I missed a couple of months because of moving, but I'm in my new home and ready to post again.
This month, Rhobin's question for us is: What glues you to a story start to finish? And/Or what hooks do you use to capture your readers?
Hmmm, I just finished reviewing a book on Reader's Alley, Montana Man, and I have to say I was definitely glued to the story from the beginning. The author used the hero to hook both me and the heroine. Finding a unconscious man in repose by a rising river when a flash flood might occur makes you want to keep reading to see what happens. I was hooked from the first page, and the pacing of the story was rapid and not filled with useless information that made me say "who cares." All in all, there was just the right amount of everything in the story to keep my interest, and that doesn't happen all that often cause we authors tend to read with a very critical eye.
As for me, I've learned from experience with editors and releasing so many books, that unless you hook the reader from the "get go", you're bound to lose their interest and a sale. I always thought there had to be lots of backstory to set the scene, so prologues were my thing, but they aren't any more. I've since discovered writing is much more effective if you weave the backstory into the action and don't overwhelm the reader.
So...I guess in answer to the question, I personally try to create a situation at the beginning that draws
the interest of the reader and makes them curious enough to keep turning pages. Here's one beginning I've written....this one from First Degree Innocence. Does it hook you?
Sarah Collins struggled to open her eyes against the glare, but the pounding pain in her head urged her to keep them closed. She swept the tip of her tongue across cracked lips, her mouth as dry as the feathers in her pillow—yet she felt no downy softness beneath her, only an uncomfortable jabbing in her back. Her palms groped along something gritty. Where was she?
I personally would want to keep reading these stories to see how they unfolded...why is CarrieLang in a women's processing area and why is she having to strip? Why is Sarah Collins on the ground in pain, and how come she doesn't know where she is? These are critical questions that need answering. :)
As far as what glues me to a story...an author has to have a pace that moves along fast enough to keep my attention and a storyline that is realistic enough that I can connect and associate with the characters. Just a tiny task once you've learned all the tricks...but did I mention that writing is a never-ending lesson?
If you would like to check out my work, the best place to see everything is on my Amazon page. Check it out and see if I can hook you with something. :)
Now...hop on over to the other authors who participate in this Round-Robin Blog and see what they have to say:
Beverley Bateman http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
Diane Bator http://dbator.blogspot.ca/
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/
Marci Baun http://www.marcibaun.com/
Margaret Fieland http://www.margaretfieland.com/blog1/
Helena Fairfax http://helenafairfax.com/
Anne Stenhouse http://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com/
Fiona McGier http://www.fionamcgier.com/
Connie Vines http://connievines.blogspot.com/
Rachael Kosnski http://rachaelkosinski.weebly.com/
Victoria Chatham http://victoriachatham.webs.com/
Lynn Crain http://www.awriterinvienna.blogspot.com
Rhobin Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com/