Hook, line and what? (Part one)

Posted: October 18, 2014 in Opening
Tags: , ,

hookYou know the idiom. I know the idiom. Since, I am doing this blog with similes and metaphors for… I don’t know. Never mind, the title sounds great.

The opening. (aka the Hook)
Now I know these aren’t synonymous, but ideally you want your hook to be right in the beginning. So if someone calls their opening a hook I’d totally understand why. The characteristics of a hook may be quite complicated. Related to, but not limited to target audience, originality, choice of words and balance between descriptions, dialogue and actions. This is very important so pay attention dear fisherman and fish. You can call the bait the opening line. In fact that may be true, especially when taking your fish in consideration. I am referring to the readers of course. Any fisherman would tell you that certain fish like certain bait more and to avoid other bait with others. The same thing goes for writers. You give me a sloppy description and I’d be yawning and find it hard to turn the page.

Okay the hook has a bend in it, right? Whenever I think of the opening of my novels I want them to be different. It doesn’t have to be action, but it needs to evoke as sense of mystery or at least a fish that really wants that bait. Other authors have said this many times. Let your readers ask a question.  And please let it be a complex question. It is much better. I’ll illustrate.

Say the story is about prom. Rather than let the fish ask if a character is going or not… let the fish ask what’s up with the prom… why would, or why wouldn’t the character want to go. Avoid a yes or a no. Though there are very few cases where this would be a problem. Unless you have really dumb fish. The problem with that is that readers are usually smart to an extent. They don’t want to ask silly old questions. They want good bait. So give it to them. You know what aggravates them more? If they find out that they asked the wrong question. You need to put the emphasis where it belongs. Play an ace of spades. I’d say the sinker is part of the metaphorical hook. I know some of you might yell… what are you doing, Son? The sinker sounds so endy. Nope, the sinker… I’d call that the confirmation of the question. What makes hooks meet fish. The sinker. What makes it possible for reader and writer to connect… more than bait… more than a mere plot idea. A character. So I suggest to make a character part of your opening and I’d call it the sinker.
So dear blog fish. Tell me what you think and keep on biting and fishing. (Whoa that sounds cannibalistic… I really need to sort my metaphors out.)


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