Thursday, January 6, 2011

I Have A Feeling About This...How my gut tells me the story is good.

As we have said time and time again, the publishing industry is really subjective and is never predictable. What works one day may not work the next. It is a bummer for writers that there is so much randomness with this business, but it is the simple truth. I have to say though, there are situations when the time of day or the mood I am in is completely factored out of the equation. This is when my gut tells me the story is good.

Surprisingly, you have all probably experienced this same feeling before.

Think of those books that you pick up and start reading. I'm not talking about those every day books. I'm talking about those that you pick up and simply can't stop reading. It is that feeling that I get when I find a story that I want to represent. When I get a submission that I feel I have to read that day, without interruptions, then I know I have something. It doesn't happen all of the time but I have to say, when it does, it is the most invogorating experience.

So, the simple question to you is, does your story hook me from the first sentence and make me want to keep reading? If you have to say, "just keep reading, you'll really like what is coming," then your story simply doesn't have it.

Hook me and keep me hooked.



  1. Scott, how do you know if it's real when the people around you ( friends and avid readers ) say they can't wait for you to write more on your story. Where can you get an honest critique, without sending pages and waiting weeks to hear back?

  2. I was discussing the "first line hook" with my senior editor at the magazine the other day regarding fiction. It seems that with so many other media and pastimes distracting the reading audience, writers need the action to begin immediately in a story if the reader is to sit down and devote hours of their lives to digesting the author's work. Facebook, Twitter, movies on demand, video games and others all steal from the allure of a good novel and (in our case) a literary magazine. A good first line hook? I give it my best shot in my writing and I need it from those who submit to me, too.