Friday, November 8, 2013

Query Peeves #3

Your character's a sociopath.

Murders are happening, and your character is thrilled, because shiny personal reason. Parents die, and character goes on as if nothing happened. Mass suffering, and the MC is just concerned with her crush. Character does objectively terrible thing to other character, without any indication that the character is supposed to be a sociopath. Character seeks revenge on someone far in excess of described sins.

These are usually just query-writing mishaps. It is very easy, especially when trying to compress and simplify a whole novel's worth of complicated morals and reasonings, to end up with something that just doesn't read quite the way you intended it to. I know because I've done it. :)

This is why it is so important to get feedback on your work! (Not from friends. Your friends + family are almost guaranteed to be completely incapable of giving useful feedback.) Other people are very useful for telling you if you've accidentally said something you didn't mean, and for telling you when you've fixed it. Not everyone likes or wants or needs a lot of feedback, and one must of course be wary of falling into the trap of trying to please everyone (which is impossible and will just make your work terrible,) but it is still good to have at least the occasional real bit of feedback.

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