One of the most common reasons a newbie writer fails to get past the proposal stage with an agent is the failure to ‘hook’ their interest in the first chapter. This is quite a common problem in fiction writing. There is either not enough information to garner interest or there is too much.
Les Edgerton, an award winning author, has written a book designed specifically to deal with the beginning of your manuscript, the critical stage where you either hook your reader or lose their interest.
Hooked takes you from “Scene Basics 101” to “Balancing Set Up and Back Story” in your opening. He gives examples of brilliant beginnings and then breaks them down so you can better understand the structural reasons and underpinnings of great writing.
Les’ encouraging teaching style makes his meaty lessons both informative and engaging. His chapter on “Red Flag Openers to Avoid” highlights common cliché scenes that can hurt your submission from the first line.
One of the most helpful chapters was the one that explained “Opening Scene Length and the Use of Transitions” in a way that writers of any experience level can learn from.
His closing chapter says it all with quotes from agents and editors explaining their opening chapter pet peeves and instant turn-offs. If you’re serious about getting published, Hooked is one book you should have on your shelf.
Article originally posted on Blog Critics.org.