Thursday I’ll announce some major news that has been a long time in the making.
You know how sometimes you start reading a book and can’t bear to put it down to go to bed? It’s the tension and mystery or drama that keep you turning those pages. That’s the sort of gripping reader involvement we all strive for as we write memoir and shorter life stories. We want to keep readers hanging, panting for the revelation.
That’s an especially big challenge when people know how the story ends before they begin. So what you can do to add that interest?
- Tell them something new, some angle on the situation they didn’t know before.
- Tell them things you’ve never told anyone.
- Hone your story crafting skills to a fine edge.
- Tease them with promises of new information if they just keep reading and make it so tantalizing they’ll hang in there with you. These teasers are also known as hooks. If you lack have a strong hook in the first sentence, or at least the first paragraph, you risk having people put the book down and walk away.
I led into this post with a hook about major news. If you’re like me, you started thinking of possible topics I could announce, and your curiosity is piqued. I’m not going to tell you yet what that news is, but I will tell you how you can be one of the first to hear it: Dial in to the March NAMW Public Memoir Writing Roundtable Tele-conversation at 4 pst / 5 mst / 6 cst / 7 est. I will be joining leading literary and media specialist Kim Dower and host Linda Joy Myers to address the topic of How to Publicize Your Memoir. My news is related to that topic.
Quite aside from the opportunity to get in on breaking news, I hope you’ll join the call because after you follow those tips above and write a killer memoir, whether you sell it to a major publisher or do it yourself as an eBook on Smashwords, you’ll want people to know about it, and that involves publicity. It’s best to plan way ahead on this, almost from the time you decide to write the book. So it’s never too soon to start picking up tips.
For more information and to sign up for the call, click here.
Write now: look through half a dozen of your favorite books, books you could hardly bear to put down, and study the first page. Can you find the hook that caught your attention? Where is it located? What was the bait that got you to bite? What else do you notice about it? Consider what you learned, and write a couple of opening paragraphs for stories of your own.