Every novelist faces the dreaded query letter eventually–that unsolicited piece of mail meant to convince an agent that you, a complete stranger, have something worth their time to read. This summer it’s my turn to craft one, and I need all of your help (it’ll only take a second, I promise).
Below, I’ve listed four possible opening lines, or hooks, to start my query letter with. A good hook is essential to a successful query letter, so I want to know which of these hooks is the most interesting to you as an objective reader. All this weekend, you can post a comment voting for your favorite of the hooks (or if you like different elements of two or three of them, mention that too! I’m not opposed to making hybrid hooks from these originals).
Before we begin, let’s review the goals of a good hook; it catches your interest so you want to read on, and it presents the unique angle of your book. In other words, does it make FLYNN sound interesting, and does it make you think that this is going to be a neat story as opposed to a cookie-cutter fantasy?
Here, in no particular order, are the four candidates:
1. As an orphan, Flynn’s greatest wish is to learn about her heritage—she never thought that would mean leading an army against telepathic sorcerers at age sixteen.
2. Sixteen-year-old Flynn thought that learning about her real parents would be a dream come true, but now she has to live up to their legacy by leading the army against telepathic sorcerers.
3. Sixteen-year-old Flynn is excited to learn that her late parents were war heroes, until she’s asked to live up to their legacy and lead the army against a race of telepathic sorcerers.
4. Sixteen-year-old Flynn is excited to learn that the parents she can’t remember were great military heroes—until she’s asked to lead the kingdom to war in their place.
The polls close Sunday night, and Monday I will announce the winner. Also, stay tuned for possible postings of FLYNN excerpts in the near future!