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#1 kailam

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 03:32 PM

I'm toying with several versions of my hook. Would be great to see if a) people think they work, and b) if there's a preference for one over the others. 

A young noble vows to protect her older sister from a mad Emperor’s whim till the last breath leaves her body, but civil war, and the soldier who tracks them, threaten to destroy their chance to escape.

Fleeing a mad Emperor’s whim, a young noble vows to protect her older sister until her last breath. But can they survive the soldiers he sends after them? #A #SFFpit

 

Fleeing a mad Emperor’s whim, a young noble vows to protect her older sister from his clutches. But first she must face the soldier commanded to hunt them. #A #SFFpit

 

A young noble vows to protect her older sister from a mad Emperor’s whim. But first she must face the soldier commanded to hunt them. #A #SFFpit

Thanks!



#2 Sreid

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 03:10 PM

The first one seems like you're trying to cram too much into it.

 

I don't like the question in the second one.

 

Of the last two, I think I prefer the last one, though I wonder if you might consider two changes: 1. give us the name of the young noble, and 2. cut the "whim" so she's just protecting her sister from the mad emperor.



#3 albarchs

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 04:21 PM

Just a minor nitpick: I wouldn't capitalize emperor. Now if it was the Emperor, I think it'd be fine. Since there's no name attacked to it like Emperor Spikes Du Cheese, you don't need to capitalize it. It draws attention to the eye you may not want.



#4 TheBest

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 06:34 PM

I like the last one best.

 

A young noble vows to protect her older sister from a mad Emperor’s whim. But first she must face the soldier commanded to hunt them. #A #SFFpit

 

You could probably afford to add a little more detail, and information abut the solider. His personality? Is he dangerous? What are the odds she can do it? Good luck!



#5 kailam

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 07:47 AM

Alrighty. I switched out whim for obsession, but decided to drop mad to keep the character count down.

I also added stakes...sorta. It feels a bit vague to me, however I'm not sure how I can specifically add that if they fail to evade capture the MC will likely be hung, and her sister forced into abusive relationship, when I'm already way over 140 characters?:
 

A young noble vows to protect her older sister from an emperor’s obsession. If they can't escape, they'll lose everything. But fleeing means she must face the soldier commanded to hunt them. #A #SFFpit

So, I went back to this:

A young noble vows to protect her older sister from an emperor’s obsession. But first she must face the soldier commanded to hunt them. A battle of wills she cannot afford to lose #A #SFFpit (still slightly long)

A young noble vows to protect her older sister from an emperor’s obsession. But first she must face the soldier commanded to hunt them. Or lose her sister forever #A #SFFpit

A young noble vows to protect her older sister from an emperor’s obsession. But to do so, she must stay one step ahead of the soldier commanded to hunt them #A #SFFpit

A young noble vows to protect her older sister from an emperor’s obsession. Exhausted and on the run, stopping means facing the soldier commanded to hunt them #A #SFFpit



#6 Litgal

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 03:57 PM

sorry but imo they all sound generic. They could be on the back of a hundred different book jackets. the key to a hook is to show the agent what is distinctive and unique about your book. 


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#7 TheBest

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 06:33 PM

A young noble vows to protect her older sister from an emperor’s obsession. But first she must face the soldier commanded to hunt them. A battle of wills she cannot afford to lose #A #SFFpit (still slightly long)

A young noble vows to protect her older sister from an emperor’s obsession. But first she must face the soldier commanded to hunt them. Or lose her sister forever #A #SFFpit

A young noble vows to protect her older sister from an emperor’s obsession. But to do so, she must stay one step ahead of the soldier commanded to hunt them #A #SFFpit (This is the best, but some detail would help. Who is the soldier. What's the young noble like. Find what makes your work unique.)

A young noble vows to protect her older sister from an emperor’s obsession. Exhausted and on the run, stopping means facing the soldier commanded to hunt them #A #SFFpit (This is also great. Add in details. Who's the soldier. Noble's personality? Details on world?)



#8 RosieSkye

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 02:32 PM

Alrighty. I switched out whim for obsession, but decided to drop mad to keep the character count down.

I also added stakes...sorta. It feels a bit vague to me, however I'm not sure how I can specifically add that if they fail to evade capture the MC will likely be hung, and her sister forced into abusive relationship, when I'm already way over 140 characters?:
 

A young noble vows to protect her older sister from an emperor’s obsession. If they can't escape, they'll lose everything. But fleeing means she must face the soldier commanded to hunt them. #A #SFFpit

So, I went back to this:

A young noble vows to protect her older sister from an emperor’s obsession. But first she must face the soldier commanded to hunt them. A battle of wills she cannot afford to lose #A #SFFpit (still slightly long)

A young noble vows to protect her older sister from an emperor’s obsession. But first she must face the soldier commanded to hunt them. Or lose her sister forever #A #SFFpit

A young noble vows to protect her older sister from an emperor’s obsession. But to do so, she must stay one step ahead of the soldier commanded to hunt them #A #SFFpit

A young noble vows to protect her older sister from an emperor’s obsession. Exhausted and on the run, stopping means facing the soldier commanded to hunt them #A #SFFpit

 

 

The most important parts of a hook are specific, gripping details that make your story stand out.  In what way is the emperor obsessed with the sister?  Does he want to marry her? Chain her up in his dungeon as a sex slave?  It seems like a lot of women would want the emperor to be obsessed with them, so make it clear why this is a bad thing.  "When (name)'s sister is targeted to be the emperor's newest sex slave, (name) vows to help her escape - even though both of their heads could wind up on spikes" or something like that.  Just switching out a few words can greatly increase the sense of danger.  And avoid cliched phrases - "stay one step ahead," "lose her sister forever," "battle she can't afford to lose."  Putting these up front in your query won't bode well in the agent's mind for original writing in your manuscript.  



#9 Spiffy McBang

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 05:25 PM

From the perspective of keeping this as concise as possible, finding a way to describe the soldier more vibrantly would work best. I think most people will see the young noble protecting her older sister and create a sense of who those characters might be, because that's a fairly familiar story. But using almost literally any word other than soldier will give a better idea of who he (I assume 'he') is, and the right word or phrase describing the soldier can give a much better sense of the danger involved.



#10 punitrastogi

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 04:33 AM

sorry but imo they all sound generic. They could be on the back of a hundred different book jackets. the key to a hook is to show the agent what is distinctive and unique about your book. 

I agree with this comment.

 

Giving us more on the reason for the Emperor's order, or if there is a complexity to the soldier, the noble, or the sister's character or purpose, or something that makes the reader think that this story has more than what meets the eye.







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