With all the submissions I get I use my intuition and my checklist to see how they fare. While it is mostly gut reaction I need the checklist to balance out my feelings so I can best evaluate the content and quality of the material I’m looking at.
I’ve received some great queries lately so if you want to know how to get from the query stage to me interested in taking your work further I share my checklist showing what I look for when I read your work:
- Does the beginning work? Does the ending work?
- Does the plot have good pace, does it make sense, and is it a natural outcome for the premise?
- Do I care about the outcome of the characters?
- Do the characters stick to their traits?
- How many subplots are there? Do they have appropriate attention with what you’ve set out to do in the novel?
- Is the writing of high, lasting quality?
- Is it special? Will it stand out on an editor’s desk and in a bookshop?
- Does it have a good, marketable hook?
- Is there a market for it?
- Will I go to bat for it?
- Can I think of five editors right away that would like it?
- Do I think I can sell it?