Honing the hook
To find your book’s hook, dig deep. Ask yourself:
- What is it that makes my story completely unique?
- If I could tell an editor or an agent one thing about my book, what would it be?
- What impression do I want to leave with my readers after they’ve read my work?
Books sell on voice and concept. When going to a book store, you turn the book jacket around and read the few lines - you want it to immediately tell you what it is all about, what the conflicts are, and who the characters are. You also want to pick up on the writers voice - writing style and pace the novel is set at.
"High concept" is an unjustly maligned term meaning a story idea that can be easily grasped both by studio execs and by audiences. But a warning: just because you can pitch it in a sentence doesn't make it High Concept. No - it has to be extremely appealing and commercial, not just succinct. It's got to have wide, instant commercial appeal.
Yet if a story is all high concept with no follow-through, it's little more than a gimmick
Your voice: 'Look' at your book and chose three adjectives to describe your style, if you are not sure grab someone else's book who's work is similar to you as an example and describe it to yourself.
Understanding the heart of your concept.
A must do B to avoid/accomplish C but D is a huge problem.
This is only the part of understanding what goes in the hook. (characters, agenda and obstacles)
Small paragraph to introduce your main character, then introduce love interest or heroin within another small paragraph, then show what craziness hits when it all goes wrong then state what needs to be done to overcome it all.
Here is a book I recommend every writer who wants to query or pitch to look over, it not only guides you with very detailed content and exactly what to expect it gives you a worksheet to help you hone your hook, query and gain interest.