Friday, May 20, 2011

Hook 'em Baby!

It's plain and simple - If you don't hook your readers, they will drop the book and not finish reading it. If the reader is like several I have found on Goodreads, they may review your book poorly. You DON'T want that. So, you need a good hook. Give them something that they can't pass up, that makes them hungry for more. Something that makes them want to read to the end of the book to find out what happens.

What's unique about your story? 

Make a list of what makes your story different from others. Dystopian novels are very popular in young adult literature at the moment. Say you are writing one - What makes yours different from the others already out there? Don't be afraid to look at the emotional side either.

Summarize it! 

One thing that helped me to better focus my WIP and helped me to edit the hook better was the fact that I created a summary for it. Make a mock cover flap for your manuscript. What would it say? Think about what type of hook needs to be there. What would make you buy the book? Is the hook you have strong enough? Then edit your manuscript to work better with the hook. Edit, edit, edit!

False starts ... 

Come up with different ways to start your manuscript. I have been toying with one manuscript for a long while now and I seem to continually do this. I'm always changing the starting point. One draft starts in one place and a second later and a third earlier. I can't seem to make up my mind. Either way, what a reader comes across in the first fifty pages usually tells them whether they want to go on or not. I see it all the time on Goodreads.

Relate to your readers

You don't have to have a fast paced action scene to get readers to read your manuscript. It needs to be something that resonates with them. Something that they want to read more about. What makes it different and what keeps them reading is their relationship to it. Relate it to the readers. Think about this - Can they picture it in their heads. My favorite stories are always the ones that I can picture as though I'm watching a movie on the big screen.

Your Turn -> What do you think makes a great hook?

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