Friday, January 11, 2013

Operation Agent Ink: The Hook

You can't catch fish without a hook, right? You at least need a fat, juicy worm.

Query letters are written to introduce an agent to you story and as we mentioned yesterday, it's a good idea to include your character, conflict and the choice made, or at least the stakes involved.

Below, I have listed some possible ways to turn your query from good to wow!

1. Do you have a one line pitch for your manuscript? If not, now is the time to write one. It makes a great hook for your query.

2. Does you MC have a unique power or gift? Tell about it.

3. Is there a unique setting where your story takes place? Describe it in one sentence.

4. Why is your story better than the next author? Why would an agent request a reading of your story? Add that special something immediately. Entice an agent from the get go.

5. Make sure you put voice into your query. Many agents say they want a great story with a great voice. Why make them wait until they reach the sample chapter before hearing how great your voice comes through in your writing?

6. Write your query like your book. I received a critique just today that said, "Your first page is excellent. Write your query like your book and you should do fine." Don't try to make you query something that you are not. Just make it a reflection of the real writing you do so well.

7. Don't be afraid to describe a twist or turn that you know is something unique. Agents are looking for that surprise element.


I do apologize for such a short post in today's workshop, but this week has been long and my family has all been in the bed with the flu. When one person got better, the next got sick. I've tried to stay on top of things, but I'm finally hit the drain button.

We'll pick up on Monday with our query dissection and I'll be sure and discuss the bio for the query.
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have an amazing weekend, you beautiful guys and dolls:)


  1. These are excellent tips! Anyone who hasn't started querying yet needs to read these posts! :)

    1. Thank you! I appreciate your kind words of encouragement. Goodness knows I needed them today.

  2. Battered and frightened, Juliette St. Claire flees from near-death at the crushing hands of her ex-boyfriend to find her closest confidante, Tristan Larocque, only to discover he has kept a vital secret that could threaten her life.

    Should I toss in "werewolf" before "ex-boyfriend," or even leave out "ex" since her escape is the actual break-up point?

    Or should I scrap this?

    1. This sentence is too long (not really length-wise, but it contains too many new ideas). Suggestion:

      Battered and frightened, Juliette flees from death at the hands of here werewolf boyfriend. She finds her closest confidante, Tristan, only to learn he's kept a secret from her which could very well threaten her life.

      Good luck!

    2. Yeah, I thought it would be better as two sentences as well. Every blog and site keeps saying one sentence.

      I like your suggestion a lot.

  3. New hook!

    After escaping near death in an abusive relationship, the last thing Juliette St. Claire expects when she finds her closest confidante, Tristan Larocque, is for him to reveal that he is a strange breed of half-vampire who must find and warn a lost clan that her vampire-hunting ex-boyfriend, Robert Jensen, has set out to abolish them.

    If this is too long, what would be a god way to cut it into two without changing POV?

  4. I think Laura's suggestion is better than your revised hook. I know from another website where you're going with this, so I know it's not a Twilight knock-off, but you need to figure out how to make it stand out in a saturated field.


I missed August's posting

Hey you beautiful guys and dolls! I missed posting in August, but I have a really good reason.... My daughter just had her third baby, a...