Grace A. Johnson
Guest Post: Creating Your Story Hook with Three Tips by Issabelle Perry
Well, hello, y'all! It's both my duty and my pleasure to introduce this fantabulous guest post by my twin sister super good friend Issabelle Perry! She has some great tips all about writing a perfect story hook! Lord knows I ought to take her advice! I hope you guys enjoy! Feel free to chat about your thoughts on this post in the comments! What story had a hook that, well, hooked you?
Hey, y’all!!!!! Okay, I know by that “y’all” you guys are all thinking this is probably Grace, right?
Eh, wrong. Sorry, y’all, but this is Grace’s unknown and slightly crazier twin. *smiles proudly*
*everyone gives me disbelieving looks*
Okay, FINE. I’m not Grace's twin. *pouting* I’m just another gal who says y’all probably waaaaay too much. Soooo who is this y’all-saying, wacko nut? Easy peasy. I’m Issabelle! I’m a co-founder of Teen Writers’ Nook and soon-to-be-published teen author!!
Anyways, Grace is letting me borrow (*cough, cough* totally not steal) her blog for today. So, I’m here to give you guys some hopefully useful writing tips. Today’s post is titled Creating Your Story Hook With Three Tips.
So a story’s hook plays a VERY important role. Really, guys. You can have great characters, strong worldbuilding, just about everything down pat, but if you don’t have a strong hook, then who’s gonna buy your book in a bookstore? How will you convince a literary agent to represent you? What sets you apart from the millions of other writers aspiring to make their way through this business? Why should a reader continue reading your story? Grabbing your reader's attention MATTERS. And today, I’m gonna give y’all some tips on how to hook your readers in a way that’ll be strong enough to carry you to publication and beyond!
#1. Understand what’s the main problem in the story.
Okay, this is something I’ve been focusing on a LOT in my writing. I’ll get ideas for characters and worlds and some things that I want to happen but when someone asks me what my story’s about, I realize the main reason why I can’t answer is ‘cause well I DON’T KNOW!
Your plot needs to have one main problem. Like in Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien, the main plot is Frodo has to destroy the ring. Or in my novel, Heir to His Crown, the main plot is that Prince Keenum joins up with a rebel group to help take back his kingdom. I’ve heard an author say before that she’ll write out the summary of her novel before she begins writing. This is a great way to help discover what your plot is gonna be about.
#2. Don’t underestimate the power of your novel’s title and opening scene!
Think about it. What’s the first thing a reader/literary agent/publisher is gonna see? THE TITLE! Wouldn’t it be great if you could grab them from the title! For instance, The Princess Spy by Melanie Dickerson was the reason why I first read her book. I LOOOOVE spies and the idea of a “princess spy” was AAAHHHH!!!!!!! *cough, cough* But a title isn't gonna sell a reader. One of the reasons I ADORE The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen is because from the very first line to the end of chapter one just hooked me soooo well. It started off where stuff was happening! Now you shouldn’t really begin a story right in the middle of the inciting incident. That shouldn’t happen right off. But you can begin a story where things are happening. I know a lot of times when I don’t finish a book is because the first few chapters were boring. Don’t waste time with unimportant things. Hook us from the first moment and carry us through the rest of the story!
#3. Try to be able to fit your entire story’s plot in one small paragraph summary.
Okay, so this tip here is to help you more understand what your hook is and not so much create it. But knowing your hook is more important than having one because this is how you will sell your story idea! Whatever you put in that one small paragraph has got to be the most important part of the plot. So whatever makes it there will be what you need to focus on the most. And if you can’t write a small plot summary, then maybe you don’t have a strong hook.
Soooo that’s what I’ve got for y’all today!! This is really just some beginning tips. If you’re wanting more, I highly recommend checking out this post!!!! It’s got a LOT of great advice!!!!! THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH to the AMAZING GRACE for letting me guest post here today!!!!! <33 I hope y’all enjoyed it!!! <33
-- Issabelle Perry