I hadn’t really planned on spending the day I was going to write my post for H evading a party of hover-board riding hippos, but sometimes well laid plans are just hijacked by high kicking hippopotami. Luckily, I’ve managed to snag some peace and quiet to bring you this post. H… is for Hooks!
Now, when I say hook… I don’t mean something to catch fish, or the villain of Peter Pan; I mean a writing hook. It’s the very beginning of a book or story that catches your attention and draws you in. There are as many ways to implement a hook as there are writers and people who love to read. In most cases, the hook is designed to make the reader ask a question. For the silly hook attached to this post, maybe you’re asking where the hover-bard riding hippos came from, and what they might have wanted with me.
When starting a story, I’m always trying to make sure that the change from life-as-normal to omg-what-is-happening is close to the beginning. Sometimes I have it happening AS the story starts, but it depends on the story itself. Sometimes I want to lay out more of what the characters regular day-to-day is like before I mess things up for them. Regardless, there has to be something that makes a reader want to keep reading.
This is a great resource that lists six types of hooks and how they might inspire a reader to keep reading: http://kobowritinglife.com/2012/10/14/six-tips-for-engaging-readers-within-two-seconds-the-hook-in-fiction-and-memoir/.
This is something I’m still learning about, so questions. How do you think about writing hooks? And do you have a favorite style of hook as a reader?