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Posts tagged ‘writing hook’

How a great “voice” can make an opening line

In Joe Fassler’s recent interview with Stephen King in “The Atlantic” we learn what the bestselling author thinks a first line in a novel should accomplish. Besides establishing time and space, and hooking the reader with compelling action, an opening line should, most importantly, establish voice.

We’ve heard the term “voice” before but what is it exactly? King describes it as follows:

“A novel’s voice is something like a singer’s — think of singers like Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan, who have no musical training but are instantly recognizable. When people pick up a Rolling Stones record, it’s because they want access to that distinctive quality. They know that voice, they love that voice, and something in them connects profoundly with it. Well, it’s the same way with books. Anyone who’s read a lot of John Sanford, for example, knows that wry, sarcastic amusing voice that’s his and his alone. Or Elmore Leonard — my god, his writing is like a fingerprint. You’d recognize him anywhere. An appealing voice achieves an intimate connection — a bond much stronger than the kind forged, intellectually, through crafted writing.” Read more

How to create a beginning to hook your readers, agent, and publisher

Writing a novel, memoir, screenplay, or even a poetry manuscript can be a long, arduous journey. Getting off to a good start is important, and good beginnings are an art that can be mastered. Below are a few posts with tips on how to create a beginning to hook your reader, agent, and/or publisher. Read these posts and tell us in the comments below if you have any additional tips. Thanks!

Ground your readers and they will follow you anywhere: “Give the readers a place to stand, and then you can take them anywhere.” Poet and professor Nelson Bentley’s advice holds true whether you’re writing a poem, a book, or a screenplay. Read more