Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One & Never Lets Them Go [NOOK Book]

Overview

The road to rejection is paved with bad beginnings. Agents and editors agree: Improper story beginnings are the single biggest barrier to publication. Why? If a novel or short story has a bad beginning, then no one will keep reading. It's just that simple.

In Hooked, author Les Edgerton draws on his experience as a successful fiction writer and teacher to help you overcome the weak openings that lead to instant rejection by showing you how to ...

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Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One & Never Lets Them Go

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Overview

The road to rejection is paved with bad beginnings. Agents and editors agree: Improper story beginnings are the single biggest barrier to publication. Why? If a novel or short story has a bad beginning, then no one will keep reading. It's just that simple.

In Hooked, author Les Edgerton draws on his experience as a successful fiction writer and teacher to help you overcome the weak openings that lead to instant rejection by showing you how to successfully use the ten core components inherent to any great beginning. You'll find:

  • Detailed instruction on how to develop your inciting incident
  • Keys for creating a cohesive story-worthy problem
  • Tips on how to avoid common opening gaffes like overusing backstory
  • A rundown on basics such as opening scene length and transitions
  • A comprehensive analysis of more than twenty great opening lines from novels and short stories
Plus, you'll discover exclusive insider advice from agents and acquiring editors on what they look for in a strong opening. With Hooked, you'll have all the information you need to craft a compelling beginning that lays the foundation for an irresistible story!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582976914
  • Publisher: F+W Media
  • Publication date: 3/29/2007
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 260
  • Sales rank: 334,808
  • File size: 669 KB

Meet the Author


Les Edgerton (MFA, Vermont College) is a novelist and author of Finding Your Voice. His short fiction has appeared in Best American Mystery Stories 2001, Kansas Quarterly, Arkansas Review, North Atlantic Review, Chiron Review, and many others. His honors include a Pushcart Prize nomination, Edgar Allan Poe Award nomination, and an Indiana Arts Commission Fellowship.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 14 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 11, 2011

    Highly recommended

    Have read this book twice and on my third reading; find new things to apply to my writing every reading!!! A must have for every creative writer's resource library.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2007

    THE Book About Beginnings

    Book Review HOOKED: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Them Go By Les Edgerton Writer¿s Digest Books, 2007 THE BOOK ABOUT BEGINNINGS Books about fiction-writing tend to fall into one of three categories: · A-Z books, which address a wide spectrum of fiction-writing issues · Quasi-biographical books, which are as much about the author as they are about writing · Narrow-focus books, which take an in-depth look at a specific aspect of fiction-writing Hooked, by Les Edgerton, focuses on one aspect of fiction-writing: beginnings. In general, readers should expect a narrow-focus book to: · Adequately address its topic of focus, compiling and reorganizing the body of existing information · Debunk misinformation and out-of-date practices about the topic · Offer new ideas and insight about the topic Les Edgerton has accomplished all of these in Hooked. Why a whole book about beginnings? As explained by Edgerton, ¿The simple truth is, if your beginning doesn¿t do the job it needs to, the rest of the story most likely won¿t be read by the agent or editor or publisher you submit it to.¿ Edgerton addresses misinformation and out-of-date practices from a historical perspective and as they relate to literary fiction. Whenever an author sheds new light on a subject, there is a risk that someone will be offended: no exception here. Writers, of any genre, in the habit of beginning stories with hefty servings of backstory or description get an earful. Those who believe that studying the classics is the key to understanding fiction may be turned off by Edgerton¿s take on beginnings: ¿. . . many of the great books from the past aren¿t practical structure models for today¿s market, particularly in the way some of those books begin.¿ And, ¿Beginnings have changed more than any other part of story structure.¿ Likewise, fans of literary fiction may take exception to some of Edgerton¿s observations. ¿Bookscan has revealed the decline of what is usually referred to as literary fiction. This category of fiction may be dying because it has stuck with the story structure model of yesteryear much more so than any other category.¿ To Edgerton¿s credit, Hooked goes beyond a mere regurgitation and reorganization of the subject of beginnings. A cornerstone of Edgerton¿s lesson is the distinction between what he refers to as the initial surface problem and the story-worthy problem. Edgerton also breaks new ground by introducing the concepts of: · Passive vs. active description · Passive vs. active backstory As with any new concept, time will tell whether these will be accepted by the writing community and incorporated into the body of knowledge surrounding the craft of fiction-writing. One of the challenges of any narrow-focus book is to take a subject (which is typically addressed in a magazine article or as a single chapter of a book) and fill a book-sized manuscript without resorting to repetition, filler, and padding. Although though some points are belabored and some of the examples are a bit tedious, there is plenty of valuable information and insight in Hooked. Critics of the book may note that some of the examples are overly literary and fall flat for writers of other genres, but Edgerton more than makes up for this shortfall with examples from popular movies. Although Edgerton pays homage to the use of scene and sequel, he doesn¿t adequately explain either, or how they may be used to construct beginnings. More information about fiction-writing modes would have been helpful. Maybe future editions of Hooked will address these issues. Hooked is organized into eleven chapters: · Story structure and scene · Opening scenes · Inciting incident, initial surface problem, story-worthy problem · Setup and backstory · Combining inciting incident, story-worthy problem, initial surface problem, setup, and backstory · Introducing characters · Foreshadowing, lan

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 20, 2011

    An Important Perspective overstate.

    Edgerton presents his basic premise in the first few pages. It's worth the cost of the book. After that he needlessly reiterates his points in a folksy ramble. Included is a dismissal of Melodrama that belies his appeal to the importance of current taste and dramatic development. The book claims to be the only work focused exclusively on the beginnings of written works. It's not. Noah Lukeman's The First Five Pages is in a class by itself: the crafted ruminations of an actual editing professional.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2011

    Writers will profit from reading this book

    This is an instruction manual - a "how-to" for opening lines, opening paragraphs for fiction, short stories, or novels. It's been a long while since I've read this type of book, but never-the-less I usually enjoy them. So, my review is from the standpoint of a fan of writing books.

    That said, this is a great book. It reads easy; it is not a boring list of instruction to slog through. It's fun, yet it contains much good advice with interesting and entertaining examples by familiar authors. I doubt a writer can read this book without gaining a few new nuggets to consider, and not merely regarding beginnings. Writers of reports at the office, articles or blogs, short stories, or novels, all should gain something. To writers of all stripes, I recommend this.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Hooked shows how to hook a reader into a story and keep them there.

    The information in this book is great. Edgerton helps authors avoid having buyers put books back down and halps them avoid the "sagging middle."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2013

    Dum

    Its a weird book

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  • Posted March 15, 2012

    I've been to lots of writing classes, seminars, and workshops. I

    I've been to lots of writing classes, seminars, and workshops. I've heard many a time that you need to hook your reader right away. How do you do that? I've never gotten an answer that really helped me. Until now.

    HOOKED wiped the fog from my brain. Writing beginnings has never seemed so clear. It's easy to understand and follow. Each section gives you an important key: story-worthy problem, inciting incident, background. Edgerton helps to sweep away all the extra stuff and focus on what is vital to the story. He's funny and uses a lot of fantastic examples. There were many times I went "wow" or "oh!" It's brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

    A writer friend of mine lent me this book. It's one of the greatest gifts she has ever given me. HOOKED is a book every writer needs to read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 24, 2012

    A concise and practical guide to story openings

    An extremely useful and practical book, that lays out the elements of story openings. It describes the strengths and weaknessness of these elements, provides terrific examples, and it all written in a lightly humorous tone that makes it go down easy.

    This book illuminated a number of problems for me, personally, that I was having with backstory and setup, and will make a beneficial impact on my writing.

    Buy it! Read it. If you write with any intent to sell, it's worth your money and time. This is one of those books that can take years off the learning curve needed to becoming a writer with sales.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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