Beginning hooks!

#1

I’m not sure what the etiquette is on resurrecting old threads. I found one on opening hooks, but it was nearly two months old, so I thought I’d create a new one! :grin:

I’m sure we all know the importance of grabbing the reader’s attention right away. How for many readers the opening sentence or paragraph determines whether they’ll read the whole story. There are many ways to go about this: Introduce the protagonist. Raise a question. Provide some mystery or intrigue.

So let’s share our beginning hooks! And don’t forget to provide some brief but constructive feedback on the one above you.

Here’s mine, from my WIP, a contemporary romance from the POV of the male protagonist (a decidedly quirky guy who may be on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum):

She commandeered my car. To make a freaking Bed Bath & Beyond run.

I wish I could say I was surprised, but this is my mother we’re talking about.

I tried to tell her I didn’t need new dishes. Or new bath towels. Or cutesy throw pillows for the futon in the living room. I reminded her that I do, in fact, have a roommate, and even if he’s barely around, it’s still his place too. No matter. Once Sharon Lipsky sets her mind to something, it’s a done deal. Protest in any form is futile.

That’s how I ended up taking the bus to the first Oregon Symphony rehearsal of the new season.

#2

That’s really good. The impression we get of the mother is funny. I see her as a bossy, domineering woman that probably has good intentions. She may have slightly a bit too much involvement in her adult son’s life though.
Also the reader learns a fair amount about the protagonist.

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#3

Here’s mine:

“Don’t worry, Big Brother, we’ll get you inside and comfortable real soon,” Brent said giving his older brother a shove.
Ethan didn’t speak. He merely grunted and looked at his brother through his swollen bloodshot eye. After the beating Brent and Kyle had just given him, he was lucky he could see out of that eye. He had walked directly into their plan and paid for his mistake. The other eye was firmly swollen shut and throbbing. He knew his lip was split and bleeding down his shirt. He was pretty sure one of his brothers’ fists had knocked the crown off of one of his molars. As he stumbled up the front steps of his childhood home, he knew he would not be comfortable for a long time.

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#4

Really nice intro, you immediately want to know why the brothers were fighting each other. Also, nice attention to the details of the fight. However, by throwing in so many names, I did get a bit confused, but maybe that’d be fixed once you read the rest.

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#5

Here is mine:

I didn’t understand why they’d let her go to a normal school. She definitely didn’t belong here. They’d eat her alive. At least, I had the power to remain invisible. For her, that was impossible.
June Mercedes Guevara Aranda.
Complicated name. But I’d learn it fit her completely.
Yesterday was the first day of school. I remember how she’d walked into the classroom, head held high, and took a place at the front. Everyone stared at her. Some giggled.

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#6

Thanks. I did worry about all three names being confusing and too much. But I made a point to clarify more in the next chapters. I just thought all three should be in the opening.

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#7

Intriguing. Makes the reader wonder about June Mercedes Guevara Aranda and why she doesn’t belong.

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#8

Thank you :heart:

#9

I’m immediately intrigued. I wonder why everyone giggled and stared. What’s so different about her? What did the MC mean when they said they at least could be invisible? Why is this not a normal school? I see it’s also written in a reminiscent way, which makes me more curious. Great job!

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#10

Mine-

Dear Youka,
First of all, happy birthday kiddo! Next, please take a large drippy marker, scribble with it all over this letter, snip the paper into tiny pieces and throw it in the bin. I don’t want anyone other than people like us or people you trust to read this as an autobiography (Though I would prefer those people to not read it at all). If someone asks, tell them it’s one-hundred percent fictional.
You might be confused as to what I’m talking about. Well, it’s that book you asked me to write almost a year ago. I hope you like it. It’s your birthday present.
This is the story of the boy who lives in two worlds.
Enjoy.
Your secret-keeper,
Tahro Akagi.

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#11

This is a good start to a story; the mystery surrounding who the narrator is and who June is certainly draws in the audience. However, it could read a bit confusing, since it seems like the reader is being dropped right in the middle of the scene. But, good start nonetheless :smile:

#12

Here’s mine (it’s a bit long):

Night had arrived in Blossom River.

A warm breeze swept through the blossoming trees and carried the rich scent of perfume through the air. The moon wasn’t full tonight, but even the sliver of silvery light nestled against the blackened sky was enough to illuminate the world below. No souls but the night animals stirred, and even they were not very active tonight, so lulled by the warmth of the evening. It was a peaceful quietness, unbroken by the chaos of the day.

The temple of Blossom River, however, was the lone exception. A fire still burned within the altar set upon its roof, a beacon against the overall shadows obscuring the rest of the area. At this point in the night, it would have long been extinguished, but there was no one awake to question such an oversight. The flowering trees surrounding its exterior still bloomed, but there seemed to be a wilt to them, as if they knew something nefarious were to come. The fire threw its light down from the roof, painting the blush blossoms in a sea of orange and red, as if burning with a nonexistent flame.

The fire’s flame illuminated the lone figure sitting on the temple steps as well.

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#13

This is the start to my new book (trigger warning!!)

“Mara!” She screamed as I kicked the chair from under my feet. I felt the rope press against my neck, the feeling of suffocation hitting my throat. My whole body started to go numb as there was a lack of air going to my lungs, the rope pressed only harder on my neck. I looked up and I saw a light coming towards my body. It was coming fast so bright, I could almost touch it, I could almost lift my fingers towards the light. Wait? What is happening? The light has stopped coming closer; it’s getting farther away. I could feel someone was pulling on me, I could feel the sensation in my body, I knew it was someone. It’s so close, I could almost reach the light, I am almost there! I am almost dead! Let me go to heaven! Please, I can almost join Mom and Dad! Please!

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#14

Nice. Atmospheric.

#15

I’d be interested to know how people respond to the opening of my current book. I don’t know if it’s precisely hooky.

In the shade of the wood, where twilight anticipated the coming night, a princess stood gazing doubtfully at the road before her. That she was a princess we must take on faith; in her tattered and travel-stained rags she had little of the princess about her. Except—she stood so upright in the shadows, poised like a dancer before the coming evening. In her delicate balance there was a hint of the grace that might once have enchanted a ballroom. But whatever that indefinable air was, it vanished as she swayed into motion once more. Once, she had floated over a parquet floor; but after a journey of a thousand miles, princesses walk much like anyone else.

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#16

My opening hook of BLACK ROSE after the prologue is like this

Some of us, the majority in truth, wake up to maybe a song thrush singing its pleasant tune. I on the other hand arose from me slumber to the piercing shoom of me whore mother (who I call Michelle) having an extremely loud apogee. She is banging away without a care in the world.

#17

What is a shoom?

#18

Shoom = sound noise

In other words normal people dont wake up to a prostitute of a mother have sex.

#19

I have actually never really thought about how important the beginning is, which sounds silly to say now. Having said that, I didn’t put much thought into mine when I wrote this chapter:

Finally. He was finally asleep. I could hear his snoring from my spot on the floor near the bed, the spot reserved for when my boyfriend decided I didn’t deserve to sleep on a bed. Or on the couch. Or literally anywhere less demeaning. It was okay though, I was grateful, it guaranteed me at least a few hours away from his repulsive touch but it was definitely taking a toll on my neck and back.

I was also very confused by shoom!

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#20

If it’s like the noise people make when something goes over their head (with the hand gesture) then a “shoom” as a noise is not something I would ever consider piercing. I would suggest selecting a different word for your onomatopoeia.

It’s also strange that the character uses improper grammar (me instead of my) but then chooses a word like apogee instead of something more simple like climax, or especially (considering he calls his mother a whore) something more vulgar.

Also it’s safe to say that the majority of people do not wake up to a thrush’s song, so I would eliminate that portion of the sentence.

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