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The Publishing Road So Far: 1/27/14
ChuckWriting
farawayeyes4
Last week I started to look at hooks and how to perhaps write them.

A lot of sources recommended looking at the back of books, and I gathered some (I have my ways) to read and look over. I read through them a couple times and I'm going to look at three of them that jumped out at me.

1. "Do unto others..." Carefully, he carves the words into their flesh. The victims are all young, brunette, pretty. But she's the one he really wants. The others are just a way to ease the rage that has festered for years, until the only thing that calms him is his knife slicing through skin.

I think this isn't exactly what a hook is for a query letter, but I like this one. it jumped out at me. I don't know who "he" but I kind of want to find out. I'm also feeling a bit repulsed by the concept. It seems like it'll be a gruesome story that will deal with several issues ranging from insanity to misogyny to murder.

I think this also hits the nail on the head for reeling someone in. You want to know who this "he" is sand who "she" is and what is going on between them. You want to know why he started to kill and why she inspires it. It makes you want to open the book. Using the quote might not fit entirely with some of the other advice I've seen, but it worked on me so it's something to consider.

2. What if everything we know about the discovery of America is a lie? What if that lie was designed to hide the secret of why Columbus sailed in 1492? And what if that 500-year-old  secret could violently reshape the modern political world?

This one made me sit up and pay attention instantly. I love history, so the idea of playing with a what if scenario makes me intrigued. I wanted to know the secret and what Columbus had to do with it and what the modern ramifications would be. It made me want to pick this book up now.

This particular blurb seems like an interesting method to perhaps start a query letter with. We're asking questions, provocative questions, and it makes us want to know what those answers are. I think it most certainly could be a format to model my own hooks off of in the future, too.

3. Charlene Grant believes she is going to die. For the past few years, her childhood friends have been murdered one by one. Same day. Same time. Now she's the last of her friends alive, and she's counting down the final four days of her life until January 21.

This one made my eyebrows raise. We're told who this woman is. We're told what she's up against. We're told how long she has to live. And we're dying to know who the killer is. It's just grabs you from that first sentence. Why is Charlene going to die? Why January 21st?

i think this model might be easier for me to adapt to my novel in a lot of ways, and I might do some practice hooks in the next weeks off of this one to see how I can adapt it to my story.

If anything, looking at these three examples has given me a better idea of what I'm looking at doing and how to go about it. I think for next week I'll share three more hooks/blurbs that caught me attention and at least one modeled on one of the above. That way I can perhaps get a draft of that query letter done sooner rather than later.

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