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Crapometer Lessons

If you want to figure out what makes a good hook for a novel (and you're not already over there reading), check out Miss Snark's latest Crapometer. It's ever-so-useful to see the ones that work and the ones that don't side-by-side for easy comparison, and to read her comments.

And if the already 100+ entries is intimidating you, here's the lessons on how to write a good hook that I've picked up so far:

-start with the main character, and describe his/her problem and the central decision s/he must make when solving it.
-keep the focus on the main problem and character, leaving out subplots and extraneous details.
-give specifics about the character and problem, rather than vague insinuations about "horrific struggles" etc.
-make it clear what's at stake for the main character, what s/he wants and what the consequences will be if s/he doesn't get it.
-bring out the elements that make this story different from others like it.
-write the hook with energy and enthusiasm.

All of which I will have to keep in mind when I'm writing those synopses over the next couple weeks.

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My Books


Earth & Sky
(Earth & Sky #1, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2014


The Clouded Sky
(Earth & Sky #2, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015


A Sky Unbroken
(Earth & Sky #3, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015


The Way We Fall
(Fallen World #1, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2012


The Lives We Lost
(Fallen World #2, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2013


The Worlds We Make
(Fallen World #3, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2014


Those Who Lived: Fallen World Stories
(Fallen World #3.5, apocalyptic YA)
self pubbed, 2014


Give Up the Ghost
(paranormal YA)
Henry Holt, 2009

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