This post was written for the Author Toolbox Blog Hop where we share our new discoveries on the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, and blogging tips. Posted every third Wednesday of the month. For rules and sign-up click here.
As writers, we’ve all read about hooking our readers. It starts by grabbing their attention with cover art, and book blurbs. Then piquing their interest with the first sentence and sealing the deal with each following chapter.
Hooking readers is not a magic trick
It’s industry lingo for connecting with other people.
We read about hinting at what’s to come. Or weaving a sampler of our abilities into our first chapter, offering a taste of our style and voice. It’s suggested that we create characters that are likable or at least relatable. Drop readers into the action and not into mid conversation. Forget about description if it’s more than a paragraph. No info dumps. No backstories. No lengthy explanations.
All these rules we stress over make it clear: there’s no sure recipe.
People naturally connect through sharing. They gather over meals, call, or texted. Verbal or written words spouting about the latest happening. What’s exciting?
Finding love at any age is thrilling. Someone driving another crazy, even in a good way, is worth seeking a sounding board. What about dreams, regrets, and everything in between? Most of us don’t try to keep it quiet.
Unless it’s a secret, all of us need to share. Besides a few good manners, we have no rules on reaching out. One advantage remains however, when face to face, we can see if we’ve engaged our listener.
Engagement happens everywhere. It’s being done right now over a backyard fence, or at the grocery store among the breakfast cereal. Gossip spreads for a reason. Curiosity draws people together in masses.
And writers? What do they have?
a story to tell
Some of us write details that spin a story into a comedy of errors. Others express a volcanic venting, or heart pounding encounters. All stories, personal or otherwise, come from the same place. We forget sometimes because our stories take a while to get right. We want to perfect them. And as we work, our enthusiasm may slip.
They don’t seem new and fresh because we’ve reread them twenty-thirty times. We’re human and humans get tired.
But never forget
If the public is able to entertain over a coffee cup, we have no excuse. Before you release your work, make sure the reason you began the project is still thriving within its pages and each carefully chosen word shines as bright as your eyes.
When polishing your early chapters, what do you focus on? I’m dying to hear.
More on the subject:
A quick note: I’ve reached out to the Nelson Police Department and they promised to bet back to me. The communication has begun. Yay, me. “\o/”