Jag läste på Arriba Förlag om manus och började fundera lite över fonter. Själv använder jag Times New Roman för enkelhetens skull. Arriba skriver såhär:
"Amerikanska manus ska vara skrivna med Courier, men så strängt är det inte i Sverige. Courier är visserligen praktiskt - lätt att läsa och lätt att se fel i - men du kan använda något annat typsnitt om du vill, bara det inte är för snirkligt eller konstigt. Och undvik Times New Roman, dels för att det är fult och dels för att alla har sett det till leda (t.ex. på internet). Du får ett snyggare manus om du tar exempelvis Garamond, Palatino eller Century Schoolbook."
Nu ska jag försöka bestämma mig för vilken font jag gillar bäst.
Sedan var det det här med följebrevet. Igen! Helt färdig blir man nog inte med det, förrän man skickar iväg det. Kanske skulle man beställa den här boken. Query Letters that Rock.
Annars hittade jag den här sidan. Här finns många tips om hur man ska skriva ett följebrev. Det brevet har fått väldigt mycket plats i mitt liv.
Det som fastnade mest hos mig var "The Hook". Ja, bara namnet säger ju allt. Kroken som ska fånga förlaget.
"The HookYour very first line should grab an editor's attention. It must demonstrate that you can write effectively, and that you understand your market.
There are several ways to approach the "hook," including:
The problem/solution hook. This defines a problem or situation common to the publication's audience, then proposes an article that can help solve that problem. Here's an example:
The pet magazine market is an ideal place for newer writers to "break in". However, it is constantly flooded with inappropriate submissions. To break in, one must understand what these magazines want, and what they won't accept. ("Writing for Pet Magazines," sold to Byline.)The Informative Hook. This usually presents two or three lines of useful information (e.g., facts, statistics), followed by an explanation of how this applies to the target audience. For example:
Thanks to a translation glitch, Microsoft was forced to pull its entire Chinese edition of Windows 95 from the marketplace. Microsoft recovered -- but that's the sort of mistake few small businesses can afford! ("How to Localize Your Website," sold to Entrepreneur's Home Office -- see Sample.)The Question. Often, this is a problem/solution or informative hook posed as a question, such as:
Did you know...?The personal experience/anecdote. Many writers like to take a personal approach, as it immediately establishes the credential of "experience." Be sure, however, that your market uses more personal articles, or first-person accounts, before attempting a hook like this:
What would you do if...?
Have you ever wondered...?
Forget-me-nots. I love their wistful name. I love their tiny blue flowers. And yes, I love that growing them is as simple as pie. ("Forget-me-nots: Simply Unforgettable Spring Flowers," by Mary R., sold to Fine Gardening.)The attention-grabber. The goal of this type of hook is to make the reader sit up and take notice -- hopefully long enough to read the rest of the story. This might be a good "hook" for a query about parachuting in Yosemite:
As I fell from the top of Yosemite's El Capitan, I wondered if my life would truly flash before my eyes -- or if I would stop screaming long enough to notice.
Hooks to AvoidCertain hooks scream "amateur" and are guaranteed to speed a query to the rejection pile, including:
- The personal introduction. Never start with a line like "Hi, my name is John, and I'd like to send you an article about..." Don't offer irrelevant information, such as "I'm a housewife and mother of three lovely children. Recently I decided to pursue my lifelong dreamof writing..."
- The "suck-up" hook. Yes, editors want to know that you've read their publication, but they also want you to prove it by offering an appropriate query -- not by saying, "I've been a subscriber for 20 years and just love your magazine..." (This is even less effective if your query goes on to prove that you've never actually read the magazine!)
- The "bid for sympathy". Don't tell an editor that you've never been published before, or that you need to sell this piece or your children will starve.
- The "I'm perfect for you" hook. Never sing your own praises: "I am a highly experienced professional and will be an asset to your magazine". Don't inform the editor that your article is "perfect" for his readers. Never declare that your article is "wonderful" or "fascinating." Prove it -- with a good query.
- The "I'm an amateur" hook. Never announce that you have never been published before, or that you've tried to sell the same article to 20 other magazines, or that your writing teacher (or mother or spouse) suggested that you send this to a magazine. Even if you haven't sold anything before, you can still act like a professional."