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Victoria
04-07-2011, 06:45 AM
I will be ready to start subbing in a couple of months, and I don't want to screw it up from the get go. So, what is the general concensus on taglines? I've heard it both ways. They irritate agents. They are an essential part of a query. Huh? Way to confuse the newbie, dudes. :flag:

jclarkdawe
04-07-2011, 07:01 AM
Good taglines are essential to queries. Bad taglines irritate agents. If you can't make it good, don't include it.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Jamesaritchie
04-07-2011, 08:47 AM
Good taglines are essential to queries. Bad taglines irritate agents. If you can't make it good, don't include it.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe


How do you know whether it's good or bad?

Purple Rose
04-07-2011, 12:38 PM
What do you mean by tagline? Like" Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace...One School At A Time" where the title is in the first four words and the rest is the tagline?


(http://www.amazon.com/Three-Cups-Tea-Mission-Promote/dp/0143038257/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1302165200&sr=1-1)

jclarkdawe
04-07-2011, 03:48 PM
Originally Posted by jclarkdawe http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=6007722#post6007722)
Good taglines are essential to queries. Bad taglines irritate agents. If you can't make it good, don't include it.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe
How do you know whether it's good or bad?

Same way as any other piece of writing. A writer relies on their internal judge and some trusted external ones. Each writer finds a different formula for assessing their writing.

Queries are all about your best. If the writer's bio puts the writer to sleep, then don't include it. Same thing with a tagline. Or a hook sentence, as this is also sometimes referred to. Many people include them thinking they are "required" in the query.

The only thing required to be in a query is that everything in the query cause the reader to want to read more. Nothing more and nothing less.

Of course, that describes any piece of writing. A writer's first page should cause the reader to want to go to the second. A writer's 124th page should cause the reader to want to go on to the 125th page. And the last page should cause the reader to want to read the writer's next book.

Anything that doesn't cause the reader to want to continue should be ruthlessly cut.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

maestrowork
04-08-2011, 01:48 AM
Your query should hook, interest and fascinate the agents enough that they want to read more.

If your tagline does that, great. If your tagline is just there dangling like a piece of unwanted sanitary string just because "I've got to have tagline, because they say so," then you're going to confuse and irritate the heck out of everyone.

Basically, a tagline should evoke this feeling: "Oooh, this sounds so cool/exciting/fascinating/unbelievable. What really is the story about? Let's read on" and not "Duh, don't tell me something before you make me care" or "I'm bored already."

JayMan
04-08-2011, 04:57 AM
Keeping in mind that I am not an agent, the general impression I've gotten from many agent blogs is that taglines are often "movie-ish" and cheesy, ie they should be avoided. Of course, there are exceptions for everything, but I suppose that's a judgment call.