I’ve written about noobs over the years – writers who don’t know what they don’t know…and don’t care. There are all kinds of noobish behavior; sending editors nasty grams over being rejected; not researching those they query; writing synopses that don’t cough up the plot…the list is long and depressing. Depressing because all these noobish symptoms can be so easily avoided.
So here’s another one:
One of the most overused sentences in back-cover thriller, mystery synopses: “Nothing is as it seems.” – though I have seen it in other genres as well.
Please, dear writers, this is a throwaway sentence that says nothing because it has zero power. Thrillers and mysteries are, by their nature, meant to mislead and keep the reader guessing whodunit, so stating the obvious is pedestrian.
It’s equally eye-bleach worthy with other genres because you’re telling, not showing…along with being cliché.
If I see this sentence in a query or on the back of a book, I will avoid, avoid, avoid because it smacks of noobishness. Don’t be a noob.