Reeling in your readers

My internship involves a lot of professional writing and it struck me a few days ago that a hook is very important.

It is the start. The beginning point of your story. It’s the first thing your readers see. If you don’t use an interesting hook your writing will fall flat.

First of all what is it?

Hook: “something that catches your attention or serves as an enticement”, according to Dictionary.com.

Next, how do you make it compelling?

There are a number of options you can use:

  • A Question: Ask a thought-provoking or controversial question that gets your audience riled or gets them thinking. This is especially good for an essay or an article.
  • A Quote: Use a humorous, meaningful or inspiring quote, depending on your medium. Don’t forget to credit the person too!
  • An Anecdote: Tell a detailed or colourful story to set the tone, mood and scene. I find these are useful in first-person accounts or opinion pieces.
  • A Metaphor or Simile: Compare and contrast two elements to create a feeling or compelling image. These are great for creative pieces like stories or poems.
  • A Definition: Define what a word, idea or concept means. Focus on that word.

Just remember it should be interesting, engaging and clear. That way you can catch your readers and reel them in!

What is your favourite type of hook to use?