Friday, August 10, 2007

Hooked Ya

I've been remiss with this blogging thing for several reasons. I was deep in revisions of The Color of Courage, for which my agent is waiting. I've also been highly focused on my 8-year-old's new mouth of metal and her inability to eat anything without swallowing it whole. And preparing for vacation. We leave on Sunday for Myrtle Beach. Today it was 97 degrees there but felt like 115. Yay. So anyway, don't get your hopes up, you robbers who troll blogs to find out when people go on vacation. Our house will not be empty, and there's nothing here worth stealing, anyway.

So. MaryF was talking about chapter hooks today. That is, I say with a touch of modesty, one of my strengths. So I thought I'd share a few:

From The Color of Courage:

When my positive emotions touched Gino's seething, negative ones, he seemed to explode in the conflict. He wrenched his arm away from me, grabbed a fistful of my jacket at the shoulder, and jumped.

From Brianna's Navy SEAL:

Pulling Brianna hard against his chest, Cable had one thing to say before his mouth found hers again.


From Rebuilding Forever:

Seconds later Seth felt cold and empty, aching with missing Cassie.
But at least he wasn’t fantasizing about ****ing Julian anymore.

From Unbreakable:

She wondered why she hadn’t allowed herself this before. Why she had let the bad guys steal a large part of her life, just by keeping her afraid for so long. Wondered what it would be like to really let go. What it would hurt.

A short time later, she knew.

And from my newest work in progress, Hummingbird:

Jason leapt up the two steps between him and Matt, shoving him back against the wall. Something hot slammed into his shoulder. He jerked. Tripped over the legs of the attacker at his feet, and lost his balance.

He had only a moment to register the shock and horror on Matt’s face before tipping backward over the railing.

In searching for some good examples, it occurred to me that the impact of hooks is difficult to convey with just a line or two. We tend to think of them in terms of the last line, the shocking or intriguing or scary or tender thing that makes us want to see what comes next. But that last line by itself is really nothing. It's the payoff for a buildup that has been going on for paragraphs, pages, or chapters. So you may be looking at my chapter hooks and thinking, "well, geez, she's unjustifiably arrogant." :) And you might be right. But hopefully, when you read those books, and you get to those chapter hooks, you'll keep right on reading.

Even if it's 2:00 a.m. :)


MJFredrick said...

Ooh, those are good! I can imagine what came before, and would definitely turn the page.

Of course, my favorite is the SEAL one ;)

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Thanks, Mary! :)