I was grumping about the lack of literary merit in most of the recent spam emails, and someone sent me a much better submission. Heck, if the publishers only take the top 5% of submissions, as I have heard, then this one would have made it two or three rounds up the acquisitions ladder.
It looked like a proper Paypal email, right down to the logo and an email addy that on first glance was legit. But there’s where it fell apart. Just the way dialog with subtext gives a different notion than do the words alone, the link within the email had an entirely different story to tell. That link would have directed me to some completely unrelated site, possibly a porn or malware site, hard to say. But Ebay will never deliberately direct me to an official site hosted on charter.com.
I was on to them before I ever clicked, and here’s how you can do it too. Hover your cursor over a suspect link but don’t click! Just holding the cursor above the link causes it to reveal its true destination at the lower left of your screen. This works in Windows Live email, it works on net based Gmail, heck, it even works on web pages. But if you have any reason to doubt a link will take you where it says it’s going to take you, hover. If the link promises a hop to YourBank but the lower left reveals http://hornysluts.com/index, you know where the truth lies.
After all, in dialog with subtext, it’s the subtext that’s the real message.
Here’s a link to practice on: hop over to Dreamspinner to read the blurb for The Rare Event.