Southern Scotch

Southern Scotch

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Did Amy Winehouse Shag Clark Gable's Ghost?

Absolutely not.  But now that we've cleared that up, we'll let the title stand as is because Hook-ing is the theme today:  the difficult, perilous art of commanding the attention of readers already bombarded with pitches and hooks from klutzes who haven't a clue.

After an outrageous hook--one that may even be somewhat amusing--the average klutz will say, "Okay, now that I've got your attention..."  The superior klutz will transform him or herself into a verbal pretzel, trying, trying--oh, so hard!--to relate the fab hook to their query or book.  The end result though is the same:  we can't help feeling betrayed, even slimed.  Our time is too precious for kidstuff like that.

The need for caution with our hooks has nearly reached the sky as more aspiring writers learn the speed approach online:   Begin with a great killer hook and wrap up the query in 200 words...Not a word about your theme or any suggestion of style...Don't waste time talking about your character or theme...Keep your query style bland--this is a business letter...Etc.  But thousands of queries that all sound the same may result in yours getting the boot at a glance.

Rightly so.  For it's trickier to write a query than a business letter.   A query is actually part biz and part ad.  We need to sound professional while sending off sparks of what sets us apart. 

These thoughts are much on our minds as we begin to prep our query and fine-tune the opening pages.  Let our hooks be strong and honest ones, each sentence driving us on to the next.
Observations based on Reb 1's ten years in advertising, the successful pitching of a syndicated newspaper series, four published books...and about 10,000 lifetime queries.

Reb MacRath
The Electrifying New Internet Sensation!

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