Going Fishing for Readers

HookSo you’ve written a novel–say 75,000 words or more. Trust me, it feels like a major accomplishment just to string that many individual letters together into something that–maybe–makes sense.

What do you need to do next? Write a synopsis. Yup, boil down tens of thousands of words into a page or two that not only makes sense but is interesting. Got it?

Now write a hook–ONE SENTENCE that sums up the story and catches the attention of potential agents, editors and readers. Sigh. It was easier to write the book.

I’ve been playing with hooks for all three of my novels and I’d love your feedback. Are they catchy? Do they sound interesting? Would they make you buy the book? Feel free to suggest changes!

First–here’s a handy formula by Nathan Bransford for writing a hook (apply it to some of your favorite novels–fun!). When OPENING CONFLICT happens to CHARACTER(s), they have to OVERCOME CONFLICT to COMPLETE QUEST.

Miracle in a Dry Season – Casewell Phillips initially judges Perla Long for her shameful past, but her miraculous ability to feed the community during a desperate drought softens his heart and teaches everyone an important lesson in forgiveness.

Mending Line – When Sadie Phillips loses her job and learns her real father’s name all in one day, she opts to make a huge life change in hopes of finding the missing Arthur Morgan–a man rumored to have a miraculous ability.

The Memory of Drowning – When Grandma Perla claims Ella literally walked on water as a child, she begins a journey to discover the truth that includes romance with a preacher, a friend in crisis, and lessons in dying as she discovers what it means to have faith.

 

10 thoughts on “Going Fishing for Readers

  1. Mom

    The first one would hook me. The second one would if I got past the title. The third one confused me (having read it.) It would make me think Perla begins…..

  2. Joan Wilson

    I liked the first two. They grabbed my attention and I wanted to find out more about the lives of the people in those stories. The third one didn’t make me want to buy the book. Maybe too much information.

  3. 1 &2 are great, 3 needs work.
    When Grandma Perla claims Ella walked on water as a child, (who is ‘she’?)she begins a rocky journey toward the truth that includes a romance with a preacher, helping a friend in crisis, and lessons in dying as she discovers what it means to have faith

  4. Dad

    In The Memory of Drowning: When Grandma Perla claims Ella literally walked on water as a child, Ella discovers what it means to have faith, as she begins a journey that includes romance with a preacher, helping a friend in crisis and lessons in dying.

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