This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Another wonderful column from Emily Tootsweet! Enjoy, and be sure to pop by Emily's blog!
Last week was a bit hit and miss for my writing. I was off work and planned to do nothing but write my novel. I didn’t write as much as I would have liked but at least I *did* write something so I’m not too angry with myself. I managed to write 4209 words. It’s not bad but a little part of me thinks I could have done a wee bit better. But considering I haven’t written much over the past few months I shouldn’t beat myself up about it, plus I was ON HOLIDAY, I did have to have some time to myself to relax and enjoy being away from the day job.
Now it’s back to work today and I’m not looking forward to it. One. Little. Bit.
But enough of that depressing talk!
It was nice writing again. I hadn’t realised how much I’d missed it. I’d missed my characters! It was like finding old friends again who I’d not spoken to for ages. Plus I fell for the hero all over again ;o) I think the break did me and the story good though. I thought I knew where I wanted my story to go when I first started it but I’ve changed it slightly and now I think I’ve made it stronger. And there’s even a little twist now which I think makes it much better reading.
I had to change the story a bit because my novel was becoming a bit too predictable – anyone reading it would have been bored by the time they got to the third chapter. The third chapter can be the crucial chapter. When you submit your novel to agents, it’s usually a synopsis and the first three chapters. You usually find by the third chapter the premise of the story has been set or something dramatic happens to keep the reader reading. Have a look at some of your favourite novels? It’s nearly always that way. It’s so the author can hook in agent or publisher! Or at least that’s how I like to look at it! :o)
So I try to make Chapter Three the second hook. You need a first hook at the very beginning to capture the reader and keep them reading. Again, look at your favourite novels, read the first line and you’re usually hooked straight away. It grabs your attention. And come the third chapter, you get another little tempting nibble to keep you reading until the very end.
Writing a novel is sneaky in a way. You have to put little titbits in to keep the readers interested. The story should do that too, obviously, but the hooks are very important. It’s the make or break deal as to whether you get an agent or your readers finish your book.
Emily Tootsweet :o)