Insights from Bonnie Garmus, Internationally Bestselling Author of Lessons in Chemistry
In today’s Books With Hooks segment, Carly and Cece each critique two submissions, discussing tongue twister titles; putting a fresh spin on feminist issues; first lines that could be doing more; differentiating your own writing from original stories in retellings; ensuring important details are clarified in a query letter; making sure there’s a reason for having two heroes in a story; what happens when interiority and emotionality are missing from the pages; setting a story against the backdrop of a major world event; ensuring the plot points are in a dominos set-up; making sure the storyline is about the protagonist, not the major world event; and weaving in emotionality to offer context on characters in a subtle, superb, organic way. And CeCe requests a full manuscript!
After which, Bianca chats with Bonnie Garmus, internationally bestselling author of the publishing phenomenon, Lessons in Chemistry, about her “overnight” success; the almost 100 rejections she got during querying; why not to write a 700-page novel for your debut, the grieving process during querying; writing a love letter to science and scientists; the universal appeal of a novel like hers, structure, timeline and the opening pages; writing omniscient POV well and including an animal’s POV; knowing when to listen to critique and when to stand your ground; and the difference between curiosity seeds and pause pebbles.
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