Monday, May 21, 2012


This weekend I woke up my kids at the crack of dawn for the annual “Hooked on Fishing, Not On Drugs” day. This is an annual event which I’ve missed for the last five years, but I stumbled across the article in the local paper on Friday. I was so excited. My father fished all the time and I always enjoyed the times we went together. This is something I wanted my own children to experience again, even though none of us know how to use a fishing pole.

Kiwi spent the night at her friend’s house (they live in the condo below ours) but came home early specifically to go fishing. My son wasn’t as enthusiastic. We dragged him out of the house kicking and screaming, “I’m an inside person.” He even has a T-shirt with this very sentiment blazed across the front in bright blue letters.

I thought we left early enough, but by 7:30 a.m. we still had to park half a mile away. The lake was packed. People stood crowded along the bank, dodging each others casts into the water. The lake had been stocked with approximately 8,000 pounds of channel catfish. We watched kids pulling out catfish that were larger than they were, but my son was the only one in my family to catch anything.

And he caught me.

Yes, that is a worm threaded on a hook caught in my hair. It took much patience and skill to detangle that darn hook. The same can be said when it comes to writing. We see the word all the time. There is the opening hook in the query letter. It is a sentence intricately crafted to grab the agents’ attention and keep them from hitting the delete button. There’s the first page of your manuscript, which is supposed to hook the reader and entice them into buying your book. There is the cliffhanger ending of your chapter or scene which should keep the person from putting your book down. I’m sure you see where I’m going with this, right?

So, what do you think? How do you hook your readers?


  1. As a reader, I don't necessarily need a terrific hook at first. (I know, blasphemy!) I just want juicy characters and memorable, meaningful moments.


    As a writer, I've really had to work on my hooks. When they work, they work. When they don't... Well, that's when my inner voice starts saying, "Who needs a hook, anyway?" :)

    And I can identify with REALLY getting hooked. My husband and his brother are avid fisherman. They have been known to catch a lot of things, like sharks, carp, bass, each other, random family members. Hahaha.

  2. LOL, too funny.

    As a reader, I have to be hooked in the first few pages. There are so many books to choose from, and I have to like the voice of the story from the very beginning to continue. As long as I have likeable characters and the potential for a good story, I'm sold.

    As a writer, hooks are something I also have been working on. I'm always interested in where my beta readers stop reading. It's usually an indicator that this particular section of the story needs more revision.

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing:)

  3. I am such a wimp. If I had gotten a worm stuck in my hair, I would probably have run around screaming for awhile.


Now it's your turn. What do you think?

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