How to handle discouragement, rejection, and bad reviews

Image by Binu Kumar

Image by Binu Kumar

You write something brilliant at three in the morning, but by the next afternoon you want to burn it. You query a dozen agents and no one asks for pages. Your agent has submitted to 50 publishers and no one is interested. Your novel is getting awful reviews left and right.

Everything you need to know about writing a query 2

PART TWO: Hook Examples

As promised, here are some hook examples I wrote based on four of my favorite books. I made them as short as possible – one or two sentences – because expanding from there is the easy part.

How to trick your readers into paying attention

The Book Thief, by Marcus Zusak, is one of the greatest books I have ever read. This was a big surprise, because it was published in 2005 by a thirty-something author, and I’m not often impressed by modern literature. But this book belongs among the classics.

How to write plot

“I have a great book idea, but I have no plot.”

I hear this pretty frequently. Most new writers seem to think that plot lines are supposed to spring into their heads fully formed. Then they feel deficient when they come up dry. But plotlines rarely appear out of the blue – and never fully formed. More often an idea is nothing but a world, a character, a single scene, or a mere image. We must take these fragments and grow them into stories.