empowering young writers online

How to Hook Your Readers

Think of a situation that would cause a lot of trouble. In a story, this is called a premise. If it’s really good, it’s also called a hook. Hooks grab readers on the first page and won’t let them go until the end. You can hook readers with interesting characters, or an exciting plot, or an alarming amount of trouble.

Whatever you use for the hook, you’ll know you’ve found one when it excites you. It will make you scramble for paper in your rush to write it down. You won’t be able to get it out of your head until you share it with others.

Sometimes a great hook will just show up out of nowhere. Sometimes you’ll have to go looking for it. Here’s how:

  • For the next day or two, let your imagination build on whatever you’re doing or whatever you see. Think of things that could turn what’s going on into a bad situation or cause a problem. Then think of something else that would make what you imagined even worse.trouble
  • Create a character by imagining someone you wish you knew. The character doesn’t have to be incredibly nice or over-the-top sweet – just interesting. Now think of a challenge or a problem for this character to face. How would he or she handle the problem? Would it make things better or worse?
  • If you’ve ever been disappointed by a book, here’s your chance. Write the story the way you wanted it to be.

For more inspiration, check out the story prompts.

After you get your killer hook, read these tips before you write.


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