Hooks: The Beginning and End

From my first meeting with my local writers’ group, I’ve heard consistently that your book has to hook your reader from the first line. And if that’s not pressure enough, your last line needs to make them beg for the next book. Make your reader scream, “NOOOOOO!” when they read THE END.

All of this is much easier said than done. My upcoming novel, Little Black Dress, has a pretty good hook at both the beginning and end. These lines didn’t happen by accident. The words didn’t appear magically on the page. No muse, fairies, or pixie dust involved. These sentences developed and came to life only after hours of brainstorming, trial and error, and careful crafting. These sentences set the mood. They inform the reader about when and where the story begins. They tell you who the story is about, as well as a little something of their character. I worked my butt off getting my first line just right.

“She had never been one for bars or nightclubs,

but how else was a good girl like Evan Tyler

going to find a bad boy in Paris?” 

I hope it makes you want to read more.

Now that I have the first book finished and awaiting publication (I’ll share my pre-order links very soon.), it’s on to the sequel, Red Heels. Chapter One, line one. And the pressure begins. Again.

I have had the rough draft of this manuscript finished for a while now. I even have the RD for the third book mostly finished. What I lack on Red Heels are the beginning and the end hooks. I have agonized over these lines. These paragraphs haunt me day and night. Twice this week I’ve awoken from a dead sleep and thought, AHA! And the next morning these ideas were relegated to file 13. But this morning…

Early this morning I woke to a charley-horse in my left calf that nearly had me in tears. It took several minutes to get the muscles in my leg to relax. Once I finally returned to bed, my mind was in gear. I suddenly knew what I wanted to say and how to say it. This first paragraph has it all. Who, what, when, where, and why. It even contains a little weather and some humor. Both things I enjoy in a book. Is it perfect? No, but I like it, and I think you will, too.

Please check back soon for pre-order links, and character studies. Little Black Dress comes off the rack March 8, 2018! #LittleBlackDressNovel

I will also have some fun #giveaways and #games for all my readers, too. Please share this post and let me hear from you! XOX

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