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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

On Hooking...

No, this post is not about sex. It's not about the world's oldest profession...

In a previous post I rambled on about what makes material interesting vs boring. Miss Snark (a literary agent blogger) periodically offers the crap-0-meter. She'll make a comment on your material and then her visitors will make additional comments. She's listed query letters, synopsis', etc. This round is on a 250 word hook. In 250 words describe your book in an attempt to capture the interest of a literary agent.

All of us unpublished and unagented writers are pretty obsessive about the ole literary agent subject. I've been working on my own hook and I will be submitting my own this Friday. I'll post a copy here. But, in working on my hook I did decide to read the back cover of a couple of books off my bookshelf. After all, the blurb on the back of a book should be an excellent hook - right?

So, here we go: 140 word description of a book by a bestselling author. Do you recognize it? What book is this from? Do you know the author? I'm taking out the character's name so you google freaks can't find the answer in two seconds.

[Character’s name] could track anyone – or anything – on earth. Now the military desperately needs him for a mission that his ultrasensitive instincts tell him he should refuse. A beast is loose somewhere north of the Arctic Circle. It has already decimated a secret research facility and annihilated a squad of elite military guards. And the raging creature is headed south toward civilization, ready to wreak bloody devastation.

It’s a job [name] can’t turn down, but he soon discovers that his prey is terror incarnate, a half-human abomination created by a reengage agency through a series of outlawed genetic experiments. It has man’s cunning, a predator’s savageness, and a prehistoric power that has transcended the ages. And even if [name] survives its unrelenting hunger for human blood, he’ll still have to confront the grim reality that it may have grown immortal.

To me, it's a great hook. It got my attention and I loved reading it. Does this grab you? Why? Is it the premise of the plot or is it the way the plot is described (the words used)? If no one guesses correctly, I'll be posting the correct answer in a later post.

Updated: Blurb is for: Hunter by James Byron Huggins



Blogger Bethany said...

I know this book but the brain is still engaged in The Biggest Loser! This hook makes me curious about what happens & isn't that what it should do?

8:53 PM  
Blogger Dharma said...

For me this does nothing. That is the hard part of the task, accepting that what you write, regardless of it's brilliance, will not be read by everyone.

12:52 PM  
Blogger Rashenbo said...

Too true Dharma,

There are some very highly ranked novels that I can't stand. The Loop is one of 'em. It had some great reviews and a movie... but I had NO interest in it. On the other hand, I've seen some books just ignored by the vast majority of readers and I've loved it. The saying is true... you can't please all of the people all of the time and as a author, you shouldn't try. Find your target audience and write for them...

12:56 PM  

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