Monday, July 16, 2012

Hooks and Hangings

This post is about those sentences you make to begin and end your chapters. The beginnings are usually called hooks and the endings and those that leaving you wanting to turn the page and continue reading. I would like to propose to you that you might try using those hooks and hangers on each scene in your story where possible.

Using them in each scene will push your story forward and create more tension. Here are some examples of hooks and hangers. These are from my story Call of the Dragon and these first are from the opening chapter.

The King died in his sleep, most unexpectedly.

And the end to that scene is:

 The mages were always full of trickery and deceit, but murder! That was going too far.

By the way, the murder at the end wasn't referring to the King (at this point).

You can use these sentences to build tension, drama and take breathers in your story. In chapter 3 I open with dialogue, but notice the urgency in the voices.

“Again! Elias, you must concentrate!”

Elias struck another blow. “I’m trying!”
However you choose to use it, your beginning sentences will set the tone for your story. Spend the extra time and work wither your sentences; hook and hangers. They will be the first thing that your reader gets a tatse of and they will make the decision whether to continue from that small bit. You ending sentences will cause your reader to either put the book down for later, or continue reading until the end. And that last sentence is what your reader is left with. Did it satisfy them?

I'm not going to post my last sentence here, it would be giving away the ending of my book. But do you have some good beginnings and endings? Are your scenes good hooks also? Is there plenty of tension in the beginnings? Do the endings leave the readers ready to turn the page?

1 comment:

  1. Such important concepts to remember! I can't begin to count how many hooks and hangers are responsible for continuing to read to the next chapter even though I promised myself to stop two chapters ago! Hehe ^^ :)