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#1 Ireth

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 04:07 PM

I'm drafting a query for a new story I'm co-writing, but it needs a hook. Any advice is appreciated. Here's what I've got so far:

 

When her cousin is poisoned, fifteen-year-old mermaid Rain must journey to a far-off ocean in search of the only cure.


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#2 Dottie D.

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 07:38 PM

I love the story idea. for some reason, this hook isn't grabbing me. maybe because i don't sense the danger. She has to travel a long way to get the cure, but sounds like she can get it. so what's at stake?  it would take her ten days to get there and person will be dead in two?  something like that would up the ante.



#3 Ireth

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 07:44 PM

Well, for context's sake, here's the rest of the query (which I'll also post in its own thread for crits, preferably after I figure out the hook):

 

Fifteen-year-old mermaid Rain is finally old enough to join her peers in the Harvest, their coming-of-age ceremony. Refusing to let her deafness keep her from becoming a siren, she plays the flute while the other young merfolk sing to lure humans to their deaths. What should be a day of triumph turns to one of tragedy when her cousin is poisoned by a human's harpoon.

 

The only cure lies in a distant sea, fiercely protected by the merfolk's queen due to its scarcity. Rain resolves to find it herself, and sets out with two other merfolk to guide her and be her ears. Humans are no threat so far below the surface, but the ocean depths hold dangers aplenty. While sharks and jellyfish are bad enough, even other merfolk seek to halt Rain and her comrades. They claim there's too little of the cure left to waste it on one merman.

 

Stealing the cure from the queen herself may be Rain's only option. If she does, she risks being imprisoned or even killed for treason. But if she doesn't, her cousin will die instead.


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#4 Dottie D.

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 08:08 PM

ooooo, I do like the sound of this story.

 

Maybe something like:

 

When her cousin is poisoned, fifteen-year-old mermaid Rain is the only mermaid willing to risk her life to steal the cure and save him.



#5 Ireth

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 08:10 PM

I'm not sure I want to mention the stealing part outright, since she doesn't know she'll have to resort to that until later. I could easily say "retrieve" or "find" instead, though. :) Thanks!


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#6 spoons214

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 08:48 PM

Maybe something along the lines of:

 

When her cousin is poisoned, fifteen-year-old mermaid Rain refuses to let any obstacle prevent her from reaching the cure.



#7 Ireth

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 10:01 AM

Here's the hook from my first query revision:

 

Fifteen-year-old mermaid Rain won't let her deafness keep her from anything – especially finding a cure for her dying cousin.


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#8 Dottie D.

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 08:58 PM

Is her deafness what's holding her back at any point?  I think I liked your earlier hook better. This one sounds too much like deaf if the big part of the story as to why she can't do things.

 

just IMO



#9 Ireth

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 09:09 PM

Her deafness does impede her initial aspiration to join in the Harvest, where young merfolk learn to lure humans to drown. If they succeed, they are considered adults. Being deaf, Rain never learned to speak, and cannot sing. She plays a flute to make up for that, having memorized finger placements rather than actual tunes. As for her quest to save her cousin, being deaf puts a language barrier between her and most others, except a few who know how to communicate with her. (Haven't decided if merfolk have their own sign-language or something else.) It also means sharks and other predators are more dangerous, since she can't hear them coming. That's why she takes friends along with her, so they can act as her ears and her voice when the need arises.


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#10 Blitzing

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 11:45 AM

I'm drafting a query for a new story I'm co-writing, but it needs a hook. Any advice is appreciated. Here's what I've got so far:

 

When her cousin is poisoned, fifteen-year-old mermaid Rain must journey to a far-off ocean in search of the only cure.

 

I think this hook sums up your story better.

Here's the hook from my first query revision:

 

Fifteen-year-old mermaid Rain won't let her deafness keep her from anything – especially finding a cure for her dying cousin.

 

But I like your mention of the deafness, since it makes Rain intriguing.

 

Something like this?

 

Fifteen-year-old deaf mermaid Rain must journey to a distant ocean fiercely protected by the merfolk's queen in search of the only cure to a poison.

 

Also, I think if you mention the stealing part, it would up the stakes even more. If it's a plot point you don't want to reveal, I wouldn't mention it in the query as well.


~ Shaya Roy ~

www.shayaroy.com

 

Current query (contemporary romance)  

 


#11 Ireth

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 01:20 PM

The main issue I have with mentioning the stealing in the hook is that it would seem repetitive, since I mention it below in the query as well.

 

Here's my next try at a hook:

 

Fifteen-year-old mermaid Rain won't let anything keep her from saving her dying cousin. Not her deafness, not sharks or other merfolk -- not even the queen herself.


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#12 steampunkgirl

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 09:06 PM

I remember from an earlier version (or possibly from your query letter) that Rain has to steal the cure - which ups your tension. What about these?

 

Nothing will keep fifteen-year-old mermaid Rain from stealing a cure for her dying cousin. Not her deafness, not sharks or other merfolk - not even the queen herself.

 

 Or

 

 

Nothing will keep fifteen-year-old mermaid Rain from stealing the cure for her dying cousin. Not her deafness, not sharks or other merfolk – not even the tyrant queen.

 

Not sure if she's really a tyrant, but any adjective that indicates the queen wouldn't be willing to share it even it Rain asked or offered to enter a lifetime of servitude would work. 



#13 Ireth

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 09:18 PM

I mentioned before that I don't want to mention the stealing in the hook, since Rain doesn't know at first that she'll have to resort to it. Also, I'm not entirely sure about the exact characteristics of the queen yet -- whether she's a complete tyrant to her people or just really harsh about protecting the cure is kinda up in the air. Thanks for your input, though!


There's too much blood in my tea system. Time to put the kettle on.

 

~~~

 

All projects except WINTER'S QUEEN are currently on hiatus until further notice. Thank you!

 

Queries:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...e-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...orical-fantasy/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...sea-ya-fantasy/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing On Edges: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Bellringer: http://agentquerycon...ringer-fantasy/

 

Hooks:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...tasy-hook-help/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...k-epic-fantasy/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

Moonhunter: http://agentquerycon...ya-xenofiction/

Song of the Sea: http://agentquerycon...ong-of-the-sea/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/

Dancing on Edges: http://agentquerycon...asy-query-hook/

 

Synopses:

Winter's Queen: http://agentquerycon...een-ya-fantasy/

Tenth Realm: http://agentquerycon...ntasy-synopsis/

Low Road: http://agentquerycon...fantasyvampire/

My Soul to Keep: http://agentquerycon...porary-fantasy/


#14 steampunkgirl

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 09:52 PM

I do remember reading that now (but I think it was yesterday or late, late last night). 



#15 Blitzing

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 09:08 AM

The main issue I have with mentioning the stealing in the hook is that it would seem repetitive, since I mention it below in the query as well.

 

Here's my next try at a hook:

 

Fifteen-year-old mermaid Rain won't let anything keep her from saving her dying cousin. Not her deafness, not sharks or other merfolk -- not even the queen herself.

 

I like this hook, but would rephrase it like this to make it tighter and up the tension:

 

Fifteen-year-old mermaid Rain won't let anything keep her from saving her dying cousin. Not her deafness, not sharks and not even the queen of the merfolk herself.

 

Ah, I understand your point about the stealing. Why not use a different hook for your Twitter pitch and for your query? My hooks for my query & the hook I'd use on Twitter are completely different. You can mention stealing in your Twitter hook to get more brownie points.

 

Oh, and another thing. If you replace 'dying' by 'poisoned', it becomes more specific. Just a thought. 


~ Shaya Roy ~

www.shayaroy.com

 

Current query (contemporary romance)  

 


#16 clavel

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 07:03 AM

I would delete 'aplenty'






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