No, I’m not going to talk about Peter Pan and Captain Hook today. Instead I am going to pontificate about hooks in writing. I mentioned hooks a few days ago (GH Day 21). Until I started writing seriously I didn’t know what they were, or I should say I didn’t know what they consciously were. Subconsciously is another story – as a reader we know what hooks are even though we might not call them that.
Hooks are those wonderful OMG moments that keeps you turning the pages until 2 in the morning when you have to get up for work the next morning. In romance they center around the hero and heroine’s conflict, but if your books also have some suspense in them (like mine do) then they include fights, fangs, and fire-throwing dragons. Okay, mine don’t have dragons (yet) but it made you want to read on, right?
So in my manuscript I need to make sure that I have hooks in those big crisis scenes. But I also need to a lesser extent have hooks at the end AND beginning of my chapters. If I dangle a little something, something at the end of a chapter then my reader is going to keep going. And if I give them a little nugget at the beginning of each chapter then they won’t close the book and turn off the light – they will stay up and go to work cranky in the morning. Isn’t that the goal of a good writer?
So let me give you an example of what I mean:
End of Chapter:
Jesse stared at the gun pointing at his chest. How in the hell had he gotten to this point? Margo was the killer. The woman who shared his bed, hell his life for two years? He took a deep breath and forced himself to remain calm.
“Margo, we can talk about this. Put down the gun.”
She laughed harshly and he raised his gaze from the shaking barrel to Margo’s face. Her eyes were wide and unblinking. She was staring through him. Were his words even registering?
He took a step toward her. “Please Margo, let me help you.”
She shook her head. “You can’t.” She stumbled back a step and her elbow hit the kitchen counter, jostling the gun. She swore and tightened her grip.
The gun went off.
Now this isn’t my best work (considering the fact I just wrote this in the last five minutes as an example) but you have to admit that you want to read the next chapter to see what happened – don’t you????
So task #26 today is writing those hooks in my manuscript!