Author Topic: A message from Stephen Barbara  (Read 13374 times)

Offline justwrite

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A message from Stephen Barbara
« on: October 01, 2007, 02:50:30 PM »
SB asked me if I could "leak" this out about his agency, Donald Maass and what they are looking for from month to month. So have at it...Apparently it changes from month to month. You heard it here on Querytracker, first!

http://www.maassagency.com/thismonth.html

Offline joanjunkmail

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Re: A message from Stephen Barbara
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2007, 02:53:05 PM »
interesting take on plot - it oddly coincides with the youtube patrick posted earlier today....
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Offline Patrick

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Re: A message from Stephen Barbara
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2007, 03:20:32 PM »
Holy Cow!  That is one specific list.

Offline audal

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Re: A message from Stephen Barbara
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2007, 03:59:17 PM »
Holy Cow!  That is one specific list.

 :agree:

Luckily, I have had an idea on the shelf that fuses several of their needs.  Tell me what you think - It's a Huck Finn-like ghost story fantasy featuring a Muslim detective rafting down the Mississippi with an idiot savant dog.

I just hope no one else has written such a book.

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Offline Patrick

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Re: A message from Stephen Barbara
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2007, 04:08:57 PM »
Throw in the fact that the main character is black and has a magic ring, and I think you have a hit.

Offline Chelc

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Re: A message from Stephen Barbara
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2007, 04:39:02 PM »
seriously? basically they're "looking for" rewrites of old classics?

Offline audal

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Re: A message from Stephen Barbara
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2007, 04:48:58 PM »
seriously? basically they're "looking for" rewrites of old classics?

It does seem like a fairly uninspired wish list... But hey, they're the ones who know the market.  We're just hoping to join the club.

So... I'm toying with another high-concept project for the agency...

An African-American noir novel that weaves in scientists, raft trips, magic and Muslim dogs and is about today’s underclass, illegal immigrant anti-terrorism ghosts.

Am I getting close?
Quillkeepers' Tavern Management: Slingin' Cocktails & Wisecracks Since Mid-August.

Offline Cole Gibsen

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Re: A message from Stephen Barbara
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2007, 05:22:26 PM »
seriously? basically they're "looking for" rewrites of old classics?

It does seem like a fairly uninspired wish list... But hey, they're the ones who know the market.  We're just hoping to join the club.

So... I'm toying with another high-concept project for the agency...

An African-American noir novel that weaves in scientists, raft trips, magic and Muslim dogs and is about today’s underclass, illegal immigrant anti-terrorism ghosts.

Am I getting close?


 :rof2: Only audal
« Last Edit: October 01, 2007, 05:25:01 PM by Senshi »
May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face,and rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, may no spiders fall on your head.

website: www.colegibsen.com
blog: www.colegibsen.blogspot.com

Offline audal

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Re: A message from Stephen Barbara
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2007, 05:35:40 PM »
seriously? basically they're "looking for" rewrites of old classics?

It does seem like a fairly uninspired wish list... But hey, they're the ones who know the market.  We're just hoping to join the club.

So... I'm toying with another high-concept project for the agency...

An African-American noir novel that weaves in scientists, raft trips, magic and Muslim dogs and is about today’s underclass, illegal immigrant anti-terrorism ghosts.

Am I getting close?


 :rof2: Only audal

Thanks.

I'm tentatively calling it Sherlock Finn and the Call of the Color Purple.

But as always, I'm open to suggestions.
Quillkeepers' Tavern Management: Slingin' Cocktails & Wisecracks Since Mid-August.

Offline Patrick

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Re: A message from Stephen Barbara
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2007, 05:54:09 PM »
As we've talked about before, they don't really want original.  They want stuff with proven sales records, that is just barely different enough to avoid plagiarism.

Offline audal

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Re: A message from Stephen Barbara
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2007, 06:12:10 PM »
This the great shame - the call for manuscripts that are simultaneously original and derivative. 

I guess the trick toward fitting in is to tell the derivative story in a unique & fresh voice?

Seriously, though.  Senshi - you're midwest - Are rafting trips down the Mississippi still all the rage?  Because I feel like I'd get laughed off of the slush-pile if I were to submit a query with such a journey as its center.
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Offline Cole Gibsen

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Re: A message from Stephen Barbara
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2007, 08:53:36 PM »
Well if you changed it from rafting to tubing and made the main characters extremely drunk while they were doing it - that would be more accurate.
May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face,and rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, may no spiders fall on your head.

website: www.colegibsen.com
blog: www.colegibsen.blogspot.com

Offline Miss Java

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Re: A message from Stephen Barbara
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2007, 09:30:21 PM »
This the great shame - the call for manuscripts that are simultaneously original and derivative. 

I guess the trick toward fitting in is to tell the derivative story in a unique & fresh voice?

Seriously, though.  Senshi - you're midwest - Are rafting trips down the Mississippi still all the rage?  Because I feel like I'd get laughed off of the slush-pile if I were to submit a query with such a journey as its center.

I live 2 miles from the Mississippi.  Maybe I should go sit by it and get some inspiration.


Offline joanjunkmail

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Re: A message from Stephen Barbara
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2007, 09:38:01 PM »


I'm tentatively calling it Sherlock Finn and the Call of the Color Purple.

But as always, I'm open to suggestions.

that's another pinot-splatterer, that is.  aud, i'm sending you the computer repair bill!
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Offline joanjunkmail

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Re: A message from Stephen Barbara
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2007, 09:44:18 PM »
but, hold on - reworking classics isn't a bad thing.  ask william shakespeare, for instance - he did it all the time. i actually like the idea of taking a classic and making it relevant today - much as I dislike foreign language theatre without subtitles (basically, elizabethan drama), i actually GOT romeo and juliet when clare danes/leonardo dicaprio did it, and let's not forget west side story.  it's just that these folks seem to be taking classics that had something to say and reworking them into shallow page-turners with that all-important 'new and improved' twist. 

the question is:  will they take it if it's also a well-written piece of actual literature?  if the answer's no, then i think we can snipe away without remorse.

just a thought.
be nice to me or zombies will eat you in my novel
Proud Member of NGHS (even though I'm a pirate)