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Old 05-01-2010, 09:57 PM   #1
plumboz
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Hooks, They Ain't That Easy

Every once in a while I take a look at the hooks people are using on writing sites to try to attract readers (and editors). We are all told we need an "elevator pitch" for our books, something short and memorable that makes people want to read the thing. Easier said than done. I've had some fun with a few attempts at my blog.

http://alanhutcheson.blogspot.com/20...ough-pt-2.html

Think I'll work on my own hook. It's a deceptively difficult undertaking.

Boomerang: A crossbow wielding assassin, the Director of Central Intelligence, two jazzers, and a clothing optional ex-cheerleader are all chasing a boomerang with a hidden secret.


Best,
Alan
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Old 05-01-2010, 11:25 PM   #2
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That hook doesn't sound too bad - I would download your book from that. But wait, it's already on my TBR (dang I have to bump it up the list after reading the hook now)
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Old 05-02-2010, 12:27 AM   #3
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Oh, I want to try.

What does a crossbow wielding assassin, the Director of Central Intelligence, two jazzers, and a clothing optional ex-cheerleader have in common? The same thing that a bumbling, idiot, nephew and his two, crazy, old, lady aunts. The word is out, and the comic adventure begins as they all embark on separate quests for the elusive, secret-holding, boomerang.

A crossbow wielding assassin, the Director of Central Intelligence, two jazzers, and a clothing optional ex-cheerleader plan on becoming the next owner of a very special boomerang. Now, mix in a bumbling, idiot, nephew and his two, crazy, old, lady aunts and let the comedic adventure begin, as they embark on their quests for the elusive, secret-holding, boomerang.

That was fun, but I am soooo glad that I really don't have to do this to in real life.

Good Luck and have fun, Alan.

Last edited by dreams; 05-02-2010 at 03:03 PM. Reason: extra word
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Old 05-02-2010, 12:39 AM   #4
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Oh, I want to try.

What does a crossbow wielding assassin, the Director of Central Intelligence, two jazzers, and a clothing optional ex-cheerleader have in common? The same thing that a bumbling, idiot, nephew and his two, crazy, old, lady aunts. The word is out, and the comic adventure begins as they all embark on separate quests for the elusive, secret-holding, boomerang.

A crossbow wielding assassin, the Director of Central Intelligence, two jazzers, and a clothing optional ex-cheerleader plan on becoming the next owner of a very special boomerang. Now, mix in a bumbling, idiot, nephew and his two, crazy, old, lady aunts and let the comedic adventure begin, as they embark on their quests for the elusive, secret-holding, boomerang.

That was fun, but I am soooo glad that I really don't have to do this to in real life.

Good Luck and have fun, Alan.
Dreams, I think I like your description even better than the authors' (sorry, Alan!), if for no better reason than no description of Boomerang would be complete without a nod to Doreen and Amelia! They were my favorite characters in the book; and Alan, I hope one day you re-visit those two!
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Old 05-02-2010, 01:02 AM   #5
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Dreams, I think I like your description even better than the authors' (sorry, Alan!), if for no better reason than no description of Boomerang would be complete without a nod to Doreen and Amelia! They were my favorite characters in the book; and Alan, I hope one day you re-visit those two!
Thanks, WT!

Alan, I'm with WT. I would love to read another story with those two crazy ladies.
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Old 05-02-2010, 01:56 PM   #6
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I like both of those back cover copies too! You've given me a great framework for reworking my own hook.

I do have a couple of story ideas for Doreen and Amelia, as well as some for Ted and Jerry. Truth to tell I was really hoping that Boomerang would have gotten a bit larger readership, which in turn would make writing a follow-up a logical choice. It may yet happen, but till then I'm going to finish my current WIP first. Then we'll see what sort of mischief Doreen and Amelia can get into. I'm thinking maybe setting them down in NYC or San Francisco for starters. We'll see!

Best,
Alan
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Old 05-02-2010, 03:33 PM   #7
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I do have a couple of story ideas for Doreen and Amelia, as well as some for Ted and Jerry.
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Then we'll see what sort of mischief Doreen and Amelia can get into. I'm thinking maybe setting them down in NYC or San Francisco for starters. We'll see!
You could always do short stories and put them all in one book. (adventures .. searching for the neighbor's cat lands them in the middle of a kidnapping in progress and no one wants to ransom them..).
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:26 AM   #8
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Agreed.

Hooks are a balancing act. Too wordy, and they lose their impact. Too cliche, and it tunes the curious reader out.
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:28 PM   #9
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Here's a couple of rules I came up with a few months ago, from writing my own blurbs and reading others':

- The blurb should capture the essence of the book over the storyline. What is it about your book that people will fall in love with? THAT'S what you need to convey. If it's a comedy, the blurb needs a hint of laughter.

- Never change tense partway through a blurb, unless there's a fantastic reason for it.

FWIW, I like the original blurb, but dreams' additions highlight the craziness of the characters.

Edited to add: I wasn't implying you broke either of those 'rules', mind - I just find that having them clarified helps me write better blurbs, and thought they might help others
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