Heya, book nerds!
As a result of a poll I ran on Twitter, we have now added Twitter pitch critiques to Query Hack! If you aren’t already following me/iWriterly on Twitter (or our other social media channels), be sure to come join the fun, as I’m always running surveys and tweeting out writing/editing/querying advice. And, of course, subscribe to iWriterly for our latest writing/bookish videos!
WHAT IS QUERY HACK?
For those of you who don’t know, Query Hack is a query critique platform launched by the iWriterly team where writers have the opportunity to submit their book queries or Twitter pitches for FREE feedback from an industry professional. As part of iWriterly’s mission to give back to the writing community and help writers achieve their publication goals, blogs and videos will be published periodically, critiquing individual queries or Twitter pitches and providing recommendations for areas of improvement.
Last week’s Query Hack featured the lovely Kaitlyn Johnson of the Corvisiero Literary Agency, who critiqued an adult science fiction query. If you haven’t already had a chance to check that out, make sure to take a peak for a first-hand account of a literary agent’s thoughts on a query.
All right! Let’s jump to our first Twitter pitch critique on Query Hack.
Critique #8 – Adult Psychological Thriller
After serving a prison sentence, successful engineer Jacques Resmiller starts to suspect he wrongly accused himself of his wife’s murder. But pursuing the truth risks revealing the real reason why he so quickly confessed to the crime… #A #S
- While this isn’t a contest, don’t forget to include the main event hashtag when tweeting the Twitter pitch (in addition to the genre and age group hashtags). Otherwise, agents/editors won’t be able to see your pitch.
- You have 140 characters (or 280 characters, depending on the contest) to nail your pitch. That said, if any words aren’t absolutely essential, take them out. Therefore, words like “successful” can be removed. It’s enough to know that Jacques is an engineer.
- Hmm… I’m worried that your pitch, which focuses on Jacques accusing himself of murdering his wife, is more confusing than intriguing. From the outside (and without having read your story to know the context), I don’t understand how someone might think they murdered their wife… but didn’t. Also, by using the word “murder” (vs. “kill”), it implies that he intentionally killed her (vs. accidentally). Not sure if that was the case?
- Similar to a query, wherever you can, try to focus your pitch more on specifics (how the murder happened vs. not knowing if he actually killed his wife.)
Here’s a quick example of another way you could write the first sentence of the pitch:
After his release from prison, engineer Jacques Resmiller suspects he wrongly plead guilty to the murder of his wife. When he stumbles into her in the street, he realizes she planned it all along.
Here’s another go:
Engineer Jacques Resmiller was never a real family man. But when the lawyers convince him to plead guilty to the murder of his wife, he willingly accepts his prison sentence. That is, until a fellow inmate claims to have seen his wife.