First Impressions

A writing tip from Evil Editor

Let's say you're getting a nose job. Not that you need one, but you're having trouble breathing due to a deviated septum and the surgeon said as long as he's operating anyway, he might as well replace your Dustin Hoffman with a Nicole Kidman. So you’re in the hospital the night before the operation because they’re cutting you at 7 A.M., and you go to the cafeteria and notice your surgeon eating a chicken breast and he keeps dropping his knife. And then he reaches up to scratch his nose and cuts himself with the knife. And his hands are the size of cantaloupes.
Now, what are you thinking:

1. I wonder if he's married.
2. Maybe I should just try decongestants.

The point? Until you’ve seen people in action, you have nothing to go on except the impression you form when first encountering them. It’s the same with agents and editors. They read your query letter and they ask themselves questions like Does this author write so well that I want to read an entire book by her? Has she convinced me her book is intriguing and original and un-put-downable and will sell lots of copies? Usually the answers are all No.

So even though writing a query letter requires different skills than writing a book, it’s your first impression, and it needs to be precise. As precise as a surgeon’s incision. So make that letter sparkle the way your book does.


Evil Editor, the world's most famous editor, may be found at His books may be found at

Evil Editor explains, in Q & A format, why your novel isn't being published. That rare book for writers that manages to be both entertaining and informative. Also includes hilarious excerpts from query critiques on EE's popular blog.

Click on the cover to visit the book’s Amazon page.

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