If you are interested in being published, or just want some great entertainment, you should head on over to Evil Editor and read his hilariously vicious critiques.
The relatively new blog is run by an anonymous editor (surprise!) from an unspecified publishing house offering free advice on writing effective query letters for your books. Hopeful authors submit their drafted query letters to him via email which he then reviews, posting his critique as well as a suggested “face lift” version. Like the blog’s name implies, he certainly doesn’t pull any punches, and inserts his uproariously funny commentary into the original text to illustrate the problems with the piece. Reviewing the site for the first time today, I kept having fits of loud laughter; so loud in fact that regardless of being alone in my apartment I was compelled to cover my mouth.
Here is a bit I particularly enjoyed:
During an attack by a coven, she finds another half demon like herself: ALARIC. [Not exactly like herself; this is a hunky male half demon.] He can control the dead but has been imprisoned for 400 years by a coven of witches. [Shouldn't he have made the dead free him? There are a lot more dead than there are witches. And the dead have a big advantage, in that they're dead. Evil Editor learned this watching Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.]
Sometimes, Evil Editor’s comments are just for fun:
What would you do if the stripper at your party turned out to be the person who got your promotion at work? [Evil Editor would have the film he secretly made of the striptease on the Internet so fast . . . ]
While I chose the examples above primarily on their humor value, the blog contains a lot of really helpful advice for writers who want to learn how to market their book to publishers and agents. Evil Editor describes his goals thusly:
... to get more editors to request more manuscripts, thus increasing the income of the U.S. Postal Service, thus delaying the inevitable raising of the price of a stamp to 41 cents. True, all these extra manuscripts being printed will necessitate the destruction of another rain forest or two, but these two cent increases every couple years are mildly annoying to Evil Editor.
I found out about this blog via The Slush God Speaketh, a blog written by John Joseph Adams who is an Assistant Editor at the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, which is also worth your while, although Evil Editor will make you laugh more. :)
Check out Evil Editor for a lot of fun and a lot of great tips. I know I’ve subscribed.