You Had me at Halo

So what on Earth is this blog and that title about? It’s about developing a one liner for your novel. Something that you can use as a hook that intrigues, but also informs people what your novel is about. You may never get to use it, but I will say at Chicon I ran into an agent at the cafe, we chatted. I bored them to pieces talking about my book. Instead, if I had a one liner, I could have used that, kept it more casual, and perhaps actually hooked them on the book. But at that time I hadn’t heard of this concept.

But at Chicon I also went to sessions and I heard authors giving talks use them. I even bought an authors book based on one!

Specifically it was Mike Mammay’s one-liner for his book The Misfit Soldier. At the beginning of a military Sci-Fi talk discussion group he said,

“Go buy my book, It’s Ocean’s Eleven meets Halo

I was instantly sold – or as the title said, he had me at Halo.

It’s not the typical comps you use in a query letter, as those are usually books (or at least one of them should be), but this is one powerful image. And one most people will understand. He used two well known, distinct, and well defined movies to characterize his book. I bought the book because of it. Its harder than it sounds but the above is an excellent example of it done well. I would encourage you to consider creating one of these for your novel that you want to pitch. So maybe when you run into an agent, you won’t bore them like I did, or when you are talking at Worldcon one day, you can use it, and someone like me in the audience will go buy your book because of it.

Now in the spirit of keeping things short – like the one liner – that’s all I’m going to say in this blog post.

If you have thoughts on this or a suggestion of how people can create these more easily please comment!

And I will end saying, this is day 3 of the creating a writing habit experiment (see blog post from 5/1/23), and I just got home from a 12 hour workday and writing this was a struggle. But I have a 3 day streak so far. So that’s a good thing 🙂

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