If you haven't met me, my name is Monique DeVere. I write Romantic Comedy, or, as some like to call it, Fluff. I also write Christian Suspense and I'm a screenwriter. I live in the UK and have well over twenty years experience in the writing world. I like to think I have a lot of writing experience that I can bring to the table and share, which is why I'm delighted to join the talented columnists at MFRW. When the MFRW Blog Director invited me to join the team, I was more than sure she'd emailed me by mistake! When a few days came and passed and she didn't email me again to apologise for the mistake, I cautiously accepted that the invitation was indeed meant for me. So here I am, writing the Writing Tips column, which goes out on the 26th of the Month. I'll be helping you to take your writing to the next level. Do make a note and pop back to visit with me, won't you?
Enough with the intro, let's get on with the column. This month I'm talking Hooks.
Hooks are little magnets we use throughout our books to keep the reader glued to our stories.
When it comes to novels, there are all sorts of hooks. These are all designed to force the reader to keep turning pages.We have the opening hook line--created to grab the reader's attention. The opening hook scene--devised to snag the reader's interest and desire to continue reading. The story hook or story question--planned to make the reader keep turning pages in order to discover the answer. And the end of chapter hook--to persuade the reader to forgo sleep in preference of reading "just one more chapter".
I think we can all agree that a great opening hook line is important. Over the years, I've seen really cool opening lines only to find myself disappointed by what follows. It seems to me some authors forget that the reader will read beyond the dazzling opening hook and will expect the rest of the book to be as sparkling. I believe the problem arises when the author falls into the trap of loading up the reader with back story or scene setting or some other equally unimportant-for-the-moment craft props instead of letting the reader live the scene as it unfolds. If I may, I'd like to use an example from one of my stories in order to demonstrate what I mean.
This is the first line/opening hook from Zach's Rebound Girl.
Dear, Diary, Zach's back!
(The opening hook line) “MMM ... oh, yeah. Right there. That’s it ... just there.”
When I wrote this, I wanted the reader to sit up and take notice. I wanted to hook her/him with my naughty opening line.
(The opening hook scene)
Zach and his buddies are eavesdropping on his neighbour and things are sounding pretty naughty next door. Then Zach hears the name of his neighbour and remembers his old uni friend. He then switches his attention to trying to decipher the different voices. Could the Maddie he knew in uni be the same Maddie he's eavesdropping on?
Then the fun begins...
What I'm saying is this: create an amazing opening hook line, but don't stop there. The opening hook of your story has two parts.
Part A: The amazing hook line.
Part B: The amazing hook scene that follows.
Until next time, let's hook them, baby!
Author/Screenwriter Monique DeVere currently resides in the UK with her amazing hero husband, four beautiful grown-up children, and three incredible granddaughters.
Monique writes Romantic Comedy stories some call Smexy—Smart & Sexy—and others call fluff. Monique makes no apologies for writing fun, emotional feel-good romance! She also writes Christian Suspense with a more serious edge.
Monique loves to hear from her readers. You can contact her by visiting her http://moniquedevere.blogspot.co.uk to learn more about her and check out her other books.