Hooking a reader.
In the beginning god gave us light!! LOL I’ve always wanted to start a paragraph off with that. Which brings me to the point of this article. I’m always hearing how editors tell authors they must ‘hook’ a reader. It brings to mind the fishing rod scenario. But if you think about it, how many times do we sit down to watch a film only to be bored to death within the first few minutes? In this age where competition is rife, grabbing a reader’s attention is like holding onto a slippery fish. Fast, fierce and riveting should be the things aimed for with a hook. A new angle, twist of writing style sets you apart from the rest.
I remember reading a book, Night Visions, by Ariana Dupre and was completely thrown that her witch character, was a man. A rather, hunky one to boot. What a twist, when all the foreshadowing made me feel like she was the usual ‘hag witch’. Be honest now. How many books have you picked up then cast aside because they just don’t do it for you? I’ve had two this month. The greatest gift a reader can give an author is the words, ‘I could not put the book down’. I had that with my latest book Abigail Cottage. The reader said, she literally stayed after work to read it! The one thing that struck me was the fact she said, even when she put the book down, she was still thinking bout the story and characters. That really gave me a sense of ‘job’ well done!
I believe that an author really needs to sit down and think who their first readers will be. Over worked editors and Agents! They look for a ‘hook’ straight away. Almost like a person dying of thirst in the desert would search for water. A crashing noise, explosion, head chopping off (if you write horror lol) is a first sentence hook. It compels a reader to read on and see what’s happened. Joking aside, it is so important and each page should end with a page turner. You need your reader to want to turn that page. So remember, even one word can hook. Don’t be afraid to cast out your rods with hooks made of steel.
Buy Abigail Cottage in e-book and print HERE
My links: www.margaretwest.net