Get More Readers Using a Better Hook | Elizabeth Dean | Skillshare

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Get More Readers Using a Better Hook

teacher avatar Elizabeth Dean, Poetry and Writing Instructor

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

4 Lessons (9m)
    • 1. Hook Intro

    • 2. Why a hook?

    • 3. Sympathy and Suspense

    • 4. How To Hook

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About This Class

Engage readers with only one sentence! Learn how in this quick course. Create an engagedĀ audience and achieveĀ greater success!

Learn the secrets that great authors use.

Meet Your Teacher

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Elizabeth Dean

Poetry and Writing Instructor


Hello, I'm Elizabeth. I'm a poetry enthusiast and a teacher. I have taught for 4 years. I love to meet new people and new ideas!

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1. Hook Intro: 2. Why a hook?: hello and welcome to how to create a hub. In this lecture, we will be covering why we create up. So if you've ever been fishing, you know that if you just put a hook out than no fish will bite, why would they? So what do you need? A worm you need Something looks good and juicy. Took attract the reader. If you don't have that, why would they continue reading? It just seems boring, just like in real estate, where you have a house And if it doesn't look good from the curb, cheeses are people aren't gonna even walk inside if it looks like a dump. I mean, like a literal dump. Trash is strewn everywhere, diapers, things like that. No one's gonna go in that house. It could look like a mansion inside. It could look like for science side. And no one's gonna find out because no one's going to go that far. Ah, Hook is an extremely important part of the book. It draws the reader end. It touches them to the characters into the story. Initially, without any character development 3. Sympathy and Suspense: Okay. Hello, And welcome to our second lecture where we talk about the two things that every hook needs sympathy and suspense. Without these two things, you are not gonna have a good hook. So here we have a sergeant's on the screen that does neither of these things. It just is a horrible example. She screamed as she died in a horrific manner. Okay, Not only is that just a bad students in general, but it's a horrible hook. Why? Well, does it create any sympathy? You need to go over these two checkpoints with any sentence you do for a hook. Because the hook is the most important sentence of the book. So she screamed as she died. Okay. Who is she? We don't know where she is. She could be a fly. She could be a villain. She could be anything or anyone. You have no idea. And because of that, well, we might, you know? Well, we don't want someone to die in a perfect manner. That's not really a lot of investment. And the second point suspense She died. That's all the information we're given here. We have all the information we have. We have some like how she died. But she died. Okay? Would that work as a mystery novel? She died. Well, well, maybe How it keep your reading of it. Just that she died because you can do a hook in multiple sentences were just doing once in its hooks. But this was the entire amount of information you gave and paragraph. This would not work because it doesn't put any suspense. She's dead. What can you dio? What? Someone's dead. They're dead. There's really nothing you can do about it in the real world. Whatever gonna do, we gonna bury her. That's always going to be a fun novel. It'll read how this person was buried. No, where? We need some action immediately. So here we have a second example where the sentences altered to make it a little bit better . She screamed in agony as your little brother watched in horror. Okay, again, that's not the bassinets. But it is much better example because it provides both of van suspense. So we still don't know who she is. She could be anyone, but we haven't added piece of information that is super helpful. Her little brother watched in horror. Now generally when the term little brother little sisters use. It's talking about a child, and if you involve a child in the first and enter with your hook, it will grab people's attention most of the time. Why? Because as a species, we would not survive. We did not have the instinct to protect Children and to help Children and to care about Children. We just wouldn't survive if you didn't have that instinct. So Children above anyone else is gonna grab your audiences attention. It's past tense, but that's still going on. She screamed. Well, she's not dead yet. She's still kicking. She could get out of the situation. No. So we have suspense and we have another piece of information that puts a little bit of sympathy with her. Her little brother washing horror. Well, that means our little brother must care about her. So you much information I'm getting from this little piece of a sentence that's so much better than the previous one, where we get nothing. With a lot of words here we have still immediate a medium amount of words, but a lot of information. So how can we create sympathy? So here are some examples. Children. I went over that fear. Suspense, anger loss, suspects courses is a different one. But here we have emotions. This for some reason, the only showing two of them. This is supposed to show all the emotions we need to create an emotional reaction. Now I've seen a lot of fantasy and SciFi writers do it like glory, sneeze not that flibbertigibbet and ran to Clark Leak to get a flown. And that's that's a horrible way to start out a book. Don't do that. It's great that you've created this whole world, but you're read earnings to know about your world before you ling them into it, because readers not only gonna be confused but probably not invested, either. I mean, why should they be? They don't know what you're saying it. If I was reading a book in Italian, I wouldn't know what was going on because I don't speak Italian. I was trying to learn Italian. I might keep reading, but if I'm not, I wouldn't care at all because I don't understand what's going on. And it doesn't matter if it's a real language or fake Ling would. You cannot do it where you just fling your reader into that world you've created without giving them any connection to the real world 4. How To Hook: hello and welcome to our final lecture. So this is probably the most important part. How to apply it to your story, Because what's the use of knowledge if you can apply it well, we have to go to the fundamentals of writing. Think of a harsh situation. Now. If you haven't done this exercise, I would highly advise it where you get a sheet of paper, set a timer for five minutes and write down everything horrible they could ever happen to your character. Throw been on a fun exercise, but it is very important for writing now. It doesn't have to be huge. You don't just start in like the middle of the climax. You don't want to sit in the middle of the climax. You want to set up from that some things first. So what do you do? Well, we want tohave, something that creates sympathy in suspense, of course. And it could be very simple. You could be riding a dystopian novel and have your main character save their little brother from bowling or something like that or anything like that. Really, You could even have something like a kitchen fire or just something little it doesn't really matter, but you need to create but sympathy and suspense. So the project, of course, is to write a sentence and post it for, um, feedback on how it creates both sympathy, suspense, and please write in review. Thank you so much for watching, and I hope to see you soon.