In my previous post I enthusiastically promised an absolutely awesome video experience, which apparently was an effective hook as several people mentioned they’d be looking forward to watching it. It’s finally ready for viewing:
While turkeys obviously enjoy their rituals, there usually isn’t much going on that would interest a casual observer. Just like a novel that has a plot with poor pacing, little conflict, or a weak story line, watching the toms court their hens can be pretty boring.
In fact, some people would not consider my turkey video worth posting, much less “awesome.” You may have found it disappointing, too, after the buildup in my earlier post. And, many of you probably expected the video to relate to writing since that’s the focus of this blog. Surprise! However, there are at least 39 other turkey courtship videos on YouTube today, so I must not be the only person in the world who loves turkeys. Just goes to show that there’s probably an audience for whatever writing genre that you love, too.
When we talk about our projects to others, whether it’s in the form of a query, jacket blurb, or oral pitch, we’re trying to entice them to take a look at more of our work. When the finished product fails to live up to the hype, though, we may be rewarded with a rejection or a disappointed customer. (On the other hand, if we don’t present our work in an enthusiastic, positive way, no one else is likely to get excited about it either.)
Once someone decides to take a look at our work, we need to hook their interest and then hold on to it. We can start with a great opening, but to keep readers turning the pages we have to make sure the rest of what we’ve written lives up to their expectations. If we’ve promised suspense, there better be something suspenseful happening and it should be building up to a major climax. If people are expecting a romance, there needs to be some serious emotional involvement between the main characters. In nonfiction, whatever we’ve promised to show the readers needs to be evident.
If we fail to deliver what we’ve promised, we’ll disappoint our readers and lose our credibility.