Thursday, April 21, 2011

First Pages with Martha Mihalick and Joe Monti #scbwiwwa

This was our first conference with a first pages session dedicated to query critiques, and Joe and Martha had similar comments throughout the session. Only a few of the queries elicited enough interested from either of them to say they'd be curious to see a few pages of the manuscript in spite of the faults they found in the query itself. A few of the most common criticisms were:

-Too much information about the author
-Too much story, too convoluted (write a two sentence hook, NOT a synopsis)
-Query is too long (keep it to three short paragraphs!)
-Don't make references to how much friends, family, students like your work
-Don't tell them your book is a good fit (they'll be the judge of that)
-Don't use too many character names

Most of all they emphasized keeping it simple. Strip down your story to an irresistible hook and let it shine.

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