No laptop yet, so again, this will be another short iPhone post :)
Well, my curiosity got the best of me and I actually used my phone to scroll through the results for the Public Slushpile Contest.
Surprisingly, 11 out of 58 commenters said YES to my very rough query.
What's interesting (to me) is that most of the NO votes basically said, "Don't write in 1st person".
I anticipated this (and was expecting a high ratio of NO votes), but it also makes me wonder... how many of those NO votes were simply because it was in 1st person?
The standard format of queries is 3rd person, so how many people mistake 'standard format' with 'iron-clad-don't-ever-do-this-rule'?
The other most common comment was people thought they were reading my first page (as in, I was an idiot and submitted the wrong text) because I didn't put a 'Dear Agent...' line at the beginning. That missing line combined with a 1st person query... duh, of course that would make it seem like the first page, so yes I was an idiot to not foresee that happening.
It makes me wonder if I had included the 'Dear Agent...' line, if the YES/NO ratio would be any different.
BUT, all-in-all, I'm surprised my non-standard query garnered slightly better than a 1/6 YES rate.
Pushing the boundaries of what is possible is one of my defining characteristics as a person. I wouldn't be writing/attempting to get published if that were not the case. Actually, I can safely say the majority of my life choices are because I want to push my own boundaries. Sure, this makes things harder on myself, but when you succeed... there's no better feeling.
While the ratio of YES/NO votes may discourage someone else and send them back to the drawing board to re-write their query in 3rd person, I'm actually encouraged by the results.* I was going to consider it a win if I had 1/10 YES vote.
I was also incredibly pleased to see some genuinely helpful comments which I will certainly make use of when I do get around to re-writing this rough query into something presentable.
Query writing is incredibly difficult, but I must admit, I actually kinda find it fun :)
Oh, and here are a few fabulous posts I was able to read (but didn't comment on)!
A look at the Thelma & Louise movie for showing character through action (it's long, but worth it)
If you aren't already following Guilie's helpful posts from her SFWC experience, here's another great post which sort of brilliantly compliments this next link, which is:
...a lesson on perfect lines from Calvin and Hobbes, a comic from which I've divined much inspiration ;)
*Incidentally, with only 25 entires, 12 entries had the same number of YES votes as mine or less. 9 of those had single digit YES votes, 2 of which had 0 YES votes.
...and yes, that took me over an hour of scrolling on my phone to count. Hey, I'm obsessive! I admit it!