My Gran always said, “Start the way you intend to carry on.” That’s good advice, which is why I advise reading The All-Important First Five Pages.
Below are hooks from three fellow WordPress Writers. If you like their hooks, please click their title links.
The paintbrush slipped from her fingers and fell to the floor, speckling green paint on her shoe. Shannon swore under her breath. She picked up the brush and glanced at the canvas. A man in a toga stared back.
“Too bad you aren’t real, Bacchus,” she murmured. “I could really use a half-naked man right now.”
She padded into the classroom, her black satin robe tight around her nude form. She glanced around the room and took in the students setting up and the professor shuffling papers on his desk. It was a normal class for the most part. Girls studiously set out their pencils, paper, and smudgers. The smaller group of guys eyed her with interest. She could always got those looks considering the type of modeling she was doing. Although some were actually there to advance their artistic studies, there were a few bold stares. Stares like those made her wonder why she modeled.
Detective Lina Blackmoore passed the bouncer’s inspection and stepped into a club unlike she’d ever seen. Midnight Sex Shop was a “legal” underground sex club. The club supposedly offered everything and for the right price, a customer could get anything. And Lina was here just to see how far that anything went.
Since we’ve been on the topic of hooks this week, I thought I’d share with you one of my favorites. The Fever series by Karen Marie Moning is superb, and in my opinion Darkfever has one of the best hooks of all time. (Click on the quote for a full excerpt of Darkfever)
Beautiful! There is a reason this book is a bestseller, and it’s Moning’s ability to suck you into the story. Her writing is suspenseful and intriguing. When writing your hooks–scratch that, when writing your entire manuscript, you should incorporate this same atmosphere. Readers want to feel the tension. Make me want to read more. If your first sentence isn’t good enough grab my attention, chances are, neither is the rest of your story. I’m not saying this to be cruel, but you need to realize that first impressions last the longest. Think of Twilight. Why do you think so many people made it through the insanely slow pace of that book? The prologue! It catches your attention.
“I’d never given much thought to how I would die–though I’d had reason enough in the last few months–but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this.”
Whether you love or hate Twilight doesn’t change the fact that that’s a good opening line, because it makes the reader curious. Who’s going to die? Why? How? What reasons did the narrator have to think he/she would die?
Your hook should create questions, so that people have a reason to move forward.
Every great book has a great hook.
Bad rhyme aside, there’s a wealth of truth in that statement. We live in a fast-paced world, and you have to assume everyone has ADHD. If you want a reader to get past the first page, you have to grab their attention and hold on to it. Nothing does this like a great hook. Unfortunately, there is no recipe for greatness. As my Mama would say, “it either is one or it ain’t.”
The question is, how do you know if it’s a great hook?
The only way to really test your hook is to let others read it and be the judge. That’s what this post is for. In the comments, post your hook (one to two sentences) and your blog/website address(preferably to an excerpt or blurb, if you have one). I will post everyone’s hook in a new post, and you’ll see how intriguing your hook is by the number of hits your link gets. And even if your happy with your hook, this is a great why to advertise.