TLDR: Enjoy my story hooks and “back cover” synopses, and perhaps be inspired to write your own.
I enjoy writing hooks and the sorts of synopses you see on the back of book jackets. This sort of thing:
A murder in the silent after-hour halls of the Louvre museum reveals a sinister plot to uncover a secret that has been protected by a clandestine society since the days of Christ.
-The Da Vinci Code
Hopefully this will come in handy someday when sending my work to an agent. Until then its just for fun.
Here’s the one-sentence summary for a novel in progress followed by the synopsis:
Kidnapper, hero, giant-slayer: on the run from the law, a self-reliant do-gooder flees her past as she leads a crew of cynical renegades in search of a map of the Orion Spur before it can fall into the hands of the genocidal Mutant Killer.
Ten thousand light years anti-spinward from Earth, the Vela Molecular Ridge marks the fringes of human space. Disillusioned with recent changes in the Terran Protection Force, Lieutenant Jackie Thura quits to return home after fifteen years away. She finds the family farm in ruins, her parents dead, and her brother kidnapped. She knows just who to question about the kidnapping, but when her former crew tries to help out, her interrogation of Xeno Tech Acquisition agent Dirac Zhang turns into a hasty kidnapping, ship jacking, and escape to the lawless region beyond Vela Ridge known as the Abyss. In order to find her brother she’ll have to find a priceless map of the routes through hyperspace. In her way is the genocidal Mutant Killer who abhors the changes taking place in humanity and wants the map for himself. As the death toll rises and enemies close in, Jackie will be forced to confront the truth of her past and judge whether or not the Mutant Killer’s vision of humanity is also her own.
Next is the summary of my Final Fantasy 6 fanfiction (found here). This summary and the next both start with the cliched “In a world…” like the famous movie voiceover guy but I couldn’t help myself.
In a world reeling from catastrophe, un-thanked heroes robbed of their former magical powers must define a new place for themselves. Sabin’s journey takes him across a world that may never recover, a world whispering dangerous hints of magic’s rebirth.
In a world reeling from catastrophe, un-thanked heroes, robbed of their former magical powers, must redefine themselves and protect the world from demons of their own making. The kingdom of Figaro starves while Sabin, the brother of the king, wanders in search of pupils to train in the martial arts. Instead, Sabin finds a troubled world on the brink of senseless violence. Terra, herself, is gripped by madness. Will Sabin be up to the task of saving her and the kingdom as well?
Next up is the synopsis for my finished novel that I am in the process of polishing.
In a world of eternal darkness human cities can only survive huddled beneath the faint glow of the mysterious pillars that exude life-extending cronus. The Immortals jealously guard the pillars. The Holy Mortals worship the pillars, but curse the sinners who forsake their god-given mortality. The mushroom eaters get high and wonder if the stories are true: Do the pillars really hold up the sky? Viosa is old beyond memory, but the deadliest disease of Immortals runs in her veins: dissatisfaction. Zecher’s Mortal parents sacrificed everything to give him a chance at Immortality. He won’t let anything threaten the life he has gained, but that all changes when he meets Viosa. Levick is a former Immortal whose burning curiosity might be the death of him. Levick has uncovered a secret that might change everything they know about their world. Viosa’s first hesitant steps into the unknown will take her down a path from which there is no return. She will stumble and fall and before she lands the choice to destroy the world or save it will rest in her hands. Her life and her world will be never be the same.
And lastly I have the synopsis of (in my opinion) a stellar short story I wrote that is currently in search of a publisher:
Centuries after a failed Singularity, powerful machines and transcendent beings are mined from the ruins of an ancient civilization. The revolutionary plans of a brash miner, one screw-up away from losing his soul, are set in motion when he discovers a Ghost in the hidden depths of the mine. Obstructing his path are the local tyrant’s powerful henchmen: the suspicious foreman, the ever-watching Ghost slave, and the soul-stealing blood alchemist.
I hope you enjoy these exercises. Perhaps I can also inspire some others to write great hooks for their stories.