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  • Nicole Meier

Three Ways to Hook Readers in Your Novel

Let's talk about that opening scene in your book. If you want to hook a reader, this is a pretty good place to do it. ⁠ After all, the goal is to have your audience turning pages as fast as they can read, up all night with the desire to know MORE.⁠ ⁠Beyond having a catchy first sentence...⁠

Your book's opening scene needs to do the important work of hooking your reader and pulling them into the story.⁠ ⁠Here are some ways to grab your reader right away. If done well, they can be quite powerful. ⁠ ⁠

Strong narrative voice: ⁠ This is the lens from which the story is being told. Usually (but not always), the voice is that of the character whose story we are following. This voice needs a clear tone and identity. ⁠ ⁠

Orient the reader:⁠ Readers need context. Setting is a great place to start. Think of giving this in a way that uniquely (but clearly!) answers the where and when of the story.⁠ ⁠

Pose a question:⁠ Think of what your reader might want to know after the opening sentences. How can you tease intrigue, interest and/or surprise out by the end of the first scene?⁠ ⁠

Once your draft is complete, check to see if you've addressed each of these elements in a clear way.

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