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Hook, Line, and Sinker: 3 Steps to Reeling in Your Readers

19 May, 2017 Tips writing writing tips 0
reel in more readers

“Don’t tell me, show me,” says the seasoned writer. But what does that even mean? And how in the world does one manage such a herculean task in a mere 150 words?

Book descriptions: next to your title and cover, either reel in the readers or send them in search of better bait.

What then, makes the mackerels bite?

It is all about the hook, the line, and the sinker baby!

Your Hook

Long gone are the plot laden summaries of yesteryear my friends. Now, If you want to stand out in the sea of word lovers, you have got to think of your back cover like a 30 second spot on a Super Bowl Sunday. So pull out your gardening gloves and dig up some juice earthworms because we have some hooks to be threadin`.

  1. Start by writing in third person present, remember, you are not your book.
  2. Use an active voice, you want your assertiveness to shine through.
  3. Give your words life. They should be vibrant!

Here is an example:

Option 1:

My name is Amanda and when I was a young girl, a bad man changed my life forever.  

Option 2:

Amanda is turning 15 next week. She is budding with innocence and inexperience. Jack, on the other hand, is far too streetwise for his own good. When their worlds collide, nothing will ever be the same.

Which introduction kept you wanting more?

Your Line

Johnny Cash knew how to do it. The tightrope walker of Ringling Brothers had it down. And you, you’ve totally got this. That is right my friend, I am talking about walking the line. An even keeled distribution of weight and tension, neither tight nor slack. Balanced. That is how you catch èm. Tell them just enough to pique their interest, but keep the details and subplots to yourself.

Your Sinker

“But people fish without sinkers all the time,” you might be saying. “What about live bait?” OK, OK, you are right. But that live bait, it still sinks, and depending on where you hooked the little minnow, he will either swim shallow or go deep. So, if your initial hook gets your reader in the tail, your sinker simply ties into the other two points. Make it concise but make it strong. Complement it with tense but never tight nylon cords. If you do, you are bound to reel in your readers.

 

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