Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Fricassee

So I've had a new experience this time around.

I launched the Secret Agent contest yesterday, and then I had to be away from my desk for several hours. When I returned to my overworked, underpaid gmail account, it was...overwhelming. In weeding through the scores of comments (no, I haven't read them all), I discovered several messages from authors letting me know about formatting errors. Of course I fixed them all, but it was much later than normal, because, well, I wasn't here.

Hate that.

Anyway, I especially want to point out Post 43, the first sentence of which somehow got scrambled in translation (the author and I still aren't sure how it happened). Actually, the entire entry was a formatting nightmare, which happens sometimes. At any rate, the sentence has since been corrected, so if any of you were scratching your heads over the Sentence That Wasn't A Sentence, please pop back to the post and read it the way it was intended.

Our Secret Agent has done a couple of crits; be patient -- they will all be read and responded to by the end of the weekend (I know, I know; it's hard when you have no nails left to bite).

I also want to thank those of you who have already purchased a copy of Agent: Demystified. In the spirit of shameless self-promotion, I'm going to copy our free e-book winner's comment from a couple of days ago:

I can't recommend this enough! I found myself blushing at some of the mistakes that I have made in the past (thanks for setting me straight, I'll try not to "shadow" certain agents...ahem) and realizing how right you are about NOT trying to find agents using that "creative writer" side, but using plain old business sense.

If you guys haven't gotten your copy yet, what are you waiting for? Whether you are querying yet, or just starting your first novel, this is easy to understand, entertaining (as Authoress always is), and should clear up so many misconceptions about agents and the whole process.

Thanks so much Authoress!

(Terri Rainer)

Terri was also kind enough to write a rave review on her blog. Thanks again, Terri!

And now I'm going to nuke my coffee (an act of desperation) and hunker down with the rest of you to await our Secret Agent's comments. I swear I get as nervous as if I had entered myself!

Have a glorious weekend.


  1. Yup, I noticed a lot of the formatting errors were fixed. Mine doesn't have a blank space between the paragraphs like I wanted it too, but I left a comment, and everyone seems to like it so far.

    It's just easier to read with a blank space between the paragraphs. ;)

    I'm having a lot of fun watching and waiting now!

  2. Thanks for taking such good care of us. My entry formatted quite strangely at first, but now it's prettied up just right. I appreciate you going the extra step!

  3. No worries, Authoress, you're still doing great!

    I'm going to go purchase your book now, like I said I would several days ago.

    NaNo has me going insane!!!

    Hence the reason I didn't enter this last contest. There's always next time, right?

  4. Thanks for the Secret Agent contest--it is only the second time I've entered a contest on your site and I learned A LOT.

    Mainly that my opening is the excitement-scale equivalent of watching paint dry. I think it took me seeing it up on your site in black and white (and green) to grasp that! I've already started a major rewrite on it, and I have you and the nice commenters to thank!

    I also enjoyed reading the entries and offering my own comments. It gets kind of addicting after a while, and there was lots of fascinating stuff to read!

  5. wow, the secret agent comments on every entry? That's hugely generous.

    I've never entered this before--just found your site--and am thrilled to see all the good entries. They've been fun to read and the comments have been very educational.

    Thanks so much for your hard work at getting all these up, Authoress, and in getting agents to look them over.

  6. Authoress, you're a saint!

    The patron saint of slush, friend of fledglings and aide to agents.

    I wish I had the extra scratch to order your book. It's definitely on my wishlist!

  7. LOL, I so love to see my name in's a writer/ego thing! I really meant what I said though.

    And just so that there's no question about my motives, I haven't entered the last TWO SA contests.

    As so many before me, I learned so much and my work needed MUCH work before I feel it's ready for the eyes of a potential BUSINESS contact such as an agent!

    Thanks again Authoress, you rock!

    :) Terri

  8. I don't know if blogger is the same, but Wordpress seems to hate things that are imported directly from Word. It killed my blog until someone from the Wordpress forums smacked me upside the head with that information.

    So maybe your poster copied/pasted from Word? Might try that - it could have something to do with the issues.

  9. Authoress, are you sure? Looks more to me like the agent's just reviewing a few she liked (the winners, I assume), and the two at the very beginning.

  10. Anon, our Secret Agents always review every submission. They have four days to get through them all (Thurs -Sun). Our previous agents have been admittedly quicker to the draw, but our current agent is planning on giving us the same attention.

  11. jeannie -- Thanks for the tip. With Word, I think it's sometime browser-related, too. (I've had weird stuff happen with Google Chrome, for instance.)

    I usually recognize Word glitches, but this particular entry had stuff I'd never seen before! Very odd.