Hook Your Reader in the First Paragraph

A hook simply refers to a written line that raises your reader’s curiosity. The hook should stimulate the brain by raising an internal question. Your reader will want to know the answer; therefore he or she will keep reading. It is good to begin your first chapter with a hook. I discovered four types of beginning hooks: the statement, the question, promise of death or danger, and the shocker.

Statement Hook

Examples:
Roena Wilde hated this house.
Martha Shields — The Blacksheep Prince’s Bride

On Sunday morning, something washed up on shore.
Susan Wiggs — The Lighthouse

Question Hook

Examples:
Where do you think you’re going?
Karen Robard — The Midnight Hour

Do you think it’s somewhat harsh?
Claire Delacroix — The Beauty

Threat of Death or Danger Hook

Examples:
A women’s frantic scream threatened Luke Madden’s slumber.
Debbie Macomber — Sooner or Later

They found the body today.
Tami Hoag — Night Sins

The Shocker Hook

Examples:
I don’t think the elephant will work.
Jane Krantz – Wildest Hearts

Daisy Devreaux had forgotten her bridegroom’s name.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips – Kiss an Angel

You don’t want your first line to be weighted down with too much information in a long never-ending sentence. If you use a hook, your reader will become involved quicker. Next month I’ll talk about ending your chapter with a hook.