.

Offline SamIAm

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Re: Stupid things we've done
« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2015, 09:12:36 AM »
Munley definitely wins. That's hilarious.

I think I've mentioned it before, but I once queried an agent and mentioned I'd also supplied the "shorty" synopsis they required. I was pretty embarrassed. But she did request a full.

Offline ImwithCoCo

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Re: Stupid things we've done
« Reply #25 on: January 12, 2015, 10:18:50 AM »
Quote

I think I've mentioned it before, but I once queried an agent and mentioned I'd also supplied the "shorty" synopsis they required. I was pretty embarrassed. But she did request a full.

I remember this, and it kills me. So something I would have done.

This isn't too bad but I'll include it anyway: never only go by the Guide to Lit Agents hard copy book, b/c things change a lot. I was a bit lazy once and queried an agent who had since gotten married, so I used her maiden name in the query. Definitely not awful, but I should have taken the time to check the website.
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Offline Sarah Ahiers (Falen)

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Re: Stupid things we've done
« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2015, 10:43:02 AM »
I also once sent the wrong MS after a full request.
Agent had to email me back and point out that i sent a different one than she asked for.
I felt reeeally dumb.

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Offline Falthor

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Re: Stupid things we've done
« Reply #27 on: September 16, 2015, 04:01:10 PM »
I just sent out 3 queries that started with "Dear Maria," before I realized it... hopefully the agents have a sense of humor.
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Offline Pandean

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Re: Stupid things we've done
« Reply #28 on: September 16, 2015, 04:22:19 PM »
When I was 8 or so, I drew a horrible, 7ish page picture book and made my parents mail it to Harper Collins.  :no: I forgot to mention it came back with a HUGE return to sender stamp.

OMG that's great.  :wag:
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Offline Pandean

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Re: Stupid things we've done
« Reply #29 on: September 16, 2015, 04:22:55 PM »
Once I found out an agent had the same name as a character and I tweeted her directly about it...and then was told never to do that again.
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