Most of my writerly friends are just like me – we all hate the beginnings of novels. We struggle to figure out exactly which point in the novel to start with – where the best hook is, etc. So, determined to figure this out, I am going to look at this in depth over a couple of posts. To get things started, look at the openers listed below. Some are from best sellers, some are unpublished. As you look at these ask yourselves a few questions:
- Do they hook you? Why or why not.
- Would you read on?
Then leave me a comment and let me know the answers. I will randomly pick from the comments left between now and Friday. I will post the winner next Monday, when I tear apart openers and look at the anatomy of the opening hook
Okay – here are the openers:
- Elsa woke with a start, her mind still focused on the harsh words of her father.
- In a West African Village, Marissa Brand Okari watched her husband prepare to risk his life for the act of speaking out.
- Seth knew the moment Aislinn slipped into the house; the slight rise in temperature would’ve told him even if he hadn’t seen the glimmer of sunlight in the middle of the night.
- Renowned curator Jacques Sauniere staggered through the vaulted archway of the museum’s Grand Gallery. He lunged for the nearest painting he could see, a Caravaggio. Grabbing the gilded frame, the seventy-six-year-old man heaved the masterpiece toward himself until it tore from the wall and Auniere collapsed backward in a heap beneath the canvas.
- The man who was going to stand by and watch while Helen burned to death liked his coffee black.
- Always running. Always the same. I ran through a landscape scattered with images of forests and high-desert plateaus. This dream, ripped from the darkest recesses of my memories last summer, was clearer than the others had been. I ran. Terrified to stop, yet too weak to continue.
- The two men appeared out of nowhere, a few yards apart in the narrow, moonlight lane. For a second they stood quite still, wands directed at each other’s chests; then, recognizing each other, they stowed their wands beneath their clocks and started walking briskly in the same direction.
- Karne and Kyra lay on their bellies in he long grass within sight of the tall Stones of the Sacred Circle, but well hidden from view themselves. They were about to commit an act of blasphemy. They were about to spy upon a priest.
- If this were a movie instead of real life, this would be the part where in a strange, ominous voice I’d say, “Take me to your leader!”
What do you think?
And remember – you have until Friday to leave a comment. Oh, almost forgot. Up for grabs… either a B& N gift card, a signed book (deets on Monday), or a 10 page crit. by me. I’ll draw a name at random and post on Monday…