‘You need to hook your readers’. I’m sure you’ve all heard this before. You are told that without that hook, you will lose your reader or any chance of being published. But how do you grab a reader on the first page, to make them read on?
The key to writing a good hook is to tell the reader enough to keep them interested. But you want to leave out enough to make the reader want to read more. You want your reader to ask questions, such as Why? What? Where? When and How?
So to help you bait your writing, here’s five ways that you can hook your reader:
- Action hook – this is where the story starts with a bang. This could involve a physical threat, danger, or an accident. For example, you have a story about a baker who needs to bake a wedding cake. So the story could start with her oven blowing up.
- Dialogue hook – this is where you start your story with a catchy piece of dialogue. It needs to be something that draws the reader in and makes them want to find out more. For example, you could have your character say, “What are you doing with that gun?”
- Mood or setting hook – this is where the story starts with an intriguing setting or mood that will pull your readers in. However, you need to make sure that this mood or setting matches the tone of your book.
- Character hook – for this hook you will need to show something interesting about your character that the reader can relate to or is shocked by. This could include their personality or circumstances. However, you don’t need to describe everything about the character in the first paragraph.
- Edit – you are unlikely to get your hook right the first – or even the second – time around. The opening hook will, in fact, need more of your editing than the rest of your story. So keep at it!
And there you have it - five ways to hook your readers. Happy writing!
Written by Nicole Simms
Posted on 24/06/2016
by Elizabeth Lee Reynolds