Examples of Great Hooks

The other day I posted tips for writing great hooks. I got a request for some examples of good hooks, and I am happy to oblige!

Here are the two I’ve been using for my WIPs. (Is it arrogant to use my own hooks as good examples? Eh. Maybe).

“Sixteen-year-old Aurelia’s second language just might get her killed.”

“Seventeen-year-old princess Livia was joking when she said she’d rather die than marry prince Caden, but assassins make take her request seriously.”

Here one from my lovely writing group partner:

“The memory-stealing Aster were banished long before El’s birth, but it’s their fault Mama is dying.”

– Meghan Jashinsky

And here are some links to critiques I’ve done that had hooks I liked.

Query 1 Rewrite: “Seventeen year old Susan Black’s ability to control all forms of earth helps her protect the city of Caperville from dastardly villains and monsters.”

Critique 8: “Two years ago, fifteen-year-old Zoey was abducted and held prisoner for six months.”

Critique 15: “Melissa Stratten puked on a senior basketball player while hooking up, and nobody will stop whispering about it.”

Critique 22: “After arriving on Mars with no memory of her life on Earth, a young girl must uncover the mysteries of her past while attending an institution training the red planet’s next generation of leaders.”

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5 thoughts on “Examples of Great Hooks

  1. Pingback: The Hook | Thoughts From the Agent Desk

  2. A common theme in most of these hooks is stating how old the protagonist is. Whilst I appreciate agents/publishing houses need to know what kind of book it is to gauge the audience in question, how important is it to state every single time “xxx-year-old Jane Doe etc.” in a pitch?

    • Not necessarily. It’s a formula I like to use for YA/MG but would probably discard for an adult novel. Also, if there were something else in the hook that indicated age. Like if there was a reference to high school, I probably wouldn’t specify an age because it’s already been established as YA.

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