Honing the hook
How on earth do you take an entire novel and sum up the most important facts in just a few words? It must not only be simple but potent to gain the attention of and editor or agent.
To find your book’s hook, dig deep. Ask yourself:
Books sell on voice and concept. When going to a book store, you turn the book jacket around and read the few lines - you want it to immediately tell you what it is all about, what the conflicts are, and who the characters are. You also want to pick up on the writers voice - writing style and pace the novel is set at.
"High concept" is an unjustly maligned term meaning a story idea that can be easily grasped both by studio execs and by audiences. But a warning: just because you can pitch it in a sentence doesn't make it High Concept. No - it has to be extremely appealing and commercial, not just succinct. It's got to have wide, instant commercial appeal.
Yet if a story is all high concept with no follow-through, it's little more than a gimmick
Your voice: 'Look' at your book and chose three adjectives to describe your style, if you are not sure grab someone else's book who's work is similar to you as an example and describe it to yourself.
Understanding the heart of your concept.
A must do B to avoid/accomplish C but D is a huge problem.
This is only the part of understanding what goes in the hook. (characters, agenda and obstacles)
Small paragraph to introduce your main character, then introduce love interest or heroin within another small paragraph, then show what craziness hits when it all goes wrong then state what needs to be done to overcome it all.
Here is a book I recommend every writer who wants to query or pitch to look over, it not only guides you with very detailed content and exactly what to expect it gives you a worksheet to help you hone your hook, query and gain interest.
Buy now and thank me later
Great tips for writers on how to pitch their work to Agents.
Words from Romy Sommer
Romance writer, mother to two little princesses, and founding member of ROSA (Romance writers' Organisation of South Africa).
Having done this a couple of times, I'd also like to add my own two cents:
Website . Amazon
This past Heritage day the first ever Parkwords lit fest took place in Johannesburg. It was a fabulous way as an author and reader to attend this event. I love sitting in on panels. One can never know enough and always be open to others opinion on your passion. This year I joined the first ever ParkWords lit fest in JHB and I must say the panels were fantastic and the characters where totally enthralling!
Panel : Bitchin Fiction
Michelle Magwood with Novelists, Craig Higgins, Steven Sidley and James Wylie
Panel member on:
~ Craig "Good writing is creating content that delivers what it was set out to do"
~Stephen " The surprise element"
~ James "I always read my work out aloud."
Authenticity (to come across to your reader)
~Stephen "Remember the role as the reader - write a book to someone.."
~ Craig " Engadement level of my reader, creating a lot of white space, so my readers can form their own opinions."
When and where do you write?
~James "As long as its on my laptop I can pretty much write on my bed, in my office - make sure there is no internet connection!"
~Craig " I write at least one - two hours a day before my family wakes and I have to tend to my daily responsibilities."
~Stephen. "Everyday you start off with some golddust (your creative juice) during the course of the day it gets used up, so make sure you use it wisely as a writer.."
With my publicist Helen Holyoake at the festival. The streets were lined with books, food and entertainment for all family members throughout the entire day!
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Carlyle Labuschagne is an award winning South African author working her way into the hearts of international readers .