How important is it to hook your reader?
Well, if we didn’t hook our reader, why would they bother to read our book?
True, every reader gives every author a few pages of “trust” where the reader will trust the author to lure them into the story with something that will HOOK them, hold their interest, keep them turning the page, every page, to find out what happens next.
But where does that hook come from?
Some say page one. And they’d be absolutely correct. But that page one can be more subtle. It can be excellent writing, or an interesting scene, or snappy dialogue or a million little things on page one. Doesn’t always have to be flash bang.
But if you haven’t hook your reader (and ergo your editor first, right?) by PAGE 5, then you’ve failed, totally, absolutely, positively, failed.
Doomsday you say? Yes, maybe. But who, in this day and age, has the time not to be hooked by page five?
I just got a new book by a writer, I dare say she’s new because I’ve known her online at my Writing & Publishing Yahoogroup that’s been around about 15 years at least at this writing, and she’s been writing and editing for many, many years. Her book is a lot of fun and I’m excited to have it in my grubby hands and able to READ it, physically read it.
And I’m so happy to say, she not only had me interested in the scenery and characters from page one, she got me HOOKED by PAGE 5, EXACTLY. How cool is that?
Her book, Inner Sanctum, is a fun, well-written novel. One you could learn from. Does it have errors? A few, but very, very minor. I’ve seen multi-bestselling authors with more glaring errors, seriously. Often, they are copyeditng errors and often not something we have much control over.
So go buy this book! Study it. Then go use what you learned and go write your own.