Saturday, May 22, 2010

Read the fine print carefully - or - hook lines for my current wip

I wanted to join Bryan's Logline/Hook Line Blogfest but it's been a very hectic week and I didn't read his rules closely enough. I got the part that I was supposed to have my hook lines posted today. What I didn't catch was that I was supposed to let him know my blog url before May 22, not on May 22. So I'm going to post the hook lines I've worked on this week and I'm going to let him know but I don't know that it will do me any good. Too bad, so sad. One needs to always read the fine print carefully.

Before I post my hook lines, let me say that this has been another huge learning experience. I've read several excellent blogs about hook lines this week, blogs that helped me craft my own. Chris Richman of Upstart Crow Literary says they should be 25 words or less. I read another blog from an editor who said it shouldn't be over 20 words. Have you ever tried to distill a complete novel into so few words? !!! It's doable but it's difficult.
Anyway, here are the hook lines that I've devised for FIND EXCALIBUR'S SHEATH!.

#1. Elfhame wants its treasures back and expects abandoned adolescent, Alex Anderson, to face off with Morgan le Fay in Avalon to get them. (23 words)

#2.  An adolescent must guard his virtue and his life from Morgan le Fay while searching for Excalibur and its sheath.  (20 words)

#3.  Both virtue and  life are at stake when an abandoned adolescent must retrieve Excalibur and its sheath from deadly sorceress, Morgan le Fay of Avalon.  (25 words)

#4.  Elfhame requires an abandoned adolescent to face off with a deadly sorceress and retrieve Excalibur and its sheath. (18 words)

#5. A rune reading sends an orphaned adolescent and his companions on a deadly mission to retrieve Excalibur and its sheath.   (20 words)

Which do you think is best? Are any of them worth keeping?


  1. #5 is perfect. I don't know the story, but it's got it all intrigue, a quest and excitement. I'm interested!

  2. I like #2 the best. It's short, to the point, but with humor and flair. It reads smoothly. An agent would appreciate that. Come read mine if you'd like, Roland

  3. I'm weary so that is why my comment must've evaporated. I like #2. It is short, to the point, but done with humor and flair, reading smoothly. Agents like that.

    How did I find out about your entry? The spirit of my Main Character, Samuel McCord, the undead Texas Ranger, whispered to me.

    "Hey, partner, give old K M a read. Anyone that in love with the Rockies gets my vote."


  4. Oooh, I like five the best :) It nicely sums up events but keeps the element of mystery ;)

  5. Hi KM, thanks for joining the blogfest -- and no worries; you're NOT too late. You simply needed to add your name to the list on my blog today (May 22) so others joining in the pain/fun have a chance to read your entry today, too.

    First off, my hat's off to you for limiting your descriptions to 25 words or less. All my recommendations are going to ignore this restriction.

    Maybe I can entice you to expand your reach now that you've whittled things down to such bare bones and shoot for a 50-or-so word sentence that conveys more information -- the conflict's stakes, consequences, and all that goodness.

    The lines I like best are #3 and 5 -- if you merge aspects of these and clearly spell out what's the driving force, the stakes (what exactly will/won't happen if he fails), then I think you'd have a really good logline.

    Thanks for joining in!

  6. #5 works the best for me, I think! It's simple and there's a lack of detail, which can be easily fixed, but it does intrigue me and make me think: huh. Maybe that'll be a great read!

  7. It seems like I'm always the problem child in these comments. I also like #5 the best. It just works. If you wanted to rework it, you could always expand it to include the stakes that you've mentioned in the first few. Good work. :)

  8. Thank you, RaShelle, for stopping by and taking the time to look over my log lines. I’m glad you liked #5. I struggled with that one. I’m glad you’re interested. It’s been a struggle but, in the end, it’s been a fun book to write. Hope you can read it soon.

    Roland, thank you for your kind words. I try to make my writing easy to read so it means a lot that you think I write with humor and flair. I really make an effort to do just that.
    If your Samuel McCord is half as fun as the Sam McCord in the movie, North to Alaska, I know I’ll enjoy reading about him. N to A is, by the way, my favorite movie. Great blog you have. I’m all over your choice of music and the photos are superb.

    Mia, I really like your blog, too. I could lose myself in those photos you’ve posted. I’m much more prosaic. Maybe I can learn from you. I’m glad you liked #5, too. Thank you for stopping by and voting.

    Sangu, is your blog posted on Bryan’s list? I haven’t gotten through all of the list yet but I look forward to reading your log lines. Thank you for voting on mine. It helps to know what works for others and how they perceive your work.

    Bryan, thank you for your thoughts and thank you for this opportunity. I probably would have postponed doing my hook line until the very last minute if you hadn’t given me this challenge. Because I’m all over challenges, I started researching log lines the minute I read about your blogfest. I learned so much from this exercise.
    Thank you, also, for challenging me to expand and include more information. What do you think about the following?

    His virtue (lose it and he’ll lose his fairy bride) and his life (won’t do him much good to lose that, either) are at stake when a rune reading sends an orphaned adolescent to retrieve Excalibur and its sheath from the seductive sorceress, Morgan le Fay, on the isle of Avalon.

    51 words. Dang! And I can’t think what to cut unless it’s the ‘of’ before Avalon. Do that and the flow’s interrupted. Got any ideas?
    thanks, again, everyone.

  9. A problem child, Lovy? Not even. You're fine. And thank you for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate it.

  10. I liked 1 and 5. Good job with the condensing. Dang.

  11. I liked 1 and 5. Good job with the condensing. You have a way with words.

  12. Thank you for stopping by, Cathy. :) You liked 1 and 5? Your opinion means a lot since you know a lot of what's in the book.
    Hmmm. I'm gonna have to send the completed version to you if you have time to finish reading for me. Let me know. I know summer with the kids home can be hectic so if you don't have time, that's ok, too. chat with you later.