Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Closing Hooks that Urge the Reader On
    
     Authors, what are some of your favorite lines at the end of a chapter that you hope will keep the reader wanting to turn the page?  Readers, have you been ready to put a book down only to have the last sentence of the scene, cause you to read on?
     Christina Dodd, in her novel, Lost in Her Arms, ends chapter 4 with this line: "Then he opened his eyes and said, "All right, you can take me there. But first, tell me--who are you?"
     Stuart Woods in Orchid Beach, ends Chapter 16, "Daisy made a low noise in her throat. Holly drew her gun."
     An ending chapter line in my novel Regal Reward reads, "There was something else her mother wanted to tell her. Something more. But what?"
     In my present manuscript, the final line of the preface reads, "Her eyes sprang opened just before a large hand covered her mouth and blocked out her scream."
      It’s my hope that my readers will want to begin the next chapter to find out what happens next, rather than setting the book aside. Opening hooks are so important to engage the reader, but those closing lines can keep them hooked. I’d love to hear some of those final lines that authors have created to keep the attention of their readers.  Please comment and pass them on. I’d love to hear from you!

6 comments:

  1. I'm in a flash fiction group and each week I pretty much have to end with a hook so my skills have been getting better at this.
    Good post - everyone talks about the opening line of the book, but once we have the reader we have to keep them reading and that's what the hooks do.
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    1. Yes, I found that I would sometimes end a chapter with what I thought was a nice closing sentence until my editor reminded me that like an opening hook (as you mentioned), you want readers to be hooked at the end of a chapter as well so they want more.

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  2. Great post. Something I haven't thought too much about, but will be thinking about now going forward. : )

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    1. Excellent. I know I wasn't always aware of the importance of those closing sentences.

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  3. Great post, Elaine! My editor loves me to end each chapter on a hook. Not always easy - but I try!

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  4. Thank you so much for commenting. Why not post one of your closing sentences?

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