If you say the word hook to a fiction writer they immediately think you’re referring to the situation or event early in the story that grabs the reader’s attention. The hook is intended to impact the reader in a way that makes them want to read further. It makes them want to, well … uh, buy your book!

The origins of the word hook harkens back to physical implements like the two hooks shown in the picture. These are actually the same two hooks except the one on the left is covered with a rubber hose and then the ends were epoxied shut. The reason for doing this is that the hook, while big enough and strong enough to meet my boating application, has a zinc coating. In a saltwater environment the zinc coating will totally rust over in a year or less. Thus, by putting the rubber hose over it and sealing it I’ve delayed the rusting by many years. Of course, had I been able to buy this hook in stainless steel I could have avoided having to add the covering.

Fortunately, the hooks we use in fiction writing don’t rust. However, like the hooks in the photo they do have to be strong enough to do the intended job. Some authors, if they have a sufficient fan base, can get away with a weak hook. I’m not one of those, nor are most of the writers I know. So I’m all for a nice, strong hook.





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