Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Catch your readers…Hook, First Line and Story

“May I have your attention, please?”

What if you started off your novel this way, asking for the reader’s attention?

If you are a good writer, you do just that, only in not so polite a way. You stick the reader in the beginning of your story with such a traumatic/outlandish/dark & gritty or unusual beginning, they can’t help but read on to find out what is going to happen to the main character in the story.

Examples of great beginnings:

First the colors.
Then the humans.
That’s basically how I see things.
Or at least, how I try.

Here is a small fact…
You are going to die.

THE BOOK THIEF – Markus Zusak 

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We are orphans. We use our brains and our bodies to survive. But the only things that thrive in Metro City are the rats, and not all of them are rodents.
                                                                                                            Jax Stone
 
RATGIRL: SONG OF THE VIPER – Gayle C. Krause

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A narrative hook is a literary technique in the opening of a story that "hooks" the reader's attention so that he/she will keep reading.

Ideally, the "opening" is the first sentence or paragraph. Sometimes , as above they are quotes from a character or a small prologue.

A few more examples where the hook is the first sentence.

***Here is everything I know about France: Madeline and Amelie and Moulin Rouge.


                                --Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins

***Makenna had to stretch onto her toes to reach the small stone lamp, for the shelf that held it was higher than a grown woman's head, and she was only eleven.

                                     --The Goblin Wood - Hilari Bell



***In these dungeons the darkness was complete, but Katsa had a map in her mind.


                                      --Graceling - Kristin Cashore


The hook must create immediate tension, ask a question or find a way to allure your reader into the story. The hook sets up the entire scene, makes way for the plot and opens the door for the characters to shine, flawed and all.

Check over your manuscript and choose the best sentence to introduce your story. It might be the second or even down the page, but your story deserves the strongest beginning you can give it.


Next up on "The Author's ABC's……….Independent Publishing.




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