Friday, July 10, 2009

The Voice of my Inner Snark

So, I have a great voice. According to Suzan Harden (sorry, she doesn't have a blog, but she posted a comment here about version 2 of my query), I have a wonderful voice that blazes out of both queries. Who knew I could blaze? I mean, yeah, I've flamed out every now and then - you should have seen my yesterday morning when the mouse dashed across the counter at me at the office. Not pretty, not pretty at all. But blaze?? Whoa!

Some other comments . . .

Bane of Anubis (no blog) - you've got a fairly distinctive voice and writing style.

Laura Martone (no blog) - your snarky voice is evident.

Rick Daley (and here) - the voice makes this stand out above form or format. I think if I read 50 queries in a row, I would remember this one for the voice.

Beth - LOVE the voice - that's very hard to pull off in a query, and you've nailed it.

Now, I'm not doing this post to pat myself on the back for having a great voice that blazes. No, I'm doing this post to rant about the following: great, so I nailed the voice in my query and yet it still needs some tweaking, which is driving me frakkin' crazy. I mean, if I was a 70s TV commercial I'd be screamin Calgon take me away right about now. Geesh.

Yes, I feel a bit better now. Since I'm not a 70s TV commercial (I was barely old enough to watch TV in the 70s - that's my story, and I'm stickin' to it and don't believe a word Tess says about it, even if we are about the same age!), I just keep working on the query hoping to hit the right balance of voice and substance, rather than having too much style versus substance.

Here's my question: how much voice (btw check out Marybeth's post about voice on her blog yesterday) should go into the query?

Why the question? Well, in attempting to explain more about the conflict, some of the voice is lost. So, do agents need a query full of voice or just a paragraph of voice to go along with the gist of the conflict? Do I risk style over substance and maintain the voice totally throughout the query?

My problem - version 2, took out some of the voice to insert more about the conflict. Could I do that in a snarky tone? Hmmm, I think so, it might be a bit of a struggle, me not being so snarky and all that jazz! If I do that in a snarky tone does it take away from the overall manuscript since snark is a peripheral character within the manuscript?

Arrrrgghhhh! I'm going to the store now to find some Calgon. I'll be lounging in a bubble bath tonight with my bucket of margaritas close at hand!



Marybeth Poppins said...

Awe a shout out! You rock Scott! And I LOVE your snarky entertains me. :)

Love your query. Your voice does show through the entire thing. I fear my voice isn't in my query at all...I should probably work on that!

B.J. Anderson said...

I think voice is what sets you apart from the rest of the slush. So the more the merrier!

Robyn Campbell said...

Scott-yesterday(Thursday) I sat with my computer wondering what I was forgetting. This morning Robyn scrolls through her google reader and comes across Scott's blog post.

!!!!!! Aha! I meant to head over and read Scott's query. That's what I couldn't remember. Sorry. But I ran(clicked)straight over and read it.

Better late than never? :)

Angie Ledbetter said...

Great comments, so maybe it's just a matter of paring down the conflict and plot, then distilling it to make the perfect libation?

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Voice in the query is tricky, especially when your novel is in first person and the query is supposed to be written in third. Definitely tricky.

I haven't read your query voice, but I love your blogging voice. ;)

Good luck with the query!

Tess said...

So when are you gonna send this blazing query out????

Scott said...

Marybeth - I try and shout out to the brilliance in the blogsphere every now and then. Thanks for your comments.

BJ - thanks. I'm almost tempted to send out the original query, blazing voice and all, and hope an agent wants to see more based on the voice alone. Almost!

Robyn - how could you forget about me? I'm devastated. Okay, not really, but surely I've made some impression on my followers. : )

Angie - I agree. More plot, more conflict, keep the voice. Easier said then done, but I shall persevere.

Stina - thanks for dropping by. I think my blogging and query voice are fairly close in nature . . . perhaps too close. : O

Tess - in a few weeks once I eliminate about 30,000 words. : )


ElanaJ said...

Scott, the tone (or voice) of the query should match the tone (or voice) of the novel. The end.

So if your novel is full of snark (and I've read some of it and I'd say that it's not FULL of snark. I mean it's there, don't get me wrong, but there's lines and stuff that aren't snark-fests, yanno?), then the query should be full of snark. If your novel has some snark and the character has a distinct voice, that's what you use in the query. When I read yours, I thought they matched up quite well. I didn't see the post on Rick's blog, though, so I'm not sure how much has changed.

BTW, I have a YA book that I think is quite snarky and snappy. My query is too. If you want to see it, email me. I think it's got snark, but sets up the conflict and such in a purposeful way. Not that I'm like, the best or anything... but if you wanna see it, you can.

Scott said...

Elana - the query I posted was pretty much the query you saw with only a few changes. The 2nd query was changed a bit more and Rick thought it gave it a different edge. Ah the joys of querydom!