Friday, June 18, 2021

How I Hook

 Hooks? We don't need no stinkin' hooks. 

I'm reading over the list of seven hooks and either I don't understand them - entirely possible because this week is the first time I'd seen them. Seems to me they lack a little imagination because I don't see an action hook. And y'all, that's my favorite! 

Though I am in a class right now that's teaching me to hook via character. This is alien territory for me, but in a romance novel, it makes total sense that you'd want your readers to connect with the characters before, or as, the story action kicks off.

  • Enemy Within: Sun glinting off the barrel of a gun stopped Captain Ari Idylle dead in her tracks. (I'm calling this the Oh, shit hook.)
  • Enemy Games: The communications panel trilled, echoing the call in the confines of the tiny cockpit. (Uhm. I dunno? This is the point where everything changes for the hero. Does that make this a why hook? Or just a weak hook?)
  • Enemy Storm: Holy Gods, don’t know what I did to piss you off, but dropping a starship on my head is overkill. (Ah, Edie. I'd like to imagine this is action and character combined, but that could be wishful thinking.)
  • Enemy Deliverance: Even though her eyes were closed, even though she’d done her best to relax in the tiny barracks pod that qualified as a bunk, even though rainwater dripped on her mattress in a lulling plip, plip, plip, Ildri Bynovan wasn’t asleep. (Character and setting.)
  • Enemy Mine: Priority Two Alert. Assassination contract for Captain Xiao Zhong verified. Guild assassin Mekise Tolenga en route.(Definitely a why)

 You can see a major change between books 1 to 3 and book 4. Also, sneak peak. You're getting to look at an opening line for a book that hasn't been published yet.

Well okay, Marcella. That's the SFR. What about the others?

Look at the fantasies.

  • Blood Knife: The sweet scent of coffee spiked with caramel syrup preceded the shadow that obscured the golden October sunshine pouring into my office. (Setting I think.)
  • Emissary: When I walked out of the Red Desert into the thin strip of fertile land I’d left as a girl, I barely recognized it. (I have no idea what this is.)
Urban Fantasy
  • Nightmare Ink: Funny how longing for something you can’t have gets blown away in the first swirl of snowflakes heralding an oncoming blizzard. (No idea what this is.)
  • Bound by Ink: Isa hadn’t intended to end up in a crowd of people so soon after getting rid of a Living Tattoo who’d wanted to kill her and take over her body for his own use. (This must be the Why.) 
The paranormal.
  • Damned if He Does: The problem with being damned was that no one would meet your eye.(Character, I think.)

Huh. Look at that. I only thought that action was my preference. Looking through my first lines, it looks like I've done far more character hooks than action hooks.

My illusions are so shattered. What is writing even?