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Brainstorming HooksCuz, y'know. It's all about the hook


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#121 Malz

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 01:08 AM

Hey guys! I'm super late but I'm so glad this post was revived!

I have a new hook for a WIP, just in case I decide to jump back into the querying game:

After a tragic accident, 17-year-old Tristan wakes up with severe memory loss and learns that he is a fairy—and a single father to an infant baby girl. After learning he can read people’s thoughts, he goes on a journey to recover his fragmented memory—but quickly finds that his amnesia was no accident at all and someone is trying very hard to shut him up for good.

I'm not completely confident with this hook yet..I think it still needs some tweaking.
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#122 TansyRagwort

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 12:27 PM

I think both Ant and Breone have the opposite problem of RC. You're trying to cram too much into there. It reads like a pitch or a mini-synopsis rather than a hook.

I would suggest for Ant taking out all she has to do and refocus on the alternate history and Nima's first inciting incident. You're so brilliant but you're putting out so much of your brilliance at once and we're blinded by it. *Gah! My eyes!*
So yeah, word soup here...

BL...I think the best hooks have a twist on expectations. You have a great chance for that. You have a guy waking up with amnesia after an accident. And then learning he's a single-father. Both of those are great and interesting, but kind of expected. THEN! You can throw in at the end the bit about the fairy. That is NOT expected. There's your hook. The rest of it about the planned memory loss goes at the end of your query. It's you "sinker" as some people call it.

Can't wait to see more from you all! I love my hook thread. <3

http://www.immortali...ify.php?book=25

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#123 Malz

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 02:56 AM

I think both Ant and Breone have the opposite problem of RC. You're trying to cram too much into there. It reads like a pitch or a mini-synopsis rather than a hook. I would suggest for Ant taking out all she has to do and refocus on the alternate history and Nima's first inciting incident. You're so brilliant but you're putting out so much of your brilliance at once and we're blinded by it. *Gah! My eyes!* So yeah, word soup here... BL...I think the best hooks have a twist on expectations. You have a great chance for that. You have a guy waking up with amnesia after an accident. And then learning he's a single-father. Both of those are great and interesting, but kind of expected. THEN! You can throw in at the end the bit about the fairy. That is NOT expected. There's your hook. The rest of it about the planned memory loss goes at the end of your query. It's you "sinker" as some people call it. Can't wait to see more from you all! I love my hook thread. <3


Thanks Tansy! I never would have thought of that on my own!
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#124 TansyRagwort

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 07:54 PM

No problem-o. That's what I'm here for. Or so they say.

http://www.immortali...ify.php?book=25

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THE IMPENDING DEMISE OF THE GIRL WITH BROWN EYES coming Dec 2013 from Immortal Ink Publishing.


#125 Season Vining

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 09:57 AM

Okay. My new hook is finally a legit hook....but is it effective?


Eight years ago McKenzi Delaune was declared dead by the state of New York. Most days she wishes it was true.

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#126 DebsBlueRoses

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 12:40 PM

It definitely caught my attention.

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#127 TansyRagwort

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 01:14 PM

Some missing commas (i think) but otherwise very awesome. Plenty of voice. (Comma after ago and maybe days. Confirm that with someone else).

http://www.immortali...ify.php?book=25

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THE IMPENDING DEMISE OF THE GIRL WITH BROWN EYES coming Dec 2013 from Immortal Ink Publishing.


#128 cherie

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 04:17 PM

Ooh, I wanna join in, since I stink at writing log lines.

Here's my lame attempt:

Sixteen-year-old Layla Cadwell, diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, discovers she's not sick...and her vision of a murderous shadow-witch is real.
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#129 TansyRagwort

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 06:07 PM

Hmm...I'd love to see more of what changes to make her realize she's not sick. Even just a hint. Is there some way your could work that in? Or share it here so we can think about it?

http://www.immortali...ify.php?book=25

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#130 cherie

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 07:09 PM

Good question. The long version is: she meets the elves in the woods and she finds out she has elven blood, so that she has the Sight. I'm not sure how to incorporate it in there without turning it into a mini-synopsis. :(
A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.
--Richard Bach


"Writing is easy. All you have to do is stare at a blank piece of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead." Gene Fowler

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#131 TansyRagwort

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 07:22 PM

What about a comparison thing?

To any normal person, sixteen-year old Layla Cadwell's visions mean she has schizoaffective disorder. To the elves, it means she has the Sight.

http://www.immortali...ify.php?book=25

http://www.immortali...books.php?id=25

 

THE IMPENDING DEMISE OF THE GIRL WITH BROWN EYES coming Dec 2013 from Immortal Ink Publishing.


#132 cherie

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 07:43 PM

What about a comparison thing?

To any normal person, sixteen-year old Layla Cadwell's visions mean she has schizoaffective disorder. To the elves, it means she has the Sight.


Sounds good! You're a genius, my dear! :)
A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.
--Richard Bach


"Writing is easy. All you have to do is stare at a blank piece of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead." Gene Fowler

I'm a YA writer represented by Julia A. Weber of J.A. Weber Literaturagentur GmbH.
I hang out at http://readywritego.blogspot.com
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#133 TansyRagwort

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 08:34 PM

I can do hooks at least. That's what I'm here for.

http://www.immortali...ify.php?book=25

http://www.immortali...books.php?id=25

 

THE IMPENDING DEMISE OF THE GIRL WITH BROWN EYES coming Dec 2013 from Immortal Ink Publishing.


#134 Danielle Saints

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 08:58 AM

I'm so grateful for this thread! Here is what my co-author and me are toying with:

"Your father trusts me with your life. And even though we're all Catholic, he accepts me for who I am - a tomboy. Maybe that's why I feel so guilty about this. But I think I have feelings for you."

We wanted to test drive the idea of a non-conventional query, or at least making the hook unique before launching into the blurb. I am not crazy about it because it doesn't mention the location (Miami) or the obstacle (former gang member exacting revenge). I guess what I'm asking is... what does this hook do, if anything? Thanks guys!

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#135 Cat Porter

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 10:31 AM

Here I am, jumping in:

As she eyes the alluring edge of a razor, twenty-one-year-old Sandra Appleton of Georgetown, Kentucky begins to wonder what circumstances in her past set up the trajectory of her pathetic life, and why happiness has become so elusive.

Is the part about happiness at the end redundant? efowler suggested that if I keep it, I change it to, "and why happiness went astray." Or is this a catchier hook (if a hook at all)?

As an imaginative and literal-minded child, Sandra Appleton aspired to be a pig or a ghost when she grew up because the adults of her world had misguided her into believing she could be anything she wanted. Now, she is a twenty-one-year-old hostess at a mediocre chain restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee; reality has dealt her too many blows.

#136 Cat Porter

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 10:54 AM

@ daniellesaints I think it's a great hook. It interests me enough to want to read the rest of your query. It kind of leaves us hanging and wanting more, but it's not so vague that I'm confused. I think that if a hook is too descriptive, readers don't develop the thirst for more. I'm all for unconventional, but then again, I am not an agent!

#137 Danielle Saints

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 11:05 AM

Here I am, jumping in:

As she eyes the alluring edge of a razor, twenty-one-year-old Sandra Appleton of Georgetown, Kentucky begins to wonder what circumstances in her past set up the trajectory of her pathetic life, and why happiness has become so elusive.

Is the part about happiness at the end redundant? efowler suggested that if I keep it, I change it to, "and why happiness went astray." Or is this a catchier hook (if a hook at all)?

As an imaginative and literal-minded child, Sandra Appleton aspired to be a pig or a ghost when she grew up because the adults of her world had misguided her into believing she could be anything she wanted. Now, she is a twenty-one-year-old hostess at a mediocre chain restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee; reality has dealt her too many blows.


I definitely like the first one better - the presence of the razor makes things sound a little more urgent in a specific than the second one. But with the first one, I would maybe hint at the obstacle that makes happiness "elusive". I would also take out "alluring" and replace "begins to wonder what circumstances in her past set up the trajectory" with: "thought about ____ that set up the trajectory". Like you said with mine, I'm not an agent so this purely my personal opinion! :D

And thank you for your thoughts on the hook I posted. I hope that no matter what we do with it, the agent wants to read on to find out more. I guess that's really the point of a hook, right?

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#138 RC Lewis

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 11:07 AM

I'm so grateful for this thread! Here is what my co-author and me are toying with:

"Your father trusts me with your life. And even though we're all Catholic, he accepts me for who I am - a tomboy. Maybe that's why I feel so guilty about this. But I think I have feelings for you."

We wanted to test drive the idea of a non-conventional query, or at least making the hook unique before launching into the blurb. I am not crazy about it because it doesn't mention the location (Miami) or the obstacle (former gang member exacting revenge). I guess what I'm asking is... what does this hook do, if anything? Thanks guys!


First-person queries are a gimmick agents see a LOT, and it almost always does nothing more than make them cringe. That's not to say no one's ever successfully queried that way, but it's super-rare, and it's always dangerous to assume you're the exception. :blush:

Beyond that, the main thing that strikes me is I stop dead at "even though we're all Catholic, he accepts me for who I am - a tomboy." I'm left puzzling over why there would ever be an assumption that a Catholic wouldn't accept a tomboy. :huh:
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#139 Danielle Saints

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 11:15 AM

First-person queries are a gimmick agents see a LOT, and it almost always does nothing more than make them cringe. That's not to say no one's ever successfully queried that way, but it's super-rare, and it's always dangerous to assume you're the exception. :blush:

Beyond that, the main thing that strikes me is I stop dead at "even though we're all Catholic, he accepts me for who I am - a tomboy." I'm left puzzling over why there would ever be an assumption that a Catholic wouldn't accept a tomboy. :huh:


Yikes, I had no idea the first person angle was a popular one in queries. And you're right about the tomboy thing - we left out a plot point with that. :wacko: Thanks so much!

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#140 Cat Porter

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 12:35 PM

Sandra realizes that no one particular thing set her on this path. Her life has been extremely complicated (as most lives are), so it's really difficult to hint at this, but you have given me a new idea for my hook:


As she eyes the edge of a razor, twenty-one-year-old Sandra Appleton of Georgetown, Kentucky begins to wonder what circumstances in her past set up the trajectory of her pathetic life. Why is the image of a little boy ramming a toy plane into her block towers so strongly ingrained in her head?




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