The Hook to the Book

A Hook to the Book!



Think of your opening scene as the one that makes something happen that triggers the chain of events in your story. Your first sentence and page start​ the ball rolling. The best books grab the reader, agent, and publisher from the very first sentence and never let’s go of their interest.

Begin your writing by showing, not telling, a character with a problem doing something shocking. On page one, your main central figure should be acting in a way that both portrays him/her and sets the plot in motion. Your main objection is to entice the reader into buying the book. A poetic description of a sunrise will not work. It’s boring because no character is involved. Novels are about people, not lovely scenery!

Authors need readers to be intrigued from the very beginning. Now the reader needs to find answers to the hook and discover what changes the character will have to make to bring an outcome to solve the problem. Something has happened or is about to happen to cause a dramatic consequence in the life of the character. The author’s goal is to arouse curiosity in the reader so that the person who picks up your book in a store and scans the first page simply must know what this character is going to do and why.

Remember, your first reader may be an editor or publisher who you are trying to hook, and if the first page does not grab them, your book may be tossed in the junk pile. You may have lost a publishing contract, even if you think your story gets better as it goes. There is too much competition out there. You need to get their attention right away. So, make that first page your Wow page. Use emotion to tug at your reader’s heartstrings. Use action in the ​show, not tell, to sell your book. Introduce a character that leaps off the first page. Put questions in the mind of the reader and make them want to turn the pages to discover what will happen next. A hook can be the first sentence with a question.

Alberta Sequeira

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