Author Topic: Hooks - What are they  (Read 5806 times)

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Hooks - What are they
« on: October 21, 2015, 02:03:20 PM »
I copied and pasted Wolfe's reply to a question about hooks in writing. The reason? Ir was because I felt it was a good answer to a question that comes up often.
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The problem is writers misunderstand what a hook in fiction is suppose to do. Most, new novelists believe the 'hook' is suppose to be a gimmick of sorts. A way to 'trick' the reader into reading more.

This is incorrect.

The hook is how a writer introduces the reader to the world they're about to enter. It's an invitation to come and see. The way, or method, sets the tone for your novel. The novels you think didn't have a hook . . . they did.

But you didn't recognize the method.

For example, has anyone yet realized when we read the first lines of each topics' responses, we also make a judgment on the writer's ability and experiences? Why does one poster's responses seem amateurish while another's reads spot-on professional? You made that call with the member's first lines in response. This is not 'publishing' behavior, but a human one.

It's the first impression.

In reading, we cannot judge you from your appearance, actions, or anything cosmetic. We judge with your words and your word choices.

Again, this is human.

The reason you found certain hooks 'gimmicky' is because you saw the author's writing. Again, writing must be invisible. Natural. And the words must create the world with ease in your mind. If you see the words, the writer has failed. It takes time, a lot of time, for an author to find that area between technique and storytelling. But, given that time, the benefits are well worth it.

I never go out of my way to dislike any author's work. I want to love them all. But, in publishing, I must know, quickly, if you can do the job and write sentences well enough to keep interest for over 50,000 words. And well enough for people to pay you for it.

This is especially true in this electronic age where everyone has access to writing. Wannabes have muddied the waters. So, the hook is more necessary than ever to help weed out those not yet worthy for publication. And the query letter. And the first page. And the partial. And the full.

Seeing the trend?

That's just how it is in mainstream today. Is that a standard too high? Maybe to some. But, in the business, that's just how it is. One wrong choice for an agent or editor can cost a career. It's brutal.

But so is this business.
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Offline matty11

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Re: Hooks - What are they
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2017, 11:46:17 PM »
Good advice. thanks.

Offline peterdep

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Re: Hooks - What are they
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2018, 05:52:54 AM »
Excellent post - agree 100%