Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Hook Them From the Beginning

It is important to hook the reader from the beginning of a story. But how does the writer hook the reader right from the start. One way is to write about something that grabs or interests a reader. Some of these hooks are: a secret baby, emergency type of stories (firefighters, etc), family feuds, family secrets, missing family member, hero as a boss, police/detective, military hero/heroine, mistaken identity, cowboys, single parents, bride/wedding, bad boy comes home, and reunion stories. There are more but you get the idea. If you can write a story will a few of these elements in your story, you have a good chance of hooking the reader.

But remember once you hook them, you must write a good story to take the reader to the end of the book. As a writer, what are some of the hooks you have used? As a reader, what are your favorite hooks? They don't have to come from my list--because I only put about a third of them down. I thought of a couple of more specifically for suspense--on the run, protector hero, bodyguard, female in jeopardy. 

So come on. What hooks you as a reader? I have a copy of Scorned Justice, my third book in The Men of the Texas Rangers Series for one of the people who leaves a comment with their email address so I can get in touch with them. The hooks in this story are: female in jeopardy, a reunion story, protector hero and police/detective.



11 comments:

  1. I love a good opening line that poses a question in my mind. Something like:

    Billy Higgins prefered dying on Tuesdays, given his choice, but Thursdays weren't so bad if his favorite TV show was a rerun. Given the choice, of course, he'd just as soon skip the ordeal altogether, but a deal was a deal.

    It's an outrageous openening, but I'd keep turning the pages to find out what it means. A good writer won't answer it until he's set up the plot and another hook. Give me a weird opener and I'm a sucker every time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ron, I'm with you on that. Great opening.

      Delete
    2. Love that opening too. Now where's the book?

      Delete
  2. On the run & amnesia stories. I am both fascinated & scared to death of amnesia. Afraid of losing myself, I guess. :)
    Pen
    pmettert@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pen, I just wrote a story for a continuity series for Love Inspired Suspense where the heroine had amnesia and on the run (Detection Mission). I really had fun with that one.

      Delete
  3. Hi Margaret, Always enjoy your stories. you are so right something needs to be said or done right from the beginning to keep the reader-reading. Just thinking about something from the past that might influence the story would be good at beginning to make me read further, there are many "hooks" as you call them. thanks for sharing your comments and the book today.
    Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Paula. I appreciate your comments and entry for the book. I love secrets from the past in a story.

      Delete
  4. Robin Parrish's book "Relentless" hooked me from the beginning. Someone else was wearing his body ... how can you not keep going? I get hooked mostly by great dialogue, thoughts, emotions, questions. Keep me engaged with the main character and I'll go where they take me.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I enjoy historical, medical and suspense fiction - not necessarily in that order...lol. I love it when a little romance plays into the story, but it is not necessary. I guess my hook comes partly from which genre I want to read next. Then I look to see what I have in my library or on my Kindle that I haven't read. I usually read the back cover or a short synopsis to see which book catches my imagination today.
    bettimace(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Betz, yes the story needs to be in my genre to really grab my attention. Thanks for entering the contest.

      Delete