Author Topic: Query for WE SHALL NOT BE REMOVED  (Read 12228 times)

munley

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Query for WE SHALL NOT BE REMOVED
« 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

Offline RalucaB

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Re: Query for WE SHALL NOT BE REMOVED
« 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 :emb:

Offline iBel29

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Re: Query for WE SHALL NOT BE REMOVED
« 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:

Brachistochrone

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Re: Query for WE SHALL NOT BE REMOVED
« 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 »

Offline Pandean

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Re: Query for WE SHALL NOT BE REMOVED
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2014, 05:25:07 PM »
Please someone needs to actually write this.
WHITE STAG, an internet phenomenon, has been acquired by St. Martin's Press/Wednesday Books for publication in Winter 2019

Offline SamIAm

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Re: Query for WE SHALL NOT BE REMOVED
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2014, 12:09:00 PM »
Haha!  That's awesome!

Offline bodwen

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Re: Query for WE SHALL NOT BE REMOVED
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2014, 01:21:49 PM »
 :rof3:

munley

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Re: Query for WE SHALL NOT BE REMOVED
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2014, 04:22:45 PM »
bump

Offline gckatz

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Re: Query for WE SHALL NOT BE REMOVED
« 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!

Offline elysezane

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Re: Query for WE SHALL NOT BE REMOVED
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2015, 01:29:59 AM »
Brilliant and hilarious, Munley! :clap:

munley

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Re: Query for WE SHALL NOT BE REMOVED
« 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."

Offline elysezane

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Re: Query for WE SHALL NOT BE REMOVED
« 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.

Offline Stu

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Re: Query for WE SHALL NOT BE REMOVED
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2016, 10:52:27 PM »
Love it!

Offline Pineapplejuice

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Re: Query for WE SHALL NOT BE REMOVED
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2019, 11:18:09 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."



HA! That was so good. I loved being a voyeur of the agents office and her nighttime sleepytime being disturbed. I really saw in my mind the agents at the restaurant , too.


I just want to bump the thread up.


Also, with this reply above. I have noticed agents get things wrong. I paid a thirty something ( like me ) trainee agent ( not like me ) to look at my first ten pages. This was a year ago.

She said I had too many 'ing' words ( was true ) but she also she didn't realise I was writing in present tense and told me 'You're using 'ing' words which should be 'ed' words. It's such a mess I don't know what's going on half the time.'

was trying to fix the tense ( There were NO tense mistakes, it wasn't that. ) she just didn't know what present tense was she said, "Oh , I didn't realize that because I don't present tense. "

Um...

Waste of $30

Critique partners have been a lot more helpful and a lot nicer. ( Even though they are free. Funny that. )  This person treated me like an idiot but lacked education and knowledge and the skill of saying thing and a helpful and useful way.

And then weeks later altered her blog list of things she fixes to include present tense. HEHEHE.

Must have googled it.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2019, 11:25:42 AM by Pineapplejuice »