Ovid is in the hiz-ouse!

August 7, 2009 at 7:10 pm (Random Thoughts, Virtual Gems, Writing)

“Let your hook always be cast. In the pool where you least expect it, will be fish.”                     ~Ovid, Roman poet

Wow. How’s that for a visceral quote for a writer? It instantly reminded me of something I had heard on one of my RWA National Convention discs–that this author (I’m not sure who, but I remember she has since been multi-published) said that when she was first querying, she had a very specific practice. She picked a number, such as 24, and would keep that many lines in the water (her words). If she got a rejection, she’d get another query or contest entry out there right away, so that she always had those 24 hooks out there.

Does that practice work for everybody? Not necessarily, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have your own version of hooks being cast. Maybe you have always written cozy mysteries but have had a deep yearning to do a wild epic fantasy. Why not? The worst that happens is that you have both mysteries and fantasies you can query and, Ovid willing, sell. Or maybe you want to try categories instead of the single-title contemporaries you’ve been trying. Why not? Cast those hooks, my babies. Take your pole and cast it as high and as far as you can. I would be willing to bet if nothing else, you’ll have a hell of a fun time in the trying.



  1. Marilyn Brant said,

    I remember someone talking about this, too (maybe the same author!), and she always had a high number of projects out until someone took the bait, so to speak. 🙂 Will think about what my deep secret yearning is as far as writing. I’m pretty sure I can cross off horror/zombies, but there is that hot, pink-handcuff-inspired erotic tale involving black leather, shapeshifting and a man in Prince’s “Little Red Corvette” that I’ve been considering…

  2. Jennifer said,

    Wow! What a nice challenging kind of idea. BTW, I’m totally snagging that quote for some NaNo inspiration this year too.

  3. Pamela Cayne said,

    Marilyn–I say send that hook out into the pool! We’ll even help you think of a good pseudonym, won’t we? 😉

    Jennifer–fabulous! I’m glad to hear others are being as inspired by this quote as I am. 🙂

  4. Montana (curtbooks) said,

    I look forward to us both casting fresh lines this week. BTW we should go to the Pogues next month. Jes’ saying.

  5. L.A. Mitchell said,

    I do think, to some extent, it is a numbers game. I never dreamed of “24” but maybe I haven’t been putting enough lines in the water.

  6. Pamela Cayne said,

    Montana–well, you’re going to be helping me cast, so let’s go! And the Pogues? Hmm…

    L.A.–24 is probably too many for me as well, but I think it’s all in what works for you. I do like the thought of keeping a set number of lines out there, though.

  7. Robin said,

    You’ll never catch anything unless you try, right? I’m more of a lower number gal too – gotta keep it manageable. Happy casting, my friend!

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