By: Katherine O’Chee
First impressions are crucial to any reader's decision. First impressions decide whether or not your readers want to be pulled into the world of your narrative. This makes the exposition of any novel or short story particularly important.
If your narrative borders on bland, clichéd and uninteresting, readers will soon lose interest. Indeed, it's upon reading the initial page or two of your narrative that they'll determine whether they want to close the book or carry on reading.
Therefore, it's essential for you to develop a strong 'hook' — one that grips onto the reader so tightly, they simply can't let go of your narrative upon reading the first paragraph, and second, and third.
Here are seven tips on how you can create a powerful 'hook' that'll leave your readers with one thought and one thought only: I must keep on reading, I must find out more.
POINTS TO CONSIDER BEFORE WRITING THE HOOK
1. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
One of the key steps to take before you can effectively 'hook' your reader into your narrative is to determine who this reader is. In other words, who is the target audience for your novel or short story? In the early phases of planning and writing, this can be a particularly difficult question to answer.
The Advanced Fiction Writing website advises that you distinguish between your General Target Audience, those interested in your fiction or genre as a whole, and your Specific Target Audience, those interested in your narrative in particular.
The former is generally determined according to the genre and voice that interest your target readers, the latter according to demographic information including age, gender, income levels and political standpoints. That being said, sometimes your target audience could be as simple as “anyone who would like your book cover”.
Keep in mind that your book shouldn’t aim to appeal to everyone. Rather, write with one specific type of reader in mind. After all, only when you have a concrete picture of the reader in your head, are you able to better mould the style, context and composition of your narrative accordingly.
2. KNOW THE PURPOSE OF YOUR NARRATIVE
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