Can you actually hook a reader in two sentences? I have problems with my elevator speech and that’s a lot longer than two sentences. However, the answer is yes, and I know from experience, you had better hook your reader, or literary agent, right away if you want to make a sell.
The next question for me, is how do I write a 2-sentence hook? My story is complicated, and I don’t even know where to begin.
A 2-story hook has three components. These not only provide the gist of your story, but also an abbreviated outline of what you are trying to accomplish.
- Character – Who is your hero or heroine? You don’t want to give that character a name in your 2-sentence write up. Give them an identity. Not Anne, but a young orphan girl. Not James, but a young boy born into slavery.
- Core Desire – What does your character really want? To be loved, respected? To become famous or rich? What is motivating your characters actions? This is something I’ve discussed in previous blogs. It has to be relatable.
- Obstacle – The inciting incident threatening the core identity of your hero/heroine. It doesn’t have to be a big problem, but it does have to be big in your character’s mind.
You can embellish your hook by adding more description or upping the stakes (the clock is ticking).
A young corpsman involved in an IED explosion in Afghanistan loses his memory and struggles to regain his identity. He is misidentified and placed in the home of total strangers.
My first attempt at a 2-sentence hook. It leaves a lot of questions, but I guess that is the hook. Hopefully your reader will want to know more.
Something to think about.