Thursday, February 25, 2010


How good are you at following instructions?

Before beginning this quiz, find a piece of paper, a pencil, and a yellow marker. Then read all of the instructions.

- Write your name in the upper, right-hand corner of the paper
- In the middle of the page, draw a horizontal line

- Draw a shorter, vertical line that intersects the horizontal line (you should have a cross or 'T' shape now)

- In the upper, left-hand quadrant, draw a square

- Draw a circle inside of the square

- Color the circle yellow

- In the upper, right-hand quadrant, write the name of your best friend

- Circle the name of your best friend

- In the lower, left-hand quadrant, draw a smiley face

- In the lower right-hand quadrant make a check mark

- Do not write anything on your paper, and next time read and follow all of the instructions before beginning!

It's a silly quiz, I know! But the point is that reading and following directions is an important skill.

When it comes to sending out queries, reading the instructions is crucial. It's no fun for us writers! But, as literary agent Rachel Gardner points out in her blog, there are reasons for these guidelines. Queries that don't follow the guidelines often end up in the trash.

Writers who can read and follow directions will put themselves way ahead of those who don't!


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