Today, I'm chatting with my fellow Cobblestone Musketeers (because I don't want to be a stooge!) Loribelle Hunt and Shelli Stevens at The Pink Posse. If you click that link, it'll take you to signup page at Yahoo, in case you want to follow along. It's sure to be fun. There will be contests and excerpts and other amusements. Hope to see some familiar faces there.
And, as today is Tuesday, I believe it's time to add a new day to the format schedule. I hearby decree this Tuesday and all those that follow: Tuesday Tip-day!
To kick things off, I thought I'd write (briefly!) about query letters, as I did some judging over at a Romance Divas contest and made the same comment a lot.
Writers are told over and over that in order to grab an agent or editor's attention and make them want to read the rest of your letter/first few pages/synopsis and three chapters, you need a hook. Something with punch, something just enough out of the ordinary that they MUST read on to find out what's happening.
I know that there are resources out there that suggest posing a question is the way to do this. They tell the writer that anything that makes the agent or editor consider how they'd react in the same situation engages them in the story and makes them read on to see if the characters choose the same answer. To tell the truth, it might work. I don't know.
But I think this technique can work against you. What is interesting and unique to your story is not what the agent or editor might do. It's what your characters do. That's what's going to make or break you. That's what will earn you either a rejection or a request for more.
So here's my tip:
Don't ask questions. Make statements. Rather than writing
"Would you give up your boring life to marry a prince?"
"Sophie's had the same job since she left high school. Her life is boring, repetitive, and completely safe. Now she's giving it all up for the chance to marry a Prince."
I can't guarantee it'll get you more requests, but I think it'll get you closer. Give it a shot.