This is the blog of children's book author and third grade teacher, Stacy Barnett Mozer. I blog about my own writing journey, the journey of other kidlit authors, my classroom, and talk about books. Thanks for stopping by. Your thoughts are always welcome (and encouraged).

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Finding My Hook

I recently started working on a new manuscript. I thought it was going well. I liked the voice and the characters and had a basic idea where the story was going...

Then someone asked me what the story was about.

After about five minutes explaining the characters, the setting, some details, I realized I had a problem.

My "story" wasn't a story. It didn't come together. It needed a hook.

So I asked myself some important questions:
- Why will someone want to read this book?
- What will get them to keep reading?
- What is the story really about?

I think I know have the answers to those questions. It will mean a bit of rewriting, but hopefully the story that comes out will be one that will be worth reading.

What do you do when you can't explain your story? How do you find your hook?


  1. I am struggling with this as well--I've decided to pause the writing for a bit, print out what I have, and try to find out what I've got. My goal is to have a good one-sentence synopsis of my WiP before I go to the SCBWI conference in a few weeks!

    1. Good luck coming up with your sentence. Maybe I'll see you at SCBWI!

  2. I'm not a writer, but the idea of being able to easily explain a story -- be it about any project -- is important! Good luck with your story!

  3. I work with these questions [though this is easier said than done]: What does the main character need/want (goal), what is she willing to go through to get it (challenges), how will she succeed in the end (triumph). Boil each one down to a sentence, and you'll have a brief statement of what your book is about. Now, if you can get it to one sentence . . . agents and editors will love you.

  4. I like your questions to help focus your writing. It reminds me of the "elevator pitch" - what you would tell an editor/agent about your book in the 30 seconds of an elevator ride. It forces you to bring it down to the bare essentials.


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