HH Com 200 (196)

In a land with winged horses but no knowledge of magic, a young woman tries to hide her ability to shake the earth.

Maurwyn Respen fears her ground-rattling powers almost as much as she hates her reputation for reckless behavior. It's getting harder to hide her connection to the periodic tremors in her mountain home, and soon, her parents and the other residents working there will discover
her secret. Determined to protect her loved ones from herself, she exchanges the comforts of her aristocratic birth for the dangers of the road—but someone else has magic, and he wants vengeance.

Beyond Lyriad's northern border, Xanier plans revenge against the Lyrinese people. His father brought magic to this land to help them, but they drove him out, wrecking his dream and leaving Xanier to grow up in exile. Now, Xanier senses a new power, a woman who can tear rock beneath his invading forces. He plots to bind her to his will and add her powers to his own.

Your hook starts here:
When Maurwyn learns of an exile's plans to crush her homeland, she swears to save her people by killing him. She hires a guide to the man's distant stronghold. While navigating the wilderness of forests and ice, she's drawn to her brooding guide—unaware he's Xanier in
disguise. His charm intrigues her; his aloofness mystifies her. She doesn't know he suffers every day, captivated by her spirit…torn between his need for vengeance and the potent force of love.

You're world building-stop.
You're blathering-focus.

Using that last paragraph, flesh it out with specifics. I like the idea of a heroine who doesn't like having superpowers. And excuse me but where are the winged horses??? I want winged horses!!!!!!!!! (I'd need a special saddle so Killer Yapp can come along for the ride)


Rainbow's Margarite said...

Note to MS: there are "puppy packs" for saddles!
Maggie Bichon

Anonymous said...

It's tough leaving out the world building set up, isn't it? You spend so much time doing it at the beginning of the book, but I have to agree with MS, the first few paragraphs give the hook a slow start. Maybe bring in the nature of the powers after you introduce the fact that the two of them are traveling together without getting into the faily suspecting (which isn't all that "hook worthy" IMO)

Anonymous said...

Ground-rattling is a *cool* power!

Angus Weeks said...

I have a complicated fantasy novel half-written and had always wondered how I would manage a hook for it. I had thought some elements of 'world-building' would be necessary to mention.

This is why I have found Miss Snark's comments on all of the fantasy and SF so far to be invaluable. And I realise she is right about leaving out the world-building in the hook. No matter where or when the story is set, the most important elements remain protagonist, antagonist, and conflict.

With reference to the hook presented here, the paragraph where Miss Snark says 'hook starts here' is clearly the strongest paragraph, with both protagonist, antagonist, and conflict present. I would absolutely second Miss Snark's advice here. This paragraph makes the book sound worth reading (for those not allergic to romance like me), and not all the carefully detailed stuff beforehand which while essential to the context of the story in the book, is not all necessary in the hook.