Monday, April 02, 2007


"Where's the beef?"

"Have a Coke and a smile..."

"Yadda, yadda, yadda."

"Da plane! Da plane!"

So, what do all these quotes have in common? (Other than possibly being very annoying?)

They hooked our attention once upon a time.

What does that have to do with writing?

Well, what's one of the tools we have at our disposal to draw in our readers?

Insert "Jeopardy!" music

Did you guess "a hook"????????

What compels a reader to pick up our novels and read them in the first place? They like the cover enough to read the blurb on the back. The back cover blurb provides a general look at what's between the covers, but also entices the reader with....


You guessed it.

A hook.

Once you've drawn the reader in, you want to make it impossible for them to put the book down.

How do we do this?

C'mon. I bet you know the answer by now!

The hook!

So, what goes into making a good hook? What's involved?

A good hook can be any number of things. The initial "buy this book hook" could be the plot-- have you done something clever with a tired, overused ploy? Does your sense of humor shine through? Have you titilatted the reader with the promise of an absorbing plot/setting/characters/situation?

The "continue to read my book hook" rests in how each chapter begins and ends. You want the reader to salivate from one end of each chapter to the other. You set up an intriguing situation, asked a powerful question, tossed in a surprise twist, left a one-liner to drool over, left them with the promise of something big just around the corner.

In short, to my way of thinking, there isn't really a "secret hook formula." You use the plot you've set in motion, the characters, the setting, and/or the current situation to your best advantage. You play with the words, the phrasing, the sentence structure, the POV --- in short, any and all the tools you have available.

Happy hooking. GGG.

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