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The Good Kind of Tease

bettytase.jpgIf you’ve got a great tease in your pitch letter, then you’ve likely got a great pitch which will lead to a great assignment. But crafting said great pitch is easier said than done. Carl Hoffman will be teaching a Pitching for Dollars class in DC in just over a week and was gracious enough to share with us some of his advice on how to write the good tease. If you’re interested in learning more about what he’s got to share, sign up for his class!
·The most important thing to remember with a pitch is the oldest writing saw out there: show, don’t tell. The pitch SHOWS, in microcosm, how your piece will be through its writing. Remember that: a pitch shows how the story is funny, or is an adventure, or how interesting or weird the character is; it doesn’t tell these things.
·The tease is the first thing the editor reads. Think of it as an article’s lede.
·It should be a snappy line and first graph meant to grab attention, yet play right to the core identity of the publication.
·The tease’s purpose is to refocus the editor’s attention from a state of thinking about something else to one conducive to reading your story – to make a distracted editor say, “wow,” and sit back in his chair and read on.
·The tease’s only purpose is to get the editor to want to move on to Part 2, where you will then describe and develop the topic.
-Think of the tease as a written seduction. How do you make someone receptive to you?
-Every time you read an email or letter, think about the opening sentence and what made you want/not want to read on. Emulate only what works.

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