Way back in 2008, my friend Megan agreed to read through an early version of VERVE STONES. Her being an avid reader, and an English language arts teacher, made her a perfect first editor. She singlehandedly helped me slog through my rookie writing woes. Her feedback aided my skills in character development, flashbacks, and my all-time nemesis the comma. Her comments allowed me to create a much improved story.
Megan’s revision I struggled with most of all needing a hook. A narrative hook is the opening of a story that “hooks” or grabs the reader’s attention so that he or she will keep reading. (Sorry, can’t hold back my teacher mode.) I remember reading the first page in every book I ever read on Amazon.com. Or wanted to read. My research eventually led me to create, “The man had no face,” as my first line in VERVE STONES.
These are my top five favorite hooks I discovered. Today, I use four of these as examples when I teach narrative writing to my third grade class. May these hooks encourage your own writing as much as they did mine!
Savvy by Ingrid Law
The fact that I needed to reread the first sentence to fully grasp why her family needed to move inland makes this an unforgettable hook.
The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events) by Lemony Snicket
This is an outstanding hook because of its use of reverse psychology.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
This fearful hook is intensified with an ominous picture.
Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman
After reading the first two pages, I was so hooked I immediately bought a copy of this book.
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo.
Stating the simple fact of going to the grocery store and with the, “Wait, what?” moment makes this hook perfect.