Monday, April 25, 2011

Writing Bloopers

Just for funand so that you can laugh with me a littleI’m sharing some of my writing bloopers with you!
Here they go. ;)

1) Once, I sent a query without the title of my manuscript. (!)

2) The first time I got in a critique group, I didn’t know the members so well.  And there was this girl who had the same name as an agent I’d queried with my last MS.  So, since Gmail suggests addresses, I trusted Gmail and sent the chapter for critiquing to the agent, instead of this group member. *oops*

3) Remember this post in where former agent, Nathan Bransford, said there were so many people who misspelled his last name? And so he taught us to spell it properly (B as in boy, R - A - N, S as in Sam, F as in Frank, O-R-D. BransFORD)? Well, I read it, and then queried him. And I was SOOOO worried about getting his last name right that the query I actually sent to him was addressed to “Dear Ms. Bransford,” instead of “Dear Mr. Bransford.” *headdesk* (At least I spelled his last name right, didn't I?)

How about you? Do you have any writing blooper (s) you’d like to share with us so we can laugh a little?

PS: I’m almost finished reading the finalists' entries. Hang in there, and I’ll announce the winner next Monday--Tuesday tops (not tomorrow, but next week). Oh, and I replied to all the "Please Explain" emails, so if you emailed me and didn't hear back from me, please resend.


  1. ROLF. Fortunately I've never made any of these mistakes. I have, though, mispelled an agent's name. And it was a really easy name. Oops!

  2. Oh, man. I've misspelled names (or forgotten them all together so the top just said "Dear ,"!). I've left personalization for one agent in an email to another.

  3. LOL aw I'm sorry. Well, at least you can laugh about it!

  4. Haha! I've done that last one *headdesk* But it was b/c the agent's last name had a woman's name in it so I got... confused. Er.

    Thanks for sharing :D

  5. I sent out a query, and the guidelines asked for the full ms as an attachment. So I took my highly polished ms that I'd been revising for weeks and labeled the file with Last name>Title so it would be more formal-sounding than the working-file name.

    I sent it out, and then while checking that it sent okay, realized I'd attached the wrong (older) file. I'd apparently saved it with a similar file name about 5 drafts before.

    I wrung my hands for a while, and decided to send it again with a, "Oops, please use this file, I accidentally sent the wrong one." Was never sure if that compounded the problem or helped, as I never heard back on the sub.

  6. Let's see... I once misspelled my own title, and then I accidentally had the same "hook" at the end of two paragraphs.

  7. I love it. I've done some doozies too though I've blocked them out now. ;) I had some writing related ones not long ago when I was editing:

  8. I think you know this...but when I announced my book deal on twitter, I was so excited I spelled the title wrong. Michelle thought I was a nut, and since I am, it was good to get that out on the table right away!!!! :o)

  9. I love these! I honestly cannot remember any mistakes like that, which probably means I'm do for one.

  10. I Bradford(ed) Bransford back in my early query days... still got a partial request ;), but was extremely mortified.

  11. oh, man. I've had some query bloopers, like the time I queried an agent and used the name of the agent I'd just queried before. That sucked. And it was somebody i thought was very cool...

    Thank goodness that's over! LOL! :D

  12. LOL! Those are awesome. I have done the first one unfortunately. I've also sent off at least one query letter without the required pages attached. Like you I get to looking over it so closely and worrying about certain aspects of it that sometimes I forget others!

  13. Ha ha! Oh, that's too bad. I once sent off a query where I forgot to check the format, and it came across as a giant block of text. Luckily, she just asked me to send again. I also sent off a query without the required pages, like Heather. Oops! Good thing agents are human-- and understand we are too!

  14. Um...I tweeted Michelle about "pus" pockets when she was complaining of strep throat but I called them "puss" pockets...does that count?

  15. I've sent half-written queries. I've sent them with the wrong information. (Bad cut and paste jobs.)

    The two doozies this year would be hitting "send" rather than "save" on a query draft two months before the query should have gone out. Then, yahoo decided to have a seizure on me and sent multiple emails to THE SAME agent one after the other. Hopefully she didn't block my email thinking I was trying to spam her.

  16. These made me laugh. I once sent a query with the subject line that read "Query: CREEEP". Yes. 3 E's. I did not get a reply. :)

  17. I know I've sent out tons o e-mistakes, but, mercifully, I tend to block them from my memory. ;)

  18. Worst one of mine: an agent I'd been on the fence about tweeted she was looking for basically exactly my MS, and I personalized the query with "On 4/14, you tweeted you were looking for..."

    But I forget to change the salutation.


    She actually held my query longer than others, and I feel like if I'd resent with the proper name, it would've been a request. But how do you know? Siiigh.

  19. Stina and Kelley, oh I've misspelled names too! LOL Thanks for sharing.

    Kelsey, yup. We can laugh now :P

    Hey Lori, your excuse is better than mine!

    Angelica, oops! & thx for sharing! :D

    Clutzattack and Kimberly, you guys might get along! (RE: misspelled titles!) LOL

    Leah! Thanks! I read your post and it was hilarious!

    Nicole, don't jinx it! :P LOL

    Bane of Anubis, ROTFL!! But I'm glad you still got a request from legendary Nathan, lol.

    LTM, that's funny--I think that happened to me, too. :P

    Heather, EXACTLY! Sometimes you pay so much attention to one thing that you forget about the other things :P

    Shallee, LOL! That's hilarious, and I'm glad the agent asked you to send again :)

    Christa! HAHAHAHA! Yep, that counts!

    Josin, OMG! Sounds like you've had bad luck--but thanks for sharing :D Bad Yahoo Mail!

    Jenny! LOL! And thx for making me laugh too!

    Linda, you're wise!! :D

    Taryn. LOL, that sounds like my "blooper #3" like you desperately want to do things right and they turn out wrong. Anyway, thx for sharing! ;D

  20. I know I've done it, but I was so quick to bury the memories, I might as well not have! (Is not remembering roughly equivalent to not having done a thing? *cough*)

  21. I couldn't decided between 2 working titles, and at the last minute I went with the second. So, I had Title 1 in the subject line, then Title 2 mentioned in the body of the query. Then back to Title 1 at the top of the ms. :P
    That poor agent was probably so confused.

  22. I haven't queried that much yet, but I expect to have some stories this time next year.

  23. I came here from Jenny's tweet! These are funny, and make me feel better. I haven't made any mistakes yet, but it's early and I haven't sent a single query yet. Getting ready to, though. LOVE your blog and glad I discovered it!

  24. Thanks for sharing! I haven't done any of these YET, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time...

  25. I queried to Mr X at David X associates in London. But there is no David X at the firm anymore. I expect he's retired or worse.

    I sent out a query including chapters 1-3. Then I read Les Edgerton's book "Hooked" and rewrote chapter 1, taking out about a page at the start.
    The query resulted in a request for a full, but I had deleted the version I'd used to query. Managed to recover the deleted version from the computer trashcan.

  26. I remember a post Nathan did on all the ways his name was misspelled. It was so funny. There were quite a few Ms. Bransfords, if I remember right...

    I queried the same agent, with the same project, within two days of each other. When I realized my mistake, I sent her an apology. She wrote me back and thought it was funny. whew!

  27. OMG, these are soooo funny! I can't think of any major blunders, probably because I've buried them deep inside my mind so I won't completely freak out.

  28. Lol. Thankfully, now i know im not the only one who makes these mistakes.
    Before, when I was querying agents at one night, I was hella sleepy. So at my last query, I sent out my template query only to find out it was addressed to a different agent when i had sent it. So yeah...I'm one of those people XD

  29. LOL - I queried an agent telling that my novel was only 19,000 words - 5 chapters basically. Thankfully she saw the humour when I quickly emailed her telling her it was actually 119,000 words. She asked for the full so I was chuffed.

    Still waitng to hear from her - pray for me!

  30. Deb and Julie,
    Oh I might need a "memory burial" too! :P

    LOL, Kristin! Thanks for the laugh! :D

    Patti and Carrie: as I told Nicole, don't jinx yourselves! LOL

    Hey Jennie! Oh great that you know Jenny too! I <3 her! And thanks for your words! You've made my day!

    JB, thank goodness you could retrieve the query! And thx for sharing!

    Jolene! Hi! LOL, yeah, one of those Ms. Bransford was me! And LOL about your 2 queries! I'm glad the agent thought it was funny! :D

    FrapoBlue and D.U Okonkwo, LOL, awesome stories! Thanks for sharing them with me! <3
    & praying for you, D.U. :D

  31. Thanks for sharing these. It takes me forever to hit send when I'm composing a query. And I'm sure I've made some of these mistakes! I just haven't caught myself yet. smh

  32. Watch for those e-forms on certain queries. Always attach your manuscript. Always. I kicked myself for days when I realized I hadn't attached the manuscript.

  33. Hey Alison! You're wise. It should have taken me forever, too. But then I wouldn't have written this post, right? LOL

    Jackie. OMG. That almost happened to me once--but the form was intelligent and told me "You have to attach something." ;P

  34. I love this post!! Thank you for sharing your bloopers.

    Hmm... one "blooper" I guess you could say that I have had was after my first novel was accepted by a publisher, I sent them what I thought was a good "back cover blurb." They kindly emailed me, basically saying that authors are really bad at writing blurbs most of the time, so they write their own. I should have just stamped "novice writer" on my forehead!

  35. Hey Kaylee! *waves* Thanks for sharing your "blooper" and making me smile :D