As you all know, we don’t post our critiques of the submissions we receive. We try to give everyone a bit of anonymity so they feel brave to submit their work to us without the fear of being publicly trashed and humiliated (we don’t do that by the way—we try and provide constructive criticism only).
As of today, we have sent out pages and pages of constructive criticism to aspiring and published writers alike. But since we don’t publish anything here on our site, it just looks like we’re not doing much of anything. No one sees how many hours we put into this, trying to make this concept and blog a success. And for those who have yet to hear back from us, you probably think we’ve forgotten you. But no! We are busy, busy hook’ers, reading anything from romance submissions to historical fiction to lots of YA, and then, of course, typing our notes to give back to the author. If you’ve yet to hear from us, be assured you will. We promise.
The responses from authors have been very positive, even when we reject them. People like what we do, which is nice to hear. Women worry, it’s a part of our nature, and hook’ers probably worry a little more than that.
But we were thinking that maybe it might be interesting to post some responses openly on our site, let you see how we work, and what you could expect from us. Nothing from the past, of course—that wouldn’t be right. Also, by posting a portion of the submission, other writers could comment as well, giving additional feedback, possibly even disagreeing with our comments. (If you have submitted to us in the past and would like to resubmit your opening, please feel free to do so).
Everyone could use feedback. We all need it. This could be a great opportunity to find out if your opening has the desired hook that is needed to attract readers, agents, editors, and hook’ers too.
Of course, this will only be voluntary. We won’t post anything that we haven’t been given permission to do. And, we’d only post your opening (first paragraph) and nothing more. It’s all about the hook, and what better way to find out if yours works then to post yours here.
So we will change our submission guidelines to ask the question if you’re willing to have your opening posted publicly for review. You can most definitely say no and we will respect that.
Also, if you don’t want anything more than your opening reviewed by three hook’ers and possibly a handful of readers on our blog, you can submit just that portion as well. So no, you don't have to have a completed manuscript to submit your opening paragraph.
Just like on sites such as Query Shark or Miss Snark, in which no names are used, we will follow that same style. Before we post anything on our site, we will shoot off an email to the submitter to let them know to be on the lookout for comments. This way, no one will know which opening belongs to.
This could be great fun! Hope to hear from you all.
The Reluctant Hook’er