Jump to content

Disclaimer



Photo

Hook Help!


  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 Dahlia Baker

Dahlia Baker

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 61 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, emerging
  • LocationAfrica
  • Publishing Experience:Non

Posted 01 June 2017 - 03:43 PM

Hi,
This is the only partially reasonable hook I've been able to come up with after brainstormingfor weeks. Please kindly help review. Thank you

No one is immune to natures chain of serial disasters. Not even Aisha, a young Fulani maid, who had spent most of her life living the privileged way.

Or


When Aisha, a young fulani maid is assaulted by her boss, her normally enviable life shifts, dragging in a chain of disasters.

#2 Testome

Testome

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 363 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 01 June 2017 - 07:48 PM

The first version is only character introduction. It offers us nothing.

 

 

 

 

When Aisha, a young fulani maid is assaulted this is vague. What kind of assault? by her boss, her normally enviable life shifts, dragging in a chain of disasters. The ending is too vague too mean anything at all.

 
 

 

I would go with who is the mc, what she wants and what gets in her way for a hook. That's the info we need. 



#3 Niambi

Niambi

    Malaika: Fallen

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 349 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:Journalism

Posted 01 June 2017 - 08:28 PM

Exactly what Testome said.

When Aisha (encounters this problem, she wants to fix it, and this thing gets in her way.) has helped me nail down better hooks. Don't worry about the length of time either. My first attempt is buried DEEP in the forums as well. Maybe four or more months ago and I'm still trying to nail down a solid hook.

Most of my free time is spent writing, so one day I'll have a good one available.

But remember those simple things. A great hook answers those questions in a manner that "hooks" readers into your story.

#4 Dahlia Baker

Dahlia Baker

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 61 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, emerging
  • LocationAfrica
  • Publishing Experience:Non

Posted 01 June 2017 - 11:33 PM

Thank you Testome, and thank you Niambi, I really appreciate your feedback. How about this...

When Aisha, a young Fulani maid is raped by her boss, she knows she has to leave his house to feel safe again, but she couldn't quite leave his wife - her foster mother - who had just been diagnosed with a terminal disease.


And, Yes Niambi, just like you I plan on working on this hook till I'm completely through with my MS. Thanks a lot

#5 Niambi

Niambi

    Malaika: Fallen

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 349 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:Journalism

Posted 02 June 2017 - 07:29 PM

No problem.  

Much improved.  Now, when we take out the fluff you'll see what you still need.

 

When Aisha, a young Fulani maid is raped by her boss, she knows she has to leave his house to feel safe again, but she couldn't quite leave his wife - her foster mother, who had just been diagnosed with a terminal disease.

 

So we have:

- Aisha is raped

- Wants to leave home

- but can't because her mother is terminally ill.

 

Now, we need

- How is Fulani going to either: cure her mother, or leave her rapist with her sick mother in tow?

 

What's more important to your story (to Fulani?), that she leave her rapist or cure her foster mother?   I'm asking because the idea of the MC being trapped intriguing, but I can't feel the conflict.  Sure her mother's ill, but she's also the wife, so Fulani could leave her in his hands.  Sure he's abusive, but what's the alternative?



#6 Dahlia Baker

Dahlia Baker

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 61 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, emerging
  • LocationAfrica
  • Publishing Experience:Non

Posted 03 June 2017 - 12:53 AM

Now that you put it this way, maybe the mothers sickness isn't as important to the story. I'll work on it a little more, try to bring out the conflict.
Thanks a lot.

#7 Dahlia Baker

Dahlia Baker

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 61 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, emerging
  • LocationAfrica
  • Publishing Experience:Non

Posted 04 June 2017 - 05:30 AM

Thank you everyone. I just tried another one.

Twenty year old Aisha Batu's life has just taken the most unfortunate turn.
But her big problem is not that she was raped, or that she had begun to suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. It's not even that she just found out she's pregnant. Her problem, is having to deal with the fact that her foster mother had approximately three months left to live.

#8 Niambi

Niambi

    Malaika: Fallen

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 349 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:Journalism

Posted 06 June 2017 - 07:29 PM

Now it's no longer a hook. It also has a bit too much information.

Fulani:

- has been raped
- suffers from PTSD
- pregnant, and
- has a sick mother

We need to know what
- what Fulani wants
- why she needs it
- what she's willing to do to get it

And sometimes:
- what's keeping her from getting it.

Also we don't need the age.

I never know if these work for others as they do for me, but here's an example:

Fulani, a victim of rape, is pregnant and the only way to save herself is to obtain the magic crystal of restoration, but when her mother falls ill, Fulani must decide whether to save her mother or herself.

It's also a little long and verbose, and has nothing to do with your story but I hope it illustrates some of the elements you need. We have the hero's journey, the prize she wants, and the conflict/stakes she must face at the end. (Whether or not to save herself or her mother)

Some excellent hooks can have all of those elements, and more, in as little as 25-30 words.

#9 Aightball

Aightball

    Deathbat

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,601 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS Midwest
  • Publishing Experience:My short story ANGUISH is available now in the Elephant Bookshelf Press winter anthology "Winter's Regret".

Posted 12 June 2017 - 10:23 AM

Thank you everyone. I just tried another one.

Twenty year old Aisha Batu's life has just taken the most unfortunate turn.
But her big problem is not that she was raped, or that she had begun to suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. It's not even that she just found out she's pregnant. Her problem, is having to deal with the fact that her foster mother had approximately three months left to live.

 

I agree with Niambi that this is too long.  I like her example...keep it short, concise, and make it stand out in a scroll of pitches on Twitter pitch day.  Easier said than done, I know =).  But only include the most essential elements: what the MC wants, how she's going to get it, and what's standing in her way. 


Most girls are made of
sugar and spice and everything nice; they
screwed up the recipe for me: I'm made of
bat wings and broken things.

Query: http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Blog: http://aightball.wordpress.com

Synopsis: http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Twitter Hook(s): http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Short Story "Anguish", in Winter's Regret: http://www.amazon.co...winter's regret

aertja.jpg


#10 Niambi

Niambi

    Malaika: Fallen

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 349 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:Journalism

Posted 13 June 2017 - 12:51 PM

And through it all never feel bad about having to go back again and again and again.  

 

I think I said it once before, but it still rings true for me, that a solid hook lets US know if OUR stories are solid or not.  I don't know anyone who can spit out a good hook the first time after a few minutes of work.  

 

 

Having to squish the meat of your story and it's appeal into so few words takes work.  Which is why some of my earlier hooks are BURIED DEEP in this forum.  I took a step back and have been working on them all of this time.

 

p.s. my early hooks were terrible.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users