Okay so we all want to hook our readers into our story but how the heck do we do that? Well I’ll give you some tips.
Hook your readers with:
- Noise or incident.
I’ll give you examples on how to do this down below.
You want to hook your reader with a big bang! Some form of noise or incident that makes your reader want to know,
“What the heck just happened??”
They’ll want to read on and they’ll care about your character. That’s what we want more than anything is for your readers to care about your character and their world.
“Chase slowly leaned closer to Nelly. He could feel her hot breath against his lips and it sent chills down his back. He felt his heart rate speed up as he neared her. Just before he pressed his lips against hers an ear shattering boom went off, sending them tumbling to the floor as glass rained down around them. He watched in horror as people dropped down beside him as gunshots rang into the building, pelting everything around him. He felt Nelly beside him jerk and he looked down. His eyes widened as he saw a thin trickle of blood flowing from her lips. “No!” He cried out as he hugged her, trying to protect her.”
Makes you want to know what happens next, right? That’s known as a hook.
Yeah it is kinda weird to think of your readers like fish but it is kinda the same concept. You want to bait them in with a shiny lure and then once they bite, you set the hook. They’ll be with you until they finish your book.
Make your readers want to know why something has happened to your character. I mean, if they don’t care then why would they even read it?
“Betty was a cold hearted liar. Sue was a killer. Johnny is bleeding on the floor, and Bob went outside three hours ago and hasn’t been seen since.”
Statements can trigger your reader to want to know why Betty was a liar. Why was Sue a killer? Where did Bob go and who’s telling this story?
It makes them read on and can really make them keep flipping those pages!
Setting can be another way to set that hook.
“The water sparkled and reflected the sunny blue sky. Nothing could be more perfect. That is, if you consider ‘perfect’ being chased by a mad murderer with a knife perfect. I raced through the neatly cut grass of the park and hopped over a statue of an ugly baby. I dodging the mad man’s knife as I jumped into a thick bush, hoping that it would deter the man. It didn’t.”
So maybe not the best example but it does give you an idea of how setting can help. You can start it out innocent and lovely and then drop a twist into the perfect setting. Take your readers by surprise!
Always end you chapter with some form of a question, never resolve everything. Always leave something that your character wants, even if it’s just a glass of water. Make it so your reader wants to read on to know why Johnny wants that glass of water.
Just think of it this way, why would you want to read a book any further is everything’s been solved on chapter ten. Why would you want to read twenty more chapters on it if it’s done? You wouldn’t. Always leave something your character wants or has to do.
Nothing better than a surprise, right? Well, most of the time. You don’t want to lead your readers on or anything. Such as starting a book out in a dream then all at once, surprise! This was just a pointless dream. Not cool and readers don’t like that.
Surprises are better if your readers know your characters but they can work for a story starter.
“Mom, where are you?’ Chase yelled frantically as he stormed through the house in a panic. He jogged into the living room and froze in horror. His mother was standing there with a smile on her torn face. Her head hung at an awkward angle as she waved. “Hello son, welcome home.” She said as a grin spread across her bloody face.”
Bet you didn’t expect that, right? This is another form of a hook. Why was Chase’s mom like that? Why was she grinning if her face is ripped up?
Well as always, I hope this helped you on your journey into your next novel!