Do you think it’s important to hook fast?

A reader that is.

How soon should a reader expect to feel the tug of a hook? That ah-ha moment that keeps them turning the page?


First paragraph, page, or chapter?

At times I’m a bit of a perfectionist. I’ll mess with an opening until I feel that tug myself. Then I can continue writing. Often I’ll rewrite the beginning of a story a dozen times before I feel happy with it. I’m not talking about grammar mistakes. Those are easy fixes by an editor. I’m talking about that “feeling.”

There are a lot of do’s and do not’s but the most important rule to me is “feeling” that tug. That knowing hook.

I’ll be buzzing right along in the middle of a scene when bam, I know something is wrong. The line broke. I have to go back and fix my hook and bait. Wiggle the line until once again I feel that familiar tug.vintage-1817338_640How about y’all? Do you write until the opening tugs at you to go on or do you just wing it?

As always I’ve left you some great reading at the bottom of my post. Let me know what you think.

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How to Find the Start of Our Story

10 Ways to Start Your Story Better

How to Set Up a Story’s Hook

The 21 Best Tips for Writing Your Opening Scene

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25 thoughts on “Do you think it’s important to hook fast?

  1. “Hooking” the reader, at least in terms of intrigue and suspense, is something that I tend to still struggle with, I think. I tend to concentrate on drawing the reader to a place, and I try to keep things SOUNDING interesting, if that makes sense, but I don’t know that I’m always as cognizant as I should be of how I’m laying out that trail of breadcrumbs for the reader to follow.

    I do try to keep working on that, though. I know of one recent piece in particular where I knew there would be a moment that would punch the reader in the gut when they came to it, and I kind of built towards it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hook fast? Maaaaybe. Depends on your definition of hook, and what kind of book I’m reading. Since I read tons of non-fiction, I don’t expect an emotionally riveting first sentence, a nice “The purpose of this book is….” will do just fine. In fact, I’ve grown to hate the “Like most moms, Jenny had great expectations about her motherhood. She……” kind of opening that tries to personalize what the writer is about to tell me by introducing me to a fictional ‘composite” of real case histories. As if I won’t believe the writer knows his stuff. Not necessary for me. It’s just blather. Get on with it, I’m not going to live forever. I prefer the “Sink the Bismarck” intro. which goes like this “In May of 1941, the war had just begun. The British had the biggest ships, they had the biggest guns…” Remember the song? A history lesson in less than three minutes and set to music to boot. Perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. lol – I’m an obsessive re-writer, but it’s as much for me as for readers. I have to get that certain something happening otherwise I’m incapable of ‘just writing’. Then again, if I do get it right, then the next scene and the one after that tend to be a breeze. If… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I really think it depends on what the story is and what it is you want your writing to achieve. There does need to be a hook early, but it doesn’t have to be dramatic, it might just be a turn of phrase which hints at something awry or a slight subversion of expectations. Some stories I like to turn things on its head in the opening sentence, but I also like slow burners, where if I’ve written it well, there is a sense of impending doom through the language used and imagery and not anything explicit. I like the readers to have to do plenty of work to fill gaps 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I try to hook fast because there is a lot of competition out there. I don’t want someone to give up on my book before they’ve really given it a go! As a reader, it really depends on how I’m feeling. I have the rule that I have to at least read the free Amazon sample before giving up. I don’t always follow that rule, though, especially if there are tons of grammatical errors.

    Liked by 3 people

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