The Dilemma of Extracts
(Cross-posted on the WriteClub blog)
It’s Launch Party Day! And since there’s one more chance to plug it, I will once more declare that the launch party for DEATH SCENE is happening at 6:30pm tonight, at The George pub, The Strand, London. All welcome.
In order to prepare for the launch party I spent much of last night preparing the extract I will be reading out. In fact, I have two extracts to read this week, because I will also be reading one for the Edin Road Blog Radio show on Thursday.
I find choosing extracts immensely difficult, especially when they are to be read aloud. It can’t be too long or you will bore the audience. It can’t be too short, or they will wonder why they bothered. You want a part of the novel that’s exciting, and will grip people, but you don’t want to give too much away.
And then there is the question of how to read it. Even the most exciting extract will sound boring if it’s read in a flat monotone. I have a tendency to ‘gabble’ my words sometimes – I don’t want to do that whilst reading the extract, or the audience won’t be able to follow it.
Yes, there is a knack to choosing extracts. I hope what I have chosen to read aloud will fit the bill, and will intrigue my audience sufficiently to make them want to go and read the rest of the book!
Actually, my biggest fear about tonight is not actually standing up and reading aloud before an audience. My time doing amateur dramatics helped me ovecome that particular fear. No, my biggest fear is that no one will turn up. I’m not nearly famous enough to have a huge crowd of people lining up for my autograph. I’m still working on building my brand as a writer, and I know notoriety is still a very long way up the ladder.
I talked to the pub manager earlier today to confirm everything was set for tonight. He actually had me down as ‘Sue Townsend’ and was expecting the author of the Adrian Mole books to turn up. Perhaps I should have adopted that mistake to plug my launch – I’d at least be guaranteed a large crowd….