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Grab Your Readers!

Posted on: May 29, 2013

ImageI just finished re-reading “Hooked: Write Fiction that Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Them Go” by Les Edgerton. I purchased and read the book when it first came out five or six years ago, but after sitting through a couple of Les’s workshops at a recent writers conference, I realized I needed to read his book again. He’s a fountain of wisdom when it comes to writing fiction.

Here are a few jewels from “Hooked”:

“The primary requirement of an opening is that the first line plunges the reader into the story instantly.”

“Stories today had better be wound tight and delivered quickly. They can’t begin any longer with pages of backstory and setup. To be considered publishable, they have to begin with action and with the trouble that’s going to occupy the story.”

“What most good hooks have in common is that they have strong inciting incidents that plunge the protagonist immediately into trouble.”

“Trouble in the literary sense comes in two forms: story-worthy problems and surface problems.”

“Deliver the inciting incident scene and then get right into the struggle to resole the problem that incident has created.”

“The higher the quality of the antagonist’s goals, the more complex the story becomes.”

“The secret to good writing is to employ strong, original verbs (avoid forms of to be), and concrete nouns.”

“Emotion is the chief coin in the trade of writers.”

“The seeds of your ending can often be sown in your beginning.”

“All good story endings and resolutions should involve both an element of a win and an element of a loss.”

One final quotation from a literary agent Les quoted: “Good writers know how much they still have to learn.” (Jodie Rhodes, President, Jodie Rhodes Literary Agency)

Writers, if you haven’t read “Hooked,” order it today. You and your readers will be glad you did!

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2 Responses to "Grab Your Readers!"

I agree! One of the best books on writing I’ve read. Highly recommend it to anyone writing popular fiction…or any fiction, for that matter.

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“Hooked” is a small book but full of good stuff. And the interior design is cool — bubbles and fishhooks throughout.

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