The opening of a novel is a crucial moment. It’s the first impression readers get of the story, and it sets the tone for the entire book. It needs to be engaging and memorable, and it needs to make readers want to keep reading. Here are 12 tips for how to write a good hook and start your novel off on the right foot.
Startle readers with the first line. The first line of your novel should be unexpected and attention-grabbing. It should draw readers in and make them want to keep reading. It should be a sentence that will stay with them long after they’ve finished the book.
Begin at a life-changing moment. Start your novel with a moment that changes the course of the protagonist’s life. This could be a major event like a death or a marriage, or it could be a smaller moment that has a big impact.
Create intrigue about the characters. Introduce readers to the characters in your novel and give them a glimpse into their lives. Make sure to include enough detail to make readers curious about the characters and their motivations.
Use a setting as the inciting incident. Start your novel with a scene that takes place in a specific location. This can be a physical location, like a city or a house, or it can be a more abstract location, like a state of mind or a time period.
Up the stakes within the first few pages. Make sure that the stakes of the story are clear within the first few pages. This will help readers understand what’s at stake and why they should keep reading.
Introduce something ominous right away. Introduce a sense of foreboding or danger early on in the novel. This can be done through dialogue, setting, or even the protagonist’s thoughts.
Set the mood. Establish the mood of the novel in the opening pages. This will help readers get a sense of the tone and atmosphere of the story.
Open with action. Start your novel with a scene of action. This will help grab readers’ attention and keep them engaged.
Introduce the theme. Introduce the theme of the novel in the opening pages. This will help readers understand the story’s central message.
Create suspense. Use the opening pages to create suspense and make readers want to find out what happens next.
Introduce a mystery. Introduce a mystery in the opening pages that will keep readers guessing and wanting to find out more.
Introduce a unique voice. Make sure the protagonist’s voice is unique and distinct. This will help readers connect with the character and keep them engaged.
Start with a question. Start your novel with a question that will make readers want to find out the answer.
Writing a good hook for your novel is an important part of the writing process. It’s the first impression readers get of the story, and it sets the tone for the entire book. By following these 12 tips, you can make sure that your novel starts off on the right foot and keeps readers engaged.