To catch a fish, you need a good-

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Recently I’ve  been thinking a lot about first lines of books and  how to really peak a reader’s interest. Yep, you guessed it, I’m thinking about hooks. The book I’m currently working on My Bloody Revenge (working title) has an okay hook, but I think it could be a bit better. I really felt stumped on how I could make it better, so I’ve been reading the first lines of my favorite authors to see how they managed to reel me in.

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“I never used to keep track of the phases of the moon.” Fool Moon, Jim Butcher

“It first happened when I was five.” Vampire Kisses, Ellen Schreiber

“On the day Claire became a member of the Glass House, somebody stole her laundry.” Glass Houses, Rachel Caine

“The day I died started out bad and got worse in a hurry.” Undead and unwed, MaryJanice Davidson

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When I read these lines, I instantly want to read more of the book (well, that’s the whole point of a hook) but I can’t seem to figure out why. What do all these lines have in common. the only thing I can see that’s the same about these lines is that they are all kind of unusual. I mean almost no one keeps track of the phases of the moon. What could happen in a five-year-old’s life that would be that memorable? Why would someone steal laundry? And I would think that dying would be bad enough for one day.

My first line on the other hand:

“I often dream about the night you die,” Robby said, in a voice just above a whisper.

It’s kind of lacking something, isn’t it? What it’s lacking, I have no clue, but it’s definitely lacking something.

Blarg! Why are hooks so hard!

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6 thoughts on “To catch a fish, you need a good-

  1. I think I know what your line needs. Keep in mind this is just my opinion, but it needs a juxtaposition to make that unusual line really stand out.

    “I often dream about the night you die,” Robby said, in a voice just above a whisper.

    As it is, it’s okay, but nothing of a hook type nature. I guess, because there’s nothing unexpected about it. You’d expect someone to say something like that in a hushed voice.

    But if you combine it with an ordinary activity…Such as,

    “I often dream about the night you die,” Robby said, as we stared up into the night sky.

    Or…

    “I often dream about the night you die.” Robby flicked the station to Disney’s Beauty and the Beast On Ice.

    Or…

    You get the idea. 🙂 If you combine it with what is not expected, it makes the reader curious about the characters and their motivations. Why’s Robby talking about something like that at that particular moment? What’s his deal? Is he just a creepy little brother?

    But that’s just my opinion. Take it or leave it as you wish. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Actually, I like it. It’s haunting and mysterious, a bit shocking. In my opinion, good hooks are nice, but GREAT hooks are the ones that can capture the theme and mood of your whole book in a single line, even if the reader doesn’t quite know that yet. –S.K. Balk

    Liked by 1 person

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