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.
“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
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!