I've been a bit remiss about sharing some of what I learned at RWA national. So today I will post a bit of information from a workshop titled Humor, Heat and Hooks, The Building Blocks of a Page Turner by Author Katy Madison. My apologies to Ms. Madison as I was unable to access the website listed on her handouts and thus am unable to provide you with her link.
Elements of a Scene:
1) Show the setting; time and place
2) Set the mood
3) Allude to all characters on scene
4) Foreshadowing; hinting of future events
5) Linking past details and reminding the reader of plot points
6) Backstory, only when necessary
1) Show character
4) Introduce obstacles
5) Raise the stakes
6) Solve a problem
7) Sexual tension
8) Reinforce the conflict
1) Advance the plot
2) Character growth
3) Romantic development
4) Engage the reader's emotions
5) Entice the reader into the next scene
- Story question - Why? What will happen next?
- Do not withhold valuable information from the reader. Tell them who, what, when, and where. The WHY comes later.
- Present your characters in a scene where further action or a decision is required.
Types of Opening Hooks:
- Setting - set mood
- Protagonist is faced with an immediate choice or crisis
- Protagonist is immersed in action
- Witty dialogue
- Problem to be solved
- Character is faced with a dilemma
- Each and every scene should end on a question for the reader.
- Except the last scene of the book - unless you have a sequel
Types of Ending Hooks:
- Reinforcing the conflict
- Why would the character do that?
- What will they do next?
- Breaking a love scene in the middle
- Out of the frying pan into the fire
- Emotional or physical danger to the character.
This workshop taught me that each scene needs to serve a purpose other than to simply entertain the reader. I knew all about an opening hook, something to grab your reader, to entice him/her buy your book. This workshop taught me the importance of ending hooks, to keep the reader reading, to make him/her turn page after page without being able to put the book down. (I'm still working to perfect it!)
What types of hook draw you into a story? Are you good at writing hooks? Did you know about ending hooks before you read this post?
Next week I'll go over the humor portion of the workshop. Hope you'll come back to read it!
- It is said that good things come to those who wait. I believe that good things come to those who work. - Wilt Chamberlain
- A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit. - Richard Bach
- You don't find time to write. You make time. It's my job. - Nora Roberts
- Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most. - Buddha
- Luck is when an opportunity comes along and you're prepared for it. - Denzel Washington
- I can accept failure, but I can't accept not trying. - Michael Jordan