QueryTracker Community
October 22, 2018, 10:15:59 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Note: This forum uses different usernames and passwords than those of the main QueryTracker site. 
Please register if you want to post messages.

This forum is also accessible by the public (including search engines).
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Query for WE SHALL NOT BE REMOVED  (Read 10161 times)
munley
Guest
« on: October 02, 2011, 03:17:04 AM »

Dear Agent:

WE SHALL NOT BE REMOVED is a classic revenge story. It’s about a brutalized fiction manuscript that literally comes to life on the desk of Agent X after she locks up her office for the night.

No matter how skilled the writing in any manuscript, Agent X automatically declares war on adverbs (which she refers to as “l-y-words”), adjectives, passive voice, “ing-words”, and too many (more than five per page) instances of “is” and “are” and “was” and “were”, having no clue that these are often required as legitimate auxiliaries to a main verb correctly used, as in “He was slashing his brother’s throat when the UPS truck pulled up.” So the manuscript aches with tender scars of revisions like “He slashed his brother’s. . .”

One night, fed up and bleeding red ink, the manuscript rises out of its soaked box, staggers over to the telephone, and wakes up Agent X. Alarmed by heavy breathing, Agent X then hears a slow, breathy recital of l-y-words: brazenly, quickly, disgustingly. On and on they go. The next night it’s adjectives, and so on. She tries counting sheep to get back to sleep, but the little lambs she pictures hopping over a split-rail fence are all branded with ing-words: leaping, crying, haunting. By Chapter 10, Agent X is going mad. She suffers a repeating nightmare in which she sits alone at a Manhattan restaurant, surrounded by other literary agents happily pitching their projects to editors. The manuscript on her table bloats before her eyes as deleted words sneak back in.

WE SHALL NOT BE REMOVED is complete at 97,000. Thanks for taking a look at my query.
Sincerely,
Author
Logged
RalucaB
Sr. Member
****

Karma: 43
Offline Offline

Posts: 123



« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2011, 12:11:15 AM »

Um. clap clap

I LOVE this, especially "legitimate auxiliaries to a main verb". Sometimes I feel like agents actually don't know grammar and would rather have us respect their random rules instead.

And if he's not done slashing his brother's throat when the truck pulls up, it's incorrect to write "slashed"!

I hope my manic chuckling didn't wake anyone up embarrassed
Logged
iBel29
Hero Member
*****

Karma: 81
Offline Offline

Posts: 268



WWW
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2011, 10:33:06 AM »

One night, fed up and bleeding red ink, the manuscript rises out of its soaked box, staggers over to the telephone, and wakes up Agent X. Alarmed by heavy breathing, Agent X then hears a slow, breathy recital of l-y-words: brazenly, quickly, disgustingly.

okay that just made me crack up lol, i claim it the best query, well funny query that it is lol.  clap clap
Logged

Brachistochrone
Guest
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2014, 04:53:17 PM »

Dear Author:

Please send me your full manuscript by UPS.

Thanks!

Agent X
« Last Edit: February 19, 2014, 04:57:08 PM by Pup-Tent » Logged
Pandean
Hero Member
*****

Karma: 474
Offline Offline

Posts: 8692


Panic in human form


« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2014, 05:25:07 PM »

Please someone needs to actually write this.
Logged

WHITE STAG, an internet phenomenon, has been acquired by St. Martin's Press/Wednesday Books for publication in Winter 2019
SamIAm
Hero Member
*****

Karma: 218
Offline Offline

Posts: 1933



« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2014, 12:09:00 PM »

Haha!  That's awesome!
Logged
bodwen
Hero Member
*****

Karma: 1301
Offline Offline

Posts: 3025



« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2014, 01:21:49 PM »

 Rofl3
Logged

munley
Guest
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2014, 04:22:45 PM »

bump
Logged
gckatz
Hero Member
*****

Karma: 276
Offline Offline

Posts: 1587



WWW
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2014, 04:51:42 PM »

Quote
No matter how skilled the writing in any manuscript, Agent X automatically declares war on adverbs (which she refers to as “l-y-words”), adjectives, passive voice, “ing-words”, and too many (more than five per page) instances of “is” and “are” and “was” and “were”, having no clue that these are often required as legitimate auxiliaries to a main verb correctly used, as in “He was slashing his brother’s throat when the UPS truck pulled up.” So the manuscript aches with tender scars of revisions like “He slashed his brother’s. . .”

LMAO! I've been dealing with this all day!
Logged

elysezane
Full Member
***

Karma: 12
Offline Offline

Posts: 97



« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2015, 01:29:59 AM »

Brilliant and hilarious, Munley! clap
Logged
munley
Guest
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2015, 05:21:46 AM »

Agent blogs are some of the worst perpetrators of "getting rid of passive voice" while not knowing the difference between passive voice and progressive (continuous) forms of verbs, which require the use of is/are and was/were.

If you're going to insist on getting rid of passive voice whenever you see it (which is foolish advice compared to advice to use it properly), you should at least know what it is.
     It is not any instance of is/are/was/were. And you should know how the meaning is changed by changing a verb from progressive to simple past tense (changing was slashing his brother's throat when the UPS truck arrived ----> slashed his brother's throat when the UPS throat arrived).

The second one (ed) means that, at the moment the truck arrived, he suddenly took a knife to his brother's throat.

The first one uses progressive/continuous tense because the act of slashing his brother's throat was already in progress at the moment the truck arrived.

But some agents/editors, ignorant of both passive voice and tense aspects, think they are brilliantly killing two birds with one stone by getting rid of "was" (misidentified as a red flag for passive voice) and an "ing-word" at the same time by changing "was slashing" to "slashed". Oh, and there's a third bird. They think they've made the writing "more immediate."
Logged
elysezane
Full Member
***

Karma: 12
Offline Offline

Posts: 97



« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2015, 01:59:52 AM »

Oh yes. While I haven't gotten any feedback from agents yet, I've certainly had people get up on their "no -ing words" and "no to be verb" high horses in writing workshops. I actually had one guy go through my entire chapter and highlight every single to be verb.
Logged
Stu
Newbie
*

Karma: 2
Offline Offline

Posts: 6



« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2016, 10:52:27 PM »

Love it!
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.2 | SMF © 2006-2007, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!