Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Grab Them and Don’t Let Go!

We all know we need to start our stories with a hook, something that’ll draw the reader in right away and keep him or her riveted to the page. There are some great ones out there, and I’d love you to tell me your favorite opening lines in the Comments section.

What’s the best way – open with dialogue? That can be an attention grabber for sure, depending on how provocative or intriguing those words are! Open with a fast-moving action scene? It definitely gets your readers’ adrenaline pumping. Open with a description that pulls your reader into the atmosphere of the story? That can be very effective.

But the reader feels let down if a great hook degenerates into a mediocre narrative. Therefore, it’s our job as authors to keep that energy of a great first line moving. You must engage your reader and don’t let that oomph stop. Keep the reader’s interest piqued and the story and characters moving forward at a consistent clip. Of course, there have to be moments where everyone catches his or her breath, but the reader is counting on you to deliver from that great opening line…right through to the final syllable.

So, tell me in the Comments section as well – what is your favorite closing line?

1 comment:

Morgan Mandel said...

It's really hard to think up a good hook at the beginning of a book, especially after you've worked with a book for a long time and it's so familiar to you. It's also hard to get that hook at the end of the chapter and leave things unresolved.

It's so tempting to let the cat out of the bag. We're bursting to tell the readers what comes next, but it's the worst thing we can do. We have to hold it in.

I can't think offhand of any favorite closing lines, but I do like it when an author leaves the immediate situation unresolved and makes me go into the next chapter.

Morgan Mandel