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Abigail Cottage

When Abigail falls in love with Justin she can’t begin to know the world of hurt she is heading into. Gorgeous, kind, rich – he’s the man we all dream to meet. BUT, all is not what it seems because Justin is a true demon from hell, disguised as a mortal being. He wants her and will do, kill or maim anyone who tries to stop him. Namely Shaun the real hero, who wants Abigail more! So what does a mortal man do against a demon? He enlists the help of a gypsy of course. But not any old gypsy. Rosa knows Justin very well and has the powers of the spirit world on her side to fight him. Using crystals as a powerful weapon, the light of the spirit world to lead them, they embark on a battle with the whole of the underworld. Many loved ones will lose their lives. This isn’t a book where everyone survives. In real life, bad things happen. In Abigail Cottage, terrible tragedies occur too. Believe... not every story can have a happy ending.

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Monday, 23 August 2010

Hooks. What are they?

Hooking a reader.

In the beginning god gave us light!! LOL I’ve always wanted to start a paragraph off with that. Which brings me to the point of this post. I’m always hearing how editors tell authors they must ‘hook’ a reader. It brings to mind the old rod and fish wire scenario. But if you think about it, how many times do we sit down to watch a film only to be bored to death within the first few minutes? In this age where competition is rife, grabbing a reader’s attention is like holding onto a slippery fish. Fast, fierce and riveting should be the things aimed for with a hook. A new angle, twist of writing style sets you apart from the rest.

I remember reading a book, Night Visions, by Ariana Dupre and was completely thrown that her witch character, was a man. A rather, hunky one to boot. What a twist, when all the foreshadowing made me feel like she was the usual ‘hag witch’. Be honest now. How many books have you picked up then cast aside because they are not riveting enough. Not enough conflict. Nothing moves the story forward. I for one can say two this month alone. The greatest gift a reader can give an author is the words, ‘I could not put the book down’.

Think who your first readers are. Over worked editors and Agents. They are looking for that ‘hook’ straight away. A crashing noise, explosion, head chopping off (if you write horror lol) is a first sentence hook. It compels a reader to read on and see what’s happened. So remember, even one word can hook. So cast out those rods people. Let’s make hooks of steel.


  1. Very true, Margaret. I once went through many books in a bookstore just to read the first sentence in the many novels. I read some great hooks and not so great.
    A good hook grabs me everytime.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hooks of steel, love it! Yep, there's gotta be that attention-grabbing moment, followed swiftly by the follow-through.
    Gotta have that follow-through, though. Like you said, Margaret, it's got to keep moving forward. So many times I've read a great opening line or paragraph, only to fall at the next hurdle, a big chunk of backstory explaining all the things I 'should' know before I continue. Drives me nuts. :( Hook 'em up, reel 'em in, and don't stop moving.
    Great post! :-)

    Jane x

  3. Thanks Jane. So many times that hook fails us at the first hurdle.

    Nice to see you Lorrie x

  4. When I first started to write I knew little about hooks. But a best-selling author told me how to construct my scenes by "hooking" the reader. Now I hope I'm able to do that in my novels. I do like a book that hooks me and keeps me coming back for more.

  5. The hook is an opening devise and is all fine and dandy, but it must be followed by damned good writing; words that entice the reader past the hook and into an unfolding story that grips them through to the resolution. The most memorable hook for me was in 'Fist of God' (Fredrick Forsyth) "The man with ten minutes left to live was laughing". On the strength of the hook, I read the novel, which never lived up to the potential of the opening. In fact, the hook had nothing to do with the plot.

  6. Hi, Margaret,

    Great topic, and some excellent comments!

    One critique partner said to me once, "Start in the middle of the action, then go back to show how you got there." This has turned out to be useful advice. I also like to start with a line of dialogue. The goal of the hook should be to surprise the reader and make him or her curious.

    My personal favorite hook of my own is the first sentences in EXPOSURE:

    "I strip for the fun of it. Don't let anyone tell you different."


  7. Wonderful post, Margaret. A great hook is like magic, and can sweep us along into the story. I agree, though, that the rest of the novel that follows should keep up the promise of the hook. Otherwise it's like viewing the disappointing movie after watching the trailer with all the best bits, but the movie failed to deliver because it couldn't sustain it.



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