What does that mean? Simply, we must write stories that grab readers at page one and never let them go. It’s not as easy as it seems. To start with, a stellar beginning/opening is vital these days, especially for aspiring authors if we want that coveted publishing contract.
According to statistics, editors/agents reject manuscripts before they’ve finished reading the first few pages. I wanted to know why. So I studied many books on the craft of writing and took several creative writing classes that addressed that very issue. I also read and researched multi-published authors’ books, trying to get the feel of what set them apart. Then I practiced, rewrote and practiced again hoping to get the words right.
Here’s a stellar ‘Get Hooked’ opening from Carved In Stone by Vickie Taylor (Berkley Sensation): Nothing reminded Nathan Cross he wasn’t human so much as an attractive woman watching his every move from across a crowded room.
Now doesn’t that make you want to read more? It does me. The book continues to be stellar throughout and never lets the reader down all the way to the end.
Our first goal as an author is to evoke an emotional response that hooks the reader. Les Edgerton, leading authority on writing stellar hooks says, “If you are able to capture the right beginning, you’ve written a small version of the whole story right there.”
How can we go wrong with that? The best advice I can give about hooking editors, agents and ultimately readers, is to write a stellar opening and then make sure the rest of your story lives up to that fabulous beginning.”
Kaye Manro’s science fiction romance FORBIDDEN LOVE releases at Red Rose Publishing on May 20, 2010.
Great tip, Kaye! And you’re right…that’s one heck of an opener from Carved In Stone!
Brilliant advice, Kaye.
Thanks for stopping by, Cari and Suzanne!
I love hooks that are different – something truly unique as a beginning. Drop me into the middle of the action. Have the scream rip through the night and explain it later. :grin:
Great advice, Sandra! The scream ripping through the night is a cool opening for sure!
I usually give a book more than a few opening pages, I never read less than 50 pages but if the author doesn’t have me hooked by then, I won’t finish the book and might not buy that author again.
Thanks Maria! I can agree with you as well. If I’m not hooked after reading a few chapters, I usually don’t finish the book.
I like to be hooked straight away. :grin:
I love a good hook. As a reader, I want to live the story, try on a new world in a new perspective. Thanks for the post!
I agree great advice! I still don’t think I could write. I use to write poetry in high school all the time. Love the short story writing me had to do in class, but I’ve lost that imagination I had back then, not sure where it went lol