Where Ladybugs Roar

Confessions and Passions of a Compulsive Writer

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day Nineteen--Nothing like a little Hooky

Diana and I have been discussing this back and forth about our WIPs and manuscripts we've been beta-reading. I really need to go back to the beginning of Scorched and check out my "hook." Does it come early enough? Is it strong enough? Do I immediately bog it down with other things? Is it "hooky" enough? (LOL... that sounds funny, but I'm leaving it.) Does it continue to hook through the manuscript?

I read a depressing post on an agent's blog this week saying that in this market "really good isn't good enough."

So, that goes back to the idea of your "hook" being strong enough. I have to run, but this is like a mental note sent to myself for later to check out my "hook."

"Hey, baby, check out my hook." Wink wink. Nod nod. You know what I mean?

Oh... and I posted a fairly irritable and conservative post on Lisa and Laura Write. The video annoyed me to no end. I like Lisa and Laura a lot, but the video made by another author... left me unimpressed. It's a fairly rare thing for me to be that annoyed, but the video tipped the scale. As I said, though--nothing but love for Lisa and Laura. They rock.


  1. I LOVED your comment on L&L! Way to stand up for your beliefs with reasons and facts to back them up! As for the hook, ask a beta reader. I find they can see stuff like that a little better than the author!

  2. Hooks are hard, but they're one of my favorite things to write, especially for query letters. I turn it into a game to make it fun.

  3. I know! Forming a hook that isn't too predictable but STILL uses key elements that keeps the reader reading is not an easy assignment.

  4. I liked the comment you left on Lisa and Laura's blog Wendy. I like the use of "hooky"

  5. Bethany, I liked your post too! You're right--it is much easier to see things as a beta reader.

    Stephanie, you have a game for query letters? Do tell. I keep trying to think of a way to make it into "strip querying" for a "late night game" for the husband and I, but I just can't figure out how.

    Catherine, my problem is getting that hook fast enough. Diana just helped me do that with Honor, and it involved dropping A LOT of dialogue. It's better this way, but that's my problem--getting to the hook fast enough. I like to verbally wander around.

    Diana, thanks for the back-up. XOXO

    Mary, thanks. I like the word hooky too. Currently, I'm playing hooky from laundry. BAWAHAHA!

  6. Clever turn of phrase! I find writing good hooks really, really hard. Condensing the power of the story into one line makes me cranky. :)

    I came from Lisa and Laura's blog. Thanks for backing me up. I felt quite alone there for a while. I'll settle for just being in the minority. I make no apologies for that, either!

    I'm following now. I love all the things on the sidebar! :)

  7. You're welcome, Heidi W. (My sister's name is Heidi too, although--I doubt she'd have misunderstood that I was talking to you and now I've just given her license to laugh at me.) I was impressed that you put yourself out there. I was in a hurry but I had to post... and while it's braver to stand when no one else is standing, I had to get your back and take some of the attention. :) I'm an ego-maniac that way.

  8. I bet you have a really cute hooky, Wendy. ;)

    I think it's great that you and Diana are Beta readers for each other. Someday, when I feel ready to share, I'd love to get some input from you two.

  9. Strip querying, lol! I know beginnings are my nemesis, and getting my "hook" into the story early on can be a challenge. I think I've done much better with my newer WiP (not Evangeline), but time will tell, lol.

    Thanks again for betaing for me, Wendy!

  10. Thanks for the shout out Wendy! It's quite a lively debate over there and we're loving every second of it. I'm really glad that everyone feels comfortable voicing their opinions and so far people seem to be playing nice. I have a comment from Jackson that I'll be posting tomorrow.

  11. I really enjoyed the friendly banter on L & L. I love a lady who sticks to her guns. I don't have a problem with the swearing, but I am also not a parent. I might feel differently if I were with child.

    My mc (in my literary WIP) is fairly mouthy and brash, especially when she reaches her twenties. I am trying to decide how much foul language is necessary to make sure I remain true to her while not offending readers.

    This is something I am going to have to give oodles of thought.

    As for the hook, (which brings you back, according to Hootie) I know mine needs work. Alas, I feel that in this department I am drawing-board bound.

  12. Hooks are really hard to write. I can never be sure whether I've hooked people or not, but I don't want to look like I'm trying too hard at the same time. Sigh. I need a little hooky lesson! (That sounds weird)

  13. Yup, it's all about the hook. I rewrote mine about a million times (slight exaggeration). I follow your line with the f-word debate too :)

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  15. Sesq-I've missed seeing you around. I was just wondering where you were.

    Tere-thanks for letting me beta for you. I know it's hard to trust someone else with something you've written. It was fun.

    L&L-It's an interesting topic. I'm curious what you'll decide in the end. As I mentioned, I can't see you regretting picking different words from a marketing standpoint.

    Amber- If you're writing a YA book then you really ought to have both a YA AND the parent of a YA beta it. Artistic integrity is one thing, but you can't convince me that there is no way to avoid explicit language and still be true to your character. Yes, it would be ridiculous to say, "Oh, Fudge, I just tripped and broke my hand," but there isn't only one option. The reality is also that a review is someone's recommendation--and I would never recommend a book with the f-word in it. If I ran across a YA book with age-inappropriate words, as I parent, I'd actually tell other parents not to buy it. I've recycled two books that I didn't feel were worth even a trip to the used bookstore. RECYCLED. That's about the lowest grade I can give a book, and I've done it twice. You don't want that.

    Julie, you need a beta to play hooky with. :) Let me know if you need someone to read the first chapter or so of something and let you know if I've been hooked.

    Natalie, just a slight exaggeration? LOL.