During the last Book Hook Snark-O-Meter I saw you respond over and over to various entrants, "Where is the antagonist?" But what if the book is a mystery and the antagonist shows up as a normal person all throughout the book and it's only at the very end when the protags find out who the killer is, although they both knew him as a friend?
Doesn't the hook mainly focus on the beginning of the story and the protags' problems and what's keeping them from solving them right away? Or did you maybe mean the antag should be mentioned in the context of the problems he presents, in this case the crime? I'm speaking of a book that doesn't have scenes in the antag's POV. From reading posts on DorothyL over a period of years, most of that list's inhabitants strongly dislike scenes where the reader has to get inside the antag's head and listen to all that angst, as do I because it's been so overused in recent years.
So my question is: If you don't have any antagonist-head-scenes, how would you expect to see the antag presented in a hook, if at all?.
Mostly I want to know you HAVE one. When you send me a query, there's been no filter. I don't assume you even know what a bad guy is or that aliens don't belong in chapter 14. Your hook helps me see that you have a correctly constructed novel. From the examples you saw (and in the upcoming round two) you'll see that vivid writing can trump all of that. A good percentage of the "bingo bango bongo" entries didn't follow the XYZ form at all.
XYZ is to help you make sure you DO have all the elements and that you talk about them, rather than world building or long ass descriptions.
The function of a hook in a query letter is MUCH different than a hook on the dust jacket of a book. By the time someone picks up the book in a bookstore, more than a few people have read it and said "yea, this is good". When you send me a query letter, I'm reading with no such assurances. Being clear you know what you're doing is a good thing.