After my first week on TWITTER, I have read numerous opening sentences, one line pitches, and plot teasers from other writers trying to sell their books. I have come to this conclusion…. It really doesn’t matter what happens to your character, if the reader doesn’t care about them.
I haven’t purchased one book based on these TWITTER teasers because I’m not involved with the character. No matter how ghastly, daring, or forbidden the plot may be, I must love the character. I usually read the first page, and if I’m lucky the first chapter before I buy. One page to make me fall in love with the character, that’s not too much to ask, is it?
My challenge to myself as I edit my second and third novel this week is to make sure my readers care early, and they care deeply. They must fall in love with them at first sight. I think back to when I first met Lisbeth Slander, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I instantly had to know more about her. Mr. Larsen truly loved her, and so did I…immediately.
Now, this is easier said than done, I know. I think that is why so many authors use a Prologue. It sets the character in motion faster. Allows the reader to jump in and then jump out without all the “fluff.” We can talk prologue in another post, but I do feel this is the reason.
If you thought condensing the 52,000 word manuscript into a 200 word query was tough, try a one sentence TWITTER pitch. Here’s my attempt:
“Just like a baptism in muddy water, once submerged there’s no going back; I knew he was all wrong, but the heart must go where it belongs.”
Do you care?
Do you want to know more?
See… Tougher that it seems.