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Are We Cheating Readers With Our Hooks? Find Out in a Few Quick Tips

love hooks. I’ve talked about them on multiple occasions, (ONE!) but I realized that there was a darker part about hooks that I haven’t covered yet.

You see, hooks are what draw readers into books. So we’ve got to have the perfect hook. For this post, I’ll be using this example:

Joe stumbled and glanced backwards, terrified.

They were after him.

And on that note, let’s get started!Screen Shot 2019-02-10 at 2.39.03 PM

One word: False promises. Yes that’s two, but you obviously didn’t notice

Hooks are promises to what the story is going to be about. It’s going to be a promise on how good your writing skills are. It’s going to tell readers how good your book will be. You hook is insanely important, but I don’t want to stress you guys out. If we just break it down, step by step, hooks will be as easy as…um…eating cake?

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Anyways, here’s the dark, terrifying stuff about hooks: If done wrong, they’re a huge false promise. And readers do not like false promises. It’s basically equivalent to feeling cheated. Cheated out the fantastic, amazing book that you’d promised them.

I will tell you one thing: There is not a single reader who would ever read that terrible example of Joe I told you guys allll abo  There’s not gunna be ANY reader reading your book after feeding them a false promise.

 

2 Situations With False Promises, and 1 Situation That Needs to Happen Every Time

Okay, we flip open this cool lookin’ book and read:

Joe stumbled and glanced backwards, terrified.

They were after him.

Awesomeness. So any who, you continue reading, annndddd

 

1. It Never Mentions The People Who Are After Him Again Until The End of the Book

“Uhh…maybe it’s a prologue?”  You ask yourself hopefully, as you see that the rest of the page is blank. You flip to the next one, and it starts out with this: Today is Monday. It’s a good day. Yup. Very good. (*shrugs* it was from my other hook post, ‘kay?)

Anywho, that would be terrible. You’ve got this awesome hook, and then…boom. You start talking about Monday. Who wants to hear about Monday?

Wincing, you hurriedly skim through, hoping for the explanation of who’s after Joe and why, to appear on the page.

Alas…no

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It goes on to talk about the protagonist getting changed, describing the clothes, then waltzing over to school, and it’s talks about classes, and blah, blah- 

SUDDENLY EVERYONE GETS POWERS AND NOW THEY’RE SAVING THE WORLD!

Perfect, ingenious story. Obviously.

Totally.

Yup.

SOOO, then five chapters before the books ends: Boom: You talk about the people who are after Joe. 

Great. Finally. 

 

2. It Never Mentions The People Who Are After Him Until the Middle of the Book

Same situation as before, except this time it finally mentions the people in the middle of the book. Better, but still not good.

Now we jump into the situation that should really be happening:

 

3. It Keeps Explaining The Situation About the People Who Are After Him Right After the Hook

Yes. That’s litterally how to not cheat readers. It’s pretty straight forward. Pretty obvious, too, honestly. Just keep talking about the people who are after Joe! Keep the questions rolling, keep up the conflict, keep up everything you want! But don’t trick readers. Don’t feed them false promises. Don’t feed them this ingenious hook and start talking about Monday. Talk about what you promised them and keep that promise.

 

Examples of Awesome Hooks

 

“The journalists arrived before the coffin did.” Nevermoor: The Trails of Morrigan Crow

 

“Though the world had ended long before Zed was born, this was still the scariest day of his young life. The Adventurer’s Guild

 

“Owen wanted to scream at the horror before him. Story Thieves

 

“Sophie had waited all her life to be kidnapped. The School for Good and Evil

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What are your guys’ hooks?

Are they thrilling and yet don’t give readers a false promise?

 

I hope you enjoyed this post! If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment down below.

Thanks for reading!

Mary

 

 

 

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Are We Cheating Readers With Our Hooks?

2 thoughts on “Are We Cheating Readers With Our Hooks? Find Out in a Few Quick Tips”

    1. Ahh I know right! It’s sooo disappointing! I do really enjoy good hooks though-as a writer I just get super excited when I open up a book to a hook. Probably too excited, honestly 😆
      Thanks Caleb, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! 😁

      Liked by 1 person

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