Return to site

The Hook

Choosing Herself Above Others:

Is this the most radical of feminine actions? that was virtually impossible for all of human history until the day before yesterday, and still very much impossible in many places today?

In 1882, at the age of 21, Lou von Salome, the real life heroine of my novel Everything That Touches Us, wrote:

“ make my own life according to myself, whatever may come of it.

In this I have no principle to represent, but something much more wonderful—

something that is inside oneself and is hot with sheer life, and rejoices and wants to get out.

I'm getting ready to go to Seattle to find the perfect agent for my first novel, and I'm creating a One Sheet-- a sales flyer, basically-- to hand out at the conference, and I'm writing The Hook-- the sentence or two that crystalizes a 70,000-word book into 25 words.

So I begin:

Choosing herself above others, Lou vows to create a life of total personal freedom. But will her freedom demand the renunciation of love?

Hmmm. Is that even grammatically correct? Is it choosing herself before others? I do a lot of grammar-googling. So I google and get:

broken image

Seriously. "Did you mean: choosing yourself above others?"

If I meant yourself, I would have typed that. I meant HERself.

I'm suspicious by nature, so next I type in, choosing himself above others:

broken image

and up pops F-ing French philosophy. In 2017. You cannot make this stuff up.

Thank you for reminding me, Google.

Anyway, I tormented myself for a while with the negative pleasure of writing the hook again and again until time, which we all know is an illusion of the linear mind, ran out and I had to get this flyer printed, so I'm going with:

At 17, Lou vows to create a life of total personal freedom. Does choosing herself require the renunciation of love?

That's my hook. The first 10 seconds of my 1 minute elevator pitch that I hope to give to 15 or more agents over the weekend. Wish me luck, or as Lou might say, whatever may come of it.

broken image

Lou von Salome, c. 1887