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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Interesting, very interesting

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The curious incident of the dog in the night-time, page 116

Recently,my Young Adult Literature professor has been raving about this book, The curious incident of the dog in the night-time, by Mark Haddon. He constantly mentioned it, so finally I decided to pick it up from the library and try it out (I wasn’t going to buy it, because what if my professor had terrible tastes in books and I ended up hating it).

 

Any how, I read it in a couple days, it’s kind of a short book, and I thought it was really interesting. The story certainly captured my attention, but I’m just not sure if I actually liked it.

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The curious incident of the dog in the night-time, front cover

The curious incident of the dog in the night-time, is about an 15-year-old boy who is autistic. The whole book is this autistic main character (Christopher) telling the story about trying to find the killer of a neighbor’s dog. But really, it’s more about him learning of his parents’ break-up and him dealing with a home life that was suddenly turned upside down.

For someone that has a condition in which he needs order and consistency in his life, learning about his parents’ break-up was catastrophic to him. In fact, the news actually made him run away from home and travel over 100 miles to London by himself to see his mom.  In non-autistic person terms, it would be like swimming across the Atlantic Ocean just to see someone. At one point, he was even nearly killed!

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You’ve got the general idea of what this is

The book definitely had lots of action in it, and the main character was surprisingly likable, but by the end of the book I didn’t really feel very good. I think a big problem for me was that there wasn’t any happy ending. It’s not like a fairy godmother showed up, waved her magic wand, and made all Christopher’s emotional/developmental problems go away. His family was still broken up. Nothing seemed to get any better in the main character’s life, if anything, things seemed to be a little worse for him. It just kind of made me depressed at the end of the book.

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My favorite page in the book, it really cracked me up! (page 2)

Note to self, don’t listen to any professor’s book recommendations!

Rules for your first draft! #amwriting #writers #writing — Eileen Maki

Really great tips. Though I’m not sure how often I could follow them.

Rules for your first draft! #amwriting #writers #writing

via Rules for your first draft! #amwriting #writers #writing — Eileen Maki