Discover more from The Shit No One Tells You About Writing
✨ Writing an Opening Chapter That Ticks All the Boxes ✨
A masterclass in first chapters, and much more ✨
Is your opening chapter doing the heavy lifting it needs to?
On The Shit No One Tells You About Writing podcast this week, Bianca, Carly, and CeCe interview a 30-year veteran of the publishing industry and an internationally bestselling author to discuss query advice from a publicity and marketing perspective, how to include enough of a hook in a query without spoiling the story, dealing with negative reviews, and much more. Check out the latest episode below!
In this episode’s Books with Hooks section, Carly and CeCe speak with Kathleen Schmidt, a 30-year veteran of the publishing industry. As they critique three submissions, they discuss:
social media marketing
how to include enough of a hook in a query without spoiling the story
burying the lead
making it obvious how an author wants readers to feel about certain things
longer query letter word counts
personifying the antagonist
query advice from a publicity and marketing perspective
polished pages on a scene level
character personality and plot point clarity
how to show an imbalance of power in opening pages
writing a query letter based on the synopsis (and why this doesn’t work)
the difference between explaining a book and pitching it
the importance of time stamps
ensuring we know enough about the character on the first pages so there’s no confusion
Bianca interviews Hannah Mary McKinnon, the author of The Christmas Wager (writing as Holly Cassidy). They discuss:
Hannah’s use of a pen name
the first chapter of The Christmas Wager as a master class in first chapters
the difference between writing a thriller first chapter and a romance first chapter
tips for balancing disposition and dialogue
setting up the stakes for the protagonist
how to approach back story in opening pages
how Hannah approaches negative reviews about her novels
🤔 Got a burning question? Need help with finding a comp title? 🤔
If you have a question about writing or publishing or would like a comp title recommendation, you can use the link below to ask us. You have one minute to leave us a voice recording which will be aired on the podcast if your question gets selected. If you’re requesting comp titles, please give as much information as possible, including tone of the work, intended audience, genre, etc.
You can submit your voice message here.
Heads up: if you’d like your question answered in the October Bonus Episode, please ensure we have it by October 18 ☺️
We hope your writing has been going well this week and that you get some time to snuggle up with a book this weekend 📚
Until next week, happy scribbling!
❤️ The Shit No One Tells You About Writing Team
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