Show, not Tell

There are 3 rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.

Your Query Hook

with 2 comments

The hook for your query is hard to pin down, it’s true. Is it this, or that, or maybe this and that?

Here’s a list to help you figure out what your hook could be:

  • Your conflict.
  • Your climax (but not necessarily your resolution).
  • The most INTERESTING thing about your main character that sets them apart from everyone else in the world.
  • The  most INTERESTING thing in your story that we’ll be dying to read by the end of your query.
  • What your main character was doing right before the catalyst point, where things for your MC changed completely–but only if it’s INTERESTING.
  • The catalyst point for your MC, when things start to change.
  • One-half of that mystery you’re saving until the end.
  • A combination of the above.

For me, my hook could be that my MC has lived alone with her father for ten years (what happened before the catalyst point) and now the goddess of the underworld is threatening to take her father away (catalyst point).

What about you?

Just a reminder! We’re looking for queries to critique in a positive and friendly way here on our blog. We are not experts, but we have an opinion and sometimes that’s good enough. If you’re struggling and would like a friendly opinion, send it in! You can find our email on the Contact page.

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Written by Jessica Lei

October 26, 2010 at 6:00 am

Posted in Queries

2 Responses

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  1. A lot of great suggestions. Writing a query is so hard! I (hopefully) just finished one (after rounds and rounds and rounds of critiques). And already I’m needing to write another. I thought it would be easier, but nope.

    Janet Johnson

    October 26, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    • I’m not sure a query is ever “finished” haha One query might work for one agent, and another tweak might make it work for another. I doubt any story has a query that is perfect to all agent eyes! Just gotta hope you pass the right query to the right agent 😀 Good luck!

      Jessica Lei

      October 26, 2010 at 6:32 pm


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