By Janice Hardy on Anne R. Allen site:
Brainstorm your novel hook now
for your NaNoWriMo novel!
A great idea helps every novel get off to a great start, but not every idea starts out great. Some need a little work to find their true potential. The key is to find the novel hook within the idea that will grab readers and make them want to read on.
In the brainstorming stage, the novel hook is the gotcha—it’s the twist that will make the story compelling and fresh. That “ooooh” factor that probably got you excited about the idea in the first place. It might be a plot point, a character goal, or a conflict. It could even be the theme.
The novel hook is what sets your story apart from other books, and makes the novel different. The stronger the hook, the better the chance of selling the novel. (No pressure, right?)
In harsh terms, the hook is why a reader (or agent) should care about your book and not pick up someone else’s. It’s also how readers choose the novels they read, because one book will stand out and be more appealing than another—one “hooks” more than the other. If you’re just writing for fun, a novel hook isn’t vital, but if your hope is to publish one day, a good novel hook is a necessity.