Tuesday, July 31, 2018

What Is Your Story's Hook?

Simply stated, your hook is what makes your book unique. Your hook is just as important as your story's characters, plot, climax and resolution, if not more. Can the reader relate to the hook, is it marketable and will the reader feel it's worth their time?  

Once you’ve identified your hook, ask yourself, would an age appropriate reader for your story care about it. For example, would a 12-year-old boy care if his mother gets a promotion and his father stays home doing childcare? Probably not, but he would care if his whole family went on vacation and left him home alone.

Your hook can be a statement or a question. 

In THIS TINY PERFECT WORLD by Lauren Gibaldi, will Penn stay in her small town with her boyfriend, start a family and run the family diner or will she leave and pursue her dream of becoming an actress in a big city?

In GEMINI by Sonya Mukherjee, Clara, a conjoined twin wants surgical separation, but her twin, Hailey, does not. Can Clara convince Hailey to have the surgery?

IF I STAY by Gayle Forman, after a tragic car accident leaves Mia in a coma, she must choose to fight for a life without her parents and brother or give up and die.

RAIN REIGN by Ann M. Martin, Rose, a girl with autism, has to decide whether to look for her lost dog or stay home where it’s safe and familiar, but never see her dog again.

FAR FROM THE TREE by Robin Benway, Grace, who always knew she was adopted, tells her adoptive parents that she wants to find her birth mother.

Think about some of your favorite stories. What made you read the book? A good exercise to help you identify and write your hook is to read the back cover of novels. You can also include your hook in your query letter.

Before you spend months or years working on your novel, spend time thinking of a hook that is identifiable, unique, one that is strong enough to be turned into a book (a product that can be sold) and one that a reader will care about.






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