The Twitter Tease


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.


About holliequeener

I am an author. Which is defined as "the person who originated or gave existence to anything." So in that sense, we are all authors of some sort. More specifically I am a writer of fiction. I am a member of the Romance Writer’s Association and an active Pine Mountain Poet Society member.
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4 Responses to The Twitter Tease

  1. indytony says:

    I’m about 2 weeks away from a working draft of my first novel. I think I will wait until the draft is finished before I work on a query, though I did draft a one-paragraph summary. I’ll now have to start giving some thought to a 1-sentence Twitter post. Thanks for the advice and example.

    Are you self-publishing?

    • I’m not self publishing, although I have looked into it, it’s just not for me. I’m patiently waiting (by waiting I mean querying like crazy) for an agent. I wish you the best with your edits. My original draft is completely different from what it is now, and i think much better, so don’t rush it.
      Best wishes!!

  2. You hit the nail on the head–the reader HAS to care to continue reading. I’ve read so many pitches, summaries, and back covers that make me think “So? Who cares?” but one that’s well-written (plus a great first chapter) gets my money every time. It IS more difficult on Twitter, but what good practice, huh? Good luck with your queries; sounds like you’ve got the right stuff!

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