Thursday, May 20, 2010

Logline/Hook Line Blogfest – Steam Palace

Logline/Hook Line Blogfest – Steam Palace

Book Hook Logo 1.png Thanks to Bryan for hosting the Logline/Hook line Blogfest! Follow the link to read all the other entries!

Since I’m out of town this weekend, I’m posting this up today. I won’t be able to look at the other entries or reply to comments until Monday.

Here are my five (well, six, but 2 aren’t serious) hooks from my WIP Steam Palace:

  1. Simple one:
    A milkmaid can save her country by marrying the man responsible for inviting evil invaders, but her heart belongs to another.
  2. Now for a wordy one:
    In a backwards world where New England never joined the Revolution, a former noblewoman seeks to restore her family name by journeying to the Steam Palace, a den of lawlessness and sin, and attracting the one man who can fulfill her wishes—but only by destroying her country—and her heart—in the process.
  3. Another:
    Torn between her country and her heart, an ambitious milkmaid seeks to restore her family’s name but is caught in a web of intrigue when her fiancé plots her nation’s destruction—and she discovers she is in love with another.
  4. I’m not sure how accurate this one is, but it’s different.
    When an ambitious milkmaid discovers her hitherto unknown identical twin trapped in a morass of sin and degradation, she risks her country’s future and her own heart to rescue her sister from the depths of ignominy and start a new life.
  5. Now for the lamest possible hook:
    Steam Palace is a really kewl book about this girl Sophia who like goes to the Steam Palace thing which is this big boat that’s like a Western lawless town and she meets this chick Viola who tries to turn her into a prostitute but Sophia is too smart and so she forms a band and they play for the Duke who’s like tots into Sophia but he’s doing Viola and they’re identical twins so it’s really messed up and the Nazi-esque Reichlanders want to take over New Britannia but Sophia has to stop them because she really digs the Queen and so the book is about Sophia trying to attract the Duke, not piss off Viola, save the country, and hook up with Thomas who’s this awesome ex-Sky Captain but he’s like a dope fiend so he’s gotta work on himself first so it’s all really complicated and stuff but you’ll love it.

    Now to Steampunkify the lame hook:
    “Steam Palace” is a most excellent novel pertaining to a young maiden named Miss Sophia Stratton who travels to a most quaint and extraordinary vessel known as the aforementioned “Steam Palace” which resembles nothing less than a fearsome Western outpost drowning in lawlessness whereupon she encounters another fair maiden known as a Miss Viola Willamante who endeavors to matriculate young Miss Sophia into a most unfortunate profession—indeed the world’s oldest—however, Miss Sophia cognates on Miss Viola’s prevarications and instead assembles a wondrous set of musicians who capture His Grace the Duke’s attentions so he requires their ministrations at his gala Ball during which he becomes infatuated with the beauty and talent of Miss Sophia—whilst still secretly courting Miss Viola (who bears a striking—no, an identical resemblance to Miss Sophia)—where was I—oh yes, during this gala Ball the horrid and altogether reprehensible Reichlanders reveal their plot to steal New Britannia from her people but Miss Sophia cannot let such terrible threats stand, for she loves her Queen dearly, so my fine readers, if you are still digesting my litany, let me summarize: to save her dear country, Miss Sophia must win the hand of the reclusive Duke, keep doppelgängerous Miss Viola at arm’s length, and oh did I mention that her heart has become irretrievable entangled with ex-Sky Captain Thomas Putnam of the Third Aeronautium who himself is entangled in the dreaded thicket of opium addiction, so poor Miss Sophia is most torn between all these competing and conflicting notions? Now I must breathe.

Well? Any jump out at you? Any suggestions or ideas on how to make these better? Thanks for any feedback.


  1. Nice work. I like the second one. Something about it makes the idea feel different, with more involved. I like the milkmaid in general, but something about that in the logline felt a bit turn off to me. But I can't pinpoint it exactly as too why.

    You scared me. I was afraid today was the blogfest and I'd forgotten to post something. Had to go and check the main page just to make sure.

    Well done posting the different loglines and even adding the amusing versions. ;-)

  2. Number four is my second favorite.

    I dug the steampunkified version best, even though it was only for fun. I'd almost be tempted to send that to a couple of pub/agents just to see what happened.

    - Eric

  3. The lamest hook sure got me laughing, LOL..

  4. I like number 3, it tells you a lot without giving everything away (although I'm not sure if that's ok in loglines??). Nr 5 was definately the funniest ; )

    ps. may I be annoying and announce The Blogfest of Death (July 18th)? Could you add me to your list (and join in on the fun) pretty please?

  5. @Dawn: Yeah she's only a milkmaid for like one scene so it's not totally defining.

    @Eric: I had a lot of fun with that.

    @Myne: but it's true! :)

    @Tessa: Hmm no consensus so far...I added your blogfest but I can't use Steam Palace...if I revealed who dies it would spoil the story!

  6. You can kill anyone you like ; )

  7. Thanks for joining the blogfest!

    I really laughed at the Steampunk version, but if we're looking for a real logline, I think #2 stands head-and-shoulders above the rest.

    #1 is too generic to really convey any tension. I love your opening phrase of #2 ("In a backwards world where New England never joined the Revolution..."). This is a great setting description and provides the right segue into the rest of the description.

    Definitely the one you want to run with!

    Thanks again for participating!

  8. I'm like Dawn -- I liked #2. And you're right. These things are the kidney stones of queries. It is cruel and unusual punishment to force us to cram 400 pages into logical, inticing sentence.

  9. I'm definitely in for No. 2. I felt it had enough specificity, got the plot in there and also told me right off that it's steampunk. Great job! (And I'm a new follower) :D

  10. @Bryan: Thanks for hosting! I do see the benefits of #2: setting, conflict, stakes, and consequences.

    @Roland: I hear ya. The thing is to write them early in the process, before or during your first draft.

    @Zoe: Welcome! I do think #2 is probably the keeper.

    So on #2, what do people think of the punctuation? Is 3 em-dashes overkill? I'm thinking of deleting the first one. Does that still work?

  11. Haha I don't think you want suggestions on improving #5! That was hilarious!

    I love #1. While it's simple, it does tell me just enough to make me intrigued. Sometimes not enough information can be frustrating and put a reader off, but in this case it would, I think, make a reader want to read the book to find out the details.

    #2 has too many clauses, and the hyphens make you stop repeatedly and go 'okay' and then 'okay, there's more' and then 'ah, another clause'.

    #3 and 4 are good, but I prefer the first.

    Thanks for your comments, they were very helpful! And I'm glad the premise is intriguing :)

  12. #2 without em-dashes. You might need to tighten it to make it flow, but I like that you've set the stage at the beginning and the stakes at the end.

  13. I have to say I like the brevity of number three; this must say all you need it to convey?

  14. Hey, Andrew. I really like the second one the best. It puts the conflict right at the forefront. Great job on this...these are really difficult.

  15. I liked #2 and #3 the best. Definitely thought the beginning of #2 was great but I liked the "caught in a web of intrigue when her fiancé...." part of the third although it could have been a little more specific.
    And thank you for the laughs. Guess I'll have to read your blogs about steampunk so I'll know what you're talking about. Blogs are such excellent ways to learn new things. Thank you for sharing.

  16. Hey, Andrew. I'm an em dasher m'self. Maybe replace the first with a comma? And I *thought* I'd come across a discussion about a cognitive dissonance blogfest. I thought it was Roland - but perhaps it was you!! If so, thanks for the idea - I hope you'll participate :D

  17. Steampunk! So much fun. I like the third one the best, though the sixth gives me so much more information. Do you think you can fuse the two together somehow?


    The third had a nice flow to it that I didn't find in the others.

  18. Sorry, I've been out all weekend. Great comments everyone.

    @Sangu: I do think #1 is simplest (and shortest)

    @Christine: Got it. :)

    @Tricia: Yeah I think it works without the dashes

    @Elaine: It's pretty close.

    @Raquel: It's a bit long, but that may be why it works.

    @KM: Steampunk FTW!

    @Zoe: I'll be there. My book is based on episodes of CG. No one wants to accept the reality of their situations.

    @Lovy: wink indeed.

    So I came up with a new hook concept. If anyone's listening, here it goes.

    A girl, a mechanical horse, and enough charge to hoof it to Hartford. But is it enough to escape the past?

    Yes, there's a question. But it's a rhetorical question that has no real answer.

  19. i don't think i've ever seen a hook sentence as long as those last two entries.

    since you seem to be one of the blogfest guardians, i thought i would let you know about a fest i'm hosting July 1st. here's a link to the first post.



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