We live in a world where a lot of things are competing for peoples attention. That is why a compelling hook at the start of your story is more important than ever. To write a great hook you need to take a few things into account. I will break down the most important elements.
Create a character that readers can relate to
A compelling protagonist, that readers can relate to is super important when it comes to hooking the reader. The protagonist does not have to be likeable but he or she needs to have some sort of inner conflict that the reader can relate to. The inner conflict means desire vs fear. What does your protagonist want? And what is stopping them from getting it? And what kind of outer conflict is driving the plot forward?
Watch this video by Abbie Emma’s about how to hook a reader from the start.
Start with an engaging opening line or scene
The opening line of your story is your first chance to captivate your reader. You could write a thought-provoking statement, an intriguing question, or a vivid description that immediately immerses readers into the world of your story.
Another way of really catching the readers attention is to start the story In Medias Res – in the middle of a thrilling scen. You can do this by writing out a scene and deleting the first half. The reader is often a lot smarter than you think and will get caught up in the middle of the action of the scene. By throwing them directly into the action, you create an immediate sense of excitement and intrigue. This approach compels readers to keep turning the pages to uncover how the story unfolds.
Use emotions and conflict to hook the reader
Tap into the emotions of your readers by evoking feelings of suspense, excitement, fear, or empathy. You can do this by untroducing a situation that triggers an emotional response. Emotional hooks can be incredibly powerful to get your readers emotionally invested in the story.
Conflict is the backbone of storytelling. Introduce a conflict or a clash of opposing forces early on to create tension and suspense. Whether it’s an internal struggle within your protagonist or an external conflict between characters, conflict drives the narrative forward and keeps readers engaged.
Creating a great hook for your story is the first step to captivate your reader. By creating a character that the reader can relate to, start with a strong opening line or scen and use emotions and conflict you can hook your reader to embark on a journey through out your narrative. Experiment with different techniques, find the approach that best aligns with your story and study other authors. How do they hook their reader? How does what happens to your protagonist matter to them?
Which are the best hook you’ve read?