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Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Good Hook?

With Clash of the Titles focusing on Opening Pages these first two weeks, I'd like to find out from you- what makes a good opening or "hook"?  What baits you? What do you personally look for in a book's first pages that make you want to take it with you and read it cover to cover?

For me, it's emotion.  I want to become the character and feel what they feel.  A good book's opening pages will immediately place me in the world of the main character- thinking like them, feeling like them.  If I can feel the character I will want to follow the journey to its conclusion.  It doesn't matter to me if that journey is grand or small-scale; past, present, or future; on a farm or on the moon. If I can step into the character's psyche, and it's "real", you've got me.

What about you?  Please share what you love to find in the first couple pages of a good book!

5 comments:

Katie Ganshert said...

I love a graet opening line. Emotion is definitely something I look for too, but I mostly look for some sort of question or mystery. I want the first line to make me ask, "Why?" Like, "Hmmm, this is different. Why is this happening?" "What's going on here?"

So intrigue. I'm looking for intrigue.

Michelle Massaro said...

Great response, Katie! Intrigue is another good bait on the hook! =)

Phoenix said...

Good writing and voice are other crucial first-page must-haves. Do I want to commit a few hours to reading the prose?

Jill said...

I'm with Phoenix. Writing style is what will keep me reading every time. I'll read any genre, nonfiction or fiction, but it's the voice that engages me, rather than story, plot, or action. In fact, some of my favorite books have little to no plot whatsoever.

Michelle Massaro said...

Interesting answers! Although I do love a great plot, the writing is what is going to effectively (or not) manipulate my emotions, so I can see that it goes hand in hand with my own "good hook" requirement. =)

Thank you Phoenix and Jill =)