The Hook
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 Hi Everyone,

I have written my first YA novel called, The Promise and I trying to write the hook that explains the story. Please let me know what you think. As always in your debt, cheers Jen.  

Mia Childs is turning eighteen and since the summer she has been experiencing such vivid dreams, it’s as if she's living two separate lives. A strange and beautiful boy called Robert, calls out to her every night and touches her heart and soul like no one else has ever been able to before. Mia thinks she has completely lost her marbles when the first day back at North Madison high, she literally collides right into the boy from her dreams. Mia fights against the compulsion that tells her she knows him, until she is awakened by the touch of his hand. Sparkling memories pour out from her revealing another life on a planet called Sundara, and the reason for her presence on earth with Robert. She must use her newly found abilities of an empath and seer to help mankind, defeat the evil watchers, and fulfill the ultimate promise she made to Robert, to love him always and forever.



  • Dear Hope, Thanks so much for your interest. I am in the process of finishing my YA romance. I still have some editing  and rewriting to complete!!!! This was a great exercise for me to ensure I was telling the story that I had set out to, as there were parts I felt were too complicated. Anyway I have changed certain elements and I am much happier about things now. I haven't written a formal hook yet, but feel it will be much easier now. Thanks a new rough premise for my story is on my blog and if you would like to comment I would be very grateful , cheers Jen x  

  • I was thinking more about your hook, maybe if you had a catchy sentence about keeping an impossible promise (with your character's name) as your first paragraph it might be more 'hooky' :)  Might be hard to do without sounding too cliche, just a thought, good luck!
  • I love your premise!  There are a few extra words you may not need:  called (maybe just use a comma ,Robert,) has ever been able to (like no one else before is less wordy with same meaning), literally and right (she collides into is just as clear), no comma possibly between knows him, until she (more urgent without the pause).  The part about sparkling memories is great, do they pour out of her or through her (not sure with her abilities--do they give other people her memories or does his hand spark her own memories?).  And maybe after Robert in the last sentence to create more emphasis on to love him always and forever using dashes would be more dramatic?  ...fulfill the ultimate promis she made to Robert--to love him always and forever.  I hope these tweaks help and that I have not offended you with the suggestions.  I would definitely read your book and am intrigued by the idea!  Good luck!
  • Thanks for your uplifting comments Candy. I will try that suggestion of describing my novel in one sentence. I will need to spend some time thinking about that and writing and rewriting. Always glad to share and get feedback it all helps at the end of the day , cheers Jen .
  • This does seem like a short summary vs. a hook. Describing your novel into a (meaning, 1) well-developed sentence also will tell you if your novel is ready. Done. Cooked completely.

    I also like what Jan did with it. Jan, I've bookmarked your blogs and will have a look soon!

    Jen, your story sounds fascinating, unique and romantic! I think you are right to keep on, keeping on until you feel it's just perfect before sending out. You are definitely on the right track! Best of luck with your fab novel idea!

  • It sounds like you are headed in the right direction, then! I definitely know what you're going through. And it's great that you want to get the story just right before searching for someone to represent your book. I know too many people who've sent out their work before it was ready (I've been guilty of that myself). Sounds like you will succeed with your amazing attitude. Happy revising!


  • Hi K.L.Gore,

    Its funny really. Having written the story I am knee deep in the rewrites and there are some areas I am not happy with. So this started as an exercise to get me back on track by writing down what the original premise for this story was. I feel parts of the book have gone off track and I want to be confident that what I have written is the story I want to tell. One day, when I am certain I have written the book I want others to read, then I will seek an agent. For now there is a lot of work ahead of me. Every time I rewrite I realise there is another way of saying what I want to say. Thanks for the encouragement and advice. It really is about using the right words, cheers Jen


  • Thanks Jan so much for taking a look through my premise. I have been rewriting this story for longer than it took me to write it and writing this premise is actually hard, but I wanted to have a clear picture of what my story is about and where it is heading. Now I just have to finish all the rewrites. I am an emerging writer, so I need all the help I can get. I will  definitely check out your blog, thanks Jen .

  • Hi Jennifer. Hooks are so difficult, aren't they? But are you trying to write a hook or a synopsis? A hook (also called the "elevator pitch") is generally a one-sentence summary of your book. This seems more like a short synopsis, but maybe that's what you're aiming for? I'm not sure if this is the blurb you want for the back of a self-published novel, or if you are sending this to an agent or editor. If it's going out to an agent or editor in a query letter, you'll need to be more specific. I'd begin with Mia meeting someone in school who seems familiar. That's the event that triggers the actions that follow. Next, who are these evil watchers? How do they tie in? What "other life" are we talking about? A past life? A dream life? When did Mia make the promise to love Robert forever? Why? Is that her main goal throughout the novel? Or is there a deeper, more personal goal she is working toward?

    I'd take out your descriptions such as "strange and beautiful boy" and "sparkling memories." They don't tell us much, and they end up using precious word count space. And don't use any cliches such as "lost her marbles" and "heart and soul." Those may be turn-offs for agents/editors who are looking for originality.

    Not a bad start, Jennifer. I think I spent twenty hours perfecting the synopsis for the query that eventually got several agents' attention. And when I look back at it now, it still could have been improved upon quite a bit! Hopefully I've been a help. Take whatever you agree with, ignore the rest.