The Hook: When do I start the story?

The hook’s the thing…

People ask me how I know when to start a story. I have a hundred things I could say about “the hook,” but the most important thing is for the reader to get a sense of the characters and how they are going to interact with each other. I try to make their meeting as intriguing as possible so that first page gets turned and then, I have the reader in the palm of my hand for some madcap adventure.

It doesn’t have to be the hero and heroine who meet in the first scene; it could be the protagonist and the villain, or even just the villain (if you’re into the detective stories that start out with revealing the crime in the first scene). Each person in that first scene should be well-drawn and without an overload of backstory explaining. The hook also nails the genre right away if I am doing my job right. And sets the tone. Right away, you know that there are going to be some sexy sparks between these two…

I was standing behind the bar in my blood club when she walked in.

The first thing I noticed was that she looked like death warmed over. Lips like lush black cherries. Skin like milky silk. Hair like endless nightfall. Undead eyes with black irises. I was struck by the realization that she looked like a younger Samantha Moon.

Be still my heart…oh, right.

The second thing I noticed was her vampire bite tattoo, right where my eyes loved to roam the most, on her satiny neck that was exposed by the neckline of her slinky black dress. All of me perked up.

No discernible pulse. No breathing.

The lady is a vamp.

“Welcome to Fang’s Place,” I said. “I’m Fang.”

(from VAMPIRES, SHE WROTE by Eve Paludan)

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♂️ #Fang of #vampireforhire falls for a vampire novelist. And vampire.
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By evepaludan

2 comments on “The Hook: When do I start the story?

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