A story hook is a unique spin on your story. It’s a premise that makes it different from all other stories on the market. The hook is vital to the entire story, and you must know what your book’s unique hook is to be able to write the hook for the opening scenes.
For the opening scenes, writers will oftentimes use a compelling first line to hook readers. A hook can also be well-placed story questions in the opening the reader is dying to know the answers to, or it can include all of these elements.
The hook should appear in the opening pages or first scenes in your book. The job of a hook is to capture your readers attention and not let them go by using a compelling character, a unique premise, unique stakes, and unique conflict.
A hook is provocative, compelling, maybe even unbelievable - but the story is executed in a very believable way!
Hooks should be relatable and should not appear too late in the story. The hook should appear in the opening pages - it's job is to reel your readers in to your story. If you wait too long to show the hook, you’ve already lost them.
Examples of Hooks in opening scenes:
The Hunger Games
The Reaping is introduced - a game in which children fight to the death and only one can come out alive.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
A boy lives in a closet and has a sad and dreary life.
Nick’s wife goes missing but when questioned by police, Nick holds back information, which makes readers wonder if he’s responsible or not.
The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez
Nestor, a child of a military family can talk to animals.
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