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What do you think of my hook?


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#1 BoJo Johnson

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 07:36 PM

Everyone has heard of Were-Wolves, even if they don’t believe in them, but their counter parts, the Were-Humans, have gone centuries hidden away in the woods, until an unwanted, half-breed, child makes contact with the humans.



#2 Niambi

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 12:09 AM

It's a good start.  It's not a convincing hook though.

 

I don't know anything about the story.  Not even about what a Were-Human is, or the main character and what they want.  

 

I'd start with who your main character is, and what they want or what's causing them to start on a journey to obtain what they want.



#3 BoJo Johnson

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 02:50 PM

Well, to convey all that it would need to be longer. 

 

Were-Humans (wolves who turn human during the full moon) have lived in the woods for centuries, waiting for a Ruler Of All (clans) to lead them against their human enemy, but when a half-breed gets named Lakiya by her friend, a human, will they be willing to follow her against their true enemy? 



#4 Niambi

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 11:06 PM

Well, to convey all that it would need to be longer. 

 

Were-Humans (wolves who turn human during the full moon) have lived in the woods for centuries, waiting for a Ruler Of All (clans) to lead them against their human enemy, but when a half-breed gets named Lakiya by her friend, a human, will they be willing to follow her against their true enemy? 

 

Indeed that is the trick to writing a hook.  I'm still studying the technique and perfecting the ones for my WIP.  

 

Some of the best advice I've been given is to focus on three things:

 

Your main character

What he/she wants

The conflict he/she will face to get it.

 

That's the extremely short version of the advice, but I hope it helps.  

 

So far, we get the main character in the middle of the sentence and no reason for her to do anything.

 

You could start the hook with Lakiya, mention briefly that she is a wolf who can turn into a human, then tell us what she wants or needs to do.  

 

Some of the best hooks I've read can squeeze that down into one concise sentence.

 

Lakiya, a wolf who can turn into a human, must _________________ in order to stop a bloody war between Were-Humans and Half-Breeds. 

 

p.s. It would sound odd saying the war is between Were-Humans and Humans.  It doesn't really roll off the tongue.



#5 punitrastogi

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 04:37 AM

Questions:

1. Is Lakiya the promised ruler of all?

2. What do you mean by half-breed? Who did the Were-human Lakiya breed with?

3. Why does the meeting of Lakiya with a human the trigger for the were-humans to come out of hiding?

 

All of the above information may not be required in the hook, but i guess divulging some of them might entice the reader to know more.

 

Hope it helps.

 

Please do check out my hook as well.



#6 BoJo Johnson

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 09:58 PM

Okay, maybe I failed to make this clear, Lakiya is the half breed. She is half Were-Human and half human. She is the leader of all they've been waiting for and her goal is to lead the Were-Humans against their true enemy, Were-Wolves, but the Were-Humans have believed for centuries that the Humans are the enemy they are waiting to be lead against. Meeting the humans is important because they end up becoming Were-being with her (later named Were-Mutts by the middle brother, who is also the one who names Lakiya with her final name.) But they don't actually come out of hiding until after the Were-Wolf Sheriff kills most of them.

 

 

How is this?

 

A girl called Mutt, raised as a Were-Human, a wolf who can turn human on the full moon, wants to meet her other half, humans, but when she does it changes more than just her name. 



#7 Niambi

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 12:55 AM

It's getting there.  You still need to add some more information about what Mutt's conflict.  What challenges does she face?

 

 

The good news is there is information we can take out.

 

A girl called Mutt, raised as a Were-Human, IS a wolf who can turn human on the full moon, wants to meet her other half, humans, but when she does it changes more than just her name. 

 

I cut out all of that second half because we can assume she meets humans, otherwise, there'd be no story.  So what happens when she meets the humans?  

 

Mutt is a wolf who can turn human on the full moon, but when she meets humans CONFLICT happens, and now she must UNDERTAKE THIS JOURNEY in order to SAVE THE WORLD.



#8 BoJo Johnson

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 02:42 AM

No, she is so much more than that. The Were-Humans are wolves who can turn human during the full moon. Mutt/ Annabel/ Lakiya (3 names she has throughout the story) can actually change shape any time, which is partly why they have trouble figuring out what she is, because she comes in human form during the day, and before the full moon. She is a mutt or half breed. Being mixed with the humans gives her extra abilities. The conflict happens when the Were-Wolf Sheriff tries to force her to choose being with him, instead of pursuing the brother who gives her her name. She isn't out to save the world. She just wants to meet the humans, wear their clothes, and experience what their life is like. If the Sheriff wasn't a Were-Wolf she would have an inner conflict of whether or not to attack the humans, but because she encounters their true enemy, who kills off most of her clan, the rest are able to follow her into battle. So, I can't remove all of that.



#9 BoJo Johnson

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 02:58 AM

A Were-Human Mutt, who can change from wolf to human and back at will, gets bonded to a human, who gives her the name Lakiya, but the Sheriff wants her for himself, and is willing to kill to get her.

 

Is that better?



#10 Niambi

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 05:55 AM

Yes, but what does Mutt/Lakiya want?  If it's to get bonded to a human what challenge does she face to get there?

 

Also, I'd say leave Were-Human off or the explanation off.  Having both is redundant.  Most agents will know what a werewolf is and will understand your twist.



#11 punitrastogi

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 11:00 AM

When the were-humans start getting killed and humans are blamed, a "age" year old must convince her kind about their true enemies and stop a cold-war (for lack of a better word) going on for centuries.

#12 punitrastogi

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 11:01 AM

When the were-humans start getting killed and humans are blamed, a "age" year old must convince her kind about their true enemies and stop a cold-war (for lack of a better word) going on for centuries.


Something on these lines. The MC, the goal, and the challenge/dilemma/stake.

#13 BoJo Johnson

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 04:51 PM

Lakiya isn't out to get bonded, that happens without her knowledge. She finds out when the council informs her and Warrick, the brother who named her, are before them, after he changes forms for the first time, jumping to Lakiya's defense when her Dad is mean. 

 

Lakiya's only goal is as far as she is concerned is to meet the humans, and find out what they are like, since she is half human. She knows she is suspected of being the first ruler of all, because she changed forms so young that the council has been watching her. As far as age is concerned, she is less than a year old, appears twelve the first time when she meets the oldest and youngest brother, but late teens when she meets the middle brother almost a month later as far as human form looks. Her wolf form is that of a 6th month old pup when she looks like a teen, and although it is never said if they had seen her wolf form the first time it would have been looking like a just weened pup. She has a natural wisdom to her, and a capacity to learn at an extremely fast pace. Yet she is naive in the ways of man, like not understanding boys and girls clothes, or knowing to tie her shoes.

 

There isn't really a cold war going on. The Were-Humans, and Were-Wolves, were made by God as a punishment in the Garden of Eden. Were-Humans came to believe humans were their enemy after some were killed in their wolf form by humans. An Angel came and told them not to fight anyone until they had a leader of all clans. And told them to set up the council of 5 Wise in the meantime, who would guard and pass down the information for how to tell when the leader of all finally arrived. 

 

I definitely can't fit all that into one sentence. 



#14 Niambi

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 12:30 AM

Lakiya isn't out to get bonded, that happens without her knowledge. She finds out when the council informs her and Warrick, the brother who named her, are before them, after he changes forms for the first time, jumping to Lakiya's defense when her Dad is mean. 

 

Lakiya's only goal is as far as she is concerned is to meet the humans, and find out what they are like, since she is half human. She knows she is suspected of being the first ruler of all, because she changed forms so young that the council has been watching her. As far as age is concerned, she is less than a year old, appears twelve the first time when she meets the oldest and youngest brother, but late teens when she meets the middle brother almost a month later as far as human form looks. Her wolf form is that of a 6th month old pup when she looks like a teen, and although it is never said if they had seen her wolf form the first time it would have been looking like a just weened pup. She has a natural wisdom to her, and a capacity to learn at an extremely fast pace. Yet she is naive in the ways of man, like not understanding boys and girls clothes, or knowing to tie her shoes.

 

There isn't really a cold war going on. The Were-Humans, and Were-Wolves, were made by God as a punishment in the Garden of Eden. Were-Humans came to believe humans were their enemy after some were killed in their wolf form by humans. An Angel came and told them not to fight anyone until they had a leader of all clans. And told them to set up the council of 5 Wise in the meantime, who would guard and pass down the information for how to tell when the leader of all finally arrived. 

 

I definitely can't fit all that into one sentence. 

 

 

And there is the challenge we all face! :-)

 

Your story is intriguing and well layered, but the gist of it is all that's needed in the query.  

 

The blue line is going to be a problem for you since THAT can't be Lakiya's only goal.  Once she meets a human the story would be over and that's not going to be much of a challenge for her.  Or why does she want to meet a human?  Even if she's half human there needs to be something.  Would it be more about lost identity, or because she doesn't fit in?

 

It's more than likely that the story starts further in.  Once Lakiya and the 5 Wise understand that she's the Leader of All of Clans she has to choose whether or not to start a war with the humans but she's fallen in love with one.

 

Hooks are wonderful because a well-made hook reveals how much we really know about our own stories.  

 

For years I've thought my WIP was about one character when in fact it wasn't.  Which forced me to rewrite a good portion of the novel to fit.  Once I did, however, I was able to create more suitable hooks, pitches, and queries.



#15 BoJo Johnson

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 01:51 AM

Okay, I don't know if this makes a difference on my hook, but the story is actually told from the youngest brother's point of view. He is now an old man recalling to a crowd the day his life changed by meeting this strange girl. But he doesn't really have a goal of his own, and he isn't the main character, which is why I was doing the hook from the main character's point of view.



#16 BoJo Johnson

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 01:56 AM

When the council of Five Wise choose a Were-Human Mutt, named Lakiya, to lead them all they anger many Were-Humans, and take on an unexpected and ruthless enemy. Can she overcome tragedy and lead them to victory?

Is that better??



#17 Niambi

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 01:59 AM

Okay, I don't know if this makes a difference on my hook, but the story is actually told from the youngest brother's point of view. He is now an old man recalling to a crowd the day his life changed by meeting this strange girl. But he doesn't really have a goal of his own, and he isn't the main character, which is why I was doing the hook from the main character's point of view.

 

 

Good question, and it doesn't.  You're on the right track with only telling the hook from the MC's perspective.

 

In that WIP I mentioned, I had two character's who had equally important roles and plots.  I kept trying to tell if from one person's but ran into trouble because his journey didn't start until near the end of the novel.

 

I think the terrible hook is buried somewhere around here.  Don't go looking for it!  

 

Once I switched to the other character I learned her journey was sprinkled throughout the novel.  The book was about her.  

 

So for you the book will still be about Lakiya, even if it's her brother telling the tale.  What does she want and what is in her way.  Or better yet, what or who is against her.  If you can answer that, then you'll know what she wants.



#18 Niambi

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 02:19 AM

When the council of Five Wise choose a Were-Human Mutt, named Lakiya, to lead them all they anger many Were-Humans, and take on an unexpected and ruthless enemy. Can she overcome tragedy and lead them to victory?

Is that better??

 

They are all good, but once you distil them a bit, you have the same issue.

 

I'll reword this example slightly for clarity.

 

"When the Council of Five Wise chooses Lakiya to lead them, she finds herself with an unexpected enemy.

 

We still don't know anything about Lakiya's journey or what she wants.

 

Here is a link someone sent me years ago that helped: http://nofilmschool....riting-loglines

 

It's about writing loglines for films and television, but the same principles apply here.

 

- Who is your character

- What do they want

- Who/what is in the way

- How do they overcome

(sometimes) Where does the story take place?

 

It seems like a lot, but I've seen and read some stellar examples that fit a ton of information into a tight space.

 

A few places to head would be here: http://thebitterscri...rch?q=loglines 

And if you have the service, skim through some of the brief descriptions Netflix provides for popular content.  It may feel awkward, but if you've seen the film or series, reading the logline helps to get an idea of what was taken out and what was kept. 

 

e.g. Rogue One - The Empire has launched the most destructive weapon ever made.  The galaxy's only hope: a criminal and her misfit allies.

 

A bit vague because it's an established genre/world, but:

 

- Who is your character: A criminal

- What do they want: to stop the Empire / Death Star

- Who/what is in the way: The Empire

- How do they overcome: Fighting (implied)

 

(sometimes) Where does the story take place? A galaxy far far away.

 

Another:  I haven't seen any episode of Van Helsing and TV is a bit different since the story can be open-ended but:

 

After three years in a coma, Vanessa awakens to a world ravaged by vampires.  Now, she and a motley band of fellow survivors fight to stay alive.

 

- Who is your character: Vanessa

- What do they want: To stay alive

- Who/what is in the way: vampires

- How do they overcome: fighting (implied)

 

(sometimes) Where does the story take place? Earth (the world)



#19 BoJo Johnson

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 03:23 AM

Okay, I guess where I'm having the problem is it isn't so much what she wants, but the path she has to walk. She accepts her role as leader, even when she first appears to be about 12 years old.  But all she cares about is meeting the humans, and when she has a better experience with them than she has had with the Were-Humans, she desires to know them better. She bonds to the middle brother, Warrick, in an instant. The little brother Riley (story teller) can see there is a bond, but is too young to understand Love at first sight. When the Sheriff appears she is repulsed by him and his odor, and he is equally attracted to her scent. When she has grown into a young woman a month later he can't refrain from pursuing her, but upon realizing that she is connected to the brothers, Warrick in particular, he decides the best way to get her attention is to kill her clan. She runs to their defense, and Warrick joins her, but they are no match for him, even in their wolf forms (it's a full moon night and he is in his wolf form) He tells her to come to him, or he will kill more beings that she loves. They now have to fight him to save themselves, and what is left of her clan. 
So, it isn't so much that she wants to fight, or rule, or even fall in love. It's just her dealing with things as they happen. Although the reason she wants to meet the humans is probably that her birth mother comes from this town. (Her mind snapped when she gave birth early, and to a wolf creature. Even before they know who each other are Lakiya's presence seems to reach her, and comfort her, eventually bringing her fully back to reality) 

 

Raised by her Were-Human dad and his mate, Mutt takes human form and tries to steal clothes to find her birth mother, a human, first she meets two of three brothers, and soon finds herself defending humans, being named Lakiya, falling in love with the third brother, and even fighting Were-wolves to save those she cares about.

 

Maybe a bit long, but how is that?



#20 Niambi

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 12:39 AM

Okay, I guess where I'm having the problem is it isn't so much what she wants, but the path she has to walk. She accepts her role as leader, even when she first appears to be about 12 years old.  But all she cares about is meeting the humans, and when she has a better experience with them than she has had with the Were-Humans, she desires to know them better. She bonds to the middle brother, Warrick, in an instant. The little brother Riley (story teller) can see there is a bond, but is too young to understand Love at first sight. When the Sheriff appears she is repulsed by him and his odor, and he is equally attracted to her scent. When she has grown into a young woman a month later he can't refrain from pursuing her, but upon realizing that she is connected to the brothers, Warrick in particular, he decides the best way to get her attention is to kill her clan. She runs to their defense, and Warrick joins her, but they are no match for him, even in their wolf forms (it's a full moon night and he is in his wolf form) He tells her to come to him, or he will kill more beings that she loves. They now have to fight him to save themselves, and what is left of her clan. 
So, it isn't so much that she wants to fight, or rule, or even fall in love. It's just her dealing with things as they happen. Although the reason she wants to meet the humans is probably that her birth mother comes from this town. (Her mind snapped when she gave birth early, and to a wolf creature. Even before they know who each other are Lakiya's presence seems to reach her, and comfort her, eventually bringing her fully back to reality) 

 

Raised by her Were-Human dad and his mate, Mutt takes human form and tries to steal clothes to find her birth mother, a human, first she meets two of three brothers, and soon finds herself defending humans, being named Lakiya, falling in love with the third brother, and even fighting Were-wolves to save those she cares about.

 

Maybe a bit long, but how is that?

 

 

I highlighted the parts which seem to tell a story.  Overall it's there; you have a story that fits into a hook.  You can't have a main character with no motivation.  There has to be something.  Having things happen to your MC is bad storytelling.

 

But there are parts in this brief synopsis that stand out, so thanks for posting.

 

To use the rubric from above:

- Who is your character: Lakiya
- What do they want: To learn more about humans and herself
- Who/what is in the way: A jealous lover.

 

- How do they overcome: fighting (implied)
 
So your hook could be:
 
Lakiya, half human, half wolf, sets out to learn more about humans and herself but when a jealous lover threatens the lives of her clan, she must fight to save them and herself.
 
That's not as slick as it needs to be, but I hope it helps.  





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