Monday, March 29, 2010


Not the profession...

Wow. I had an eye opening experience last week. If you follow the Authoress's blog, you should remember that she hosted a fabulous critique opportunity to submit your first 25 words and have commenters tell you if they were hooked or not.

Holy cow. Not hooked was my majority. I understood why. I'm not mad, I promise. So if anyone is reading this that told me my first 25 words were not hooky, it's okay!! I agree. It's not a hook. Which is why I'm really glad that I read more than 25 words on a page before making a decision about a book. I really hope that others would too. This was also a great exercise for me to see where sometimes starting with action is a bad idea. Action for the sake of action happened to be a lot of entries.

Here's the other thing, I didn't submit my first 25 words. I submitted the first 25 words of approximately the third paragraph. LOL So, if I were to do it correctly, I do wonder if it would have been different. Somehow, I don't think so. :0)

Here is what I propose today. I would love it if you chose two paragraphs anywhere in any WIP and submitted them to this blog and we'll do our own Hook Research. :0) This is why. I know a lot of people that don't read the first few pages of a book. They read the back, they open it and read a couple of paragraphs wherever they opened it. I do this to see if random middles are interesting. If I read something that makes me want to know more, well, there we go! I would like to post them starting on Friday, so you have this week to submit. Please email to me kowens1308 at yahoo dot com 

What do you think? Do you judge a book by less than a page? Does it seem unfair to have to try and recoup your novel into the first 25 words of it? Tell me!! 

Have a great Monday, cool kids!

**Thank you to all of my supporters for helping through my rough first few nights of working at this new job. I can't tell you how much it has meant to me to see your awesome comments with your smiling faces. :0) Honestly, you guys are more than cool kids. You are TOTALLY ROCKIN'!


  1. Eeks! I'm totally submitting when I get a chance (gotta get the kids off to school first). I *always* give a book a fair chance before putting it down. It took me reading nearly 100 pages of my current series before I got into it, and it's totally hooked me. People are just too impatient to give anything a real chance these days.

  2. I know if it's a really great book if I'm hooked in the first paragraph or two.

    If it's a good book, it may take a couple of pages.

    If I'm hoping it will become a good book, I give it 25 pages.

    One of the first things to catch my attention is the book title.

  3. Awww, Kristi - My feeder thingy is so bogged down with all the blogs I've joined that I've missed your last posts. (I am working on a solution!) I'm sorry you're having a rough time right now. I hope things get better as you settle into your new routine.

    I think your paragraph idea is great. Funny, I did the 25 word thing, and only a couple said hooked. I cheated as well. It was my first 2 sentences, but I chopped them down to make it fit, basically removing he voice, and that's mostly what was said; it's flat, no voice, not hooked. LOL. Oh well. And I was thinking of asking people to send me teir 1st para. to do something similar (great minds, and all).

    So, you want anywhere in the WiP? I'll play. Do you mean consecutive paragraphs, or any random two?

    I give a seemingly blah book the first chapter as a rule. And then, if I'm remotely interested, I'll go two more before I decide to put it down. I rarely put a book down.

  4. Early on in my writing I got caught up in those first-page, first-sentence, first-25 word contests. Then I realized I don't write those kinds of books. And neither do most of the authors I read.

    Not every book starts with 25 BANG words. There has to be something of interest, and some good writing, of course. But the BANG everyone seems to think you need?? I'm not convinced.

    In Some Kind of Normal, I got a lot of comments (in contests) like, "I love the voice, but nothing is happening." I was like, "It's the first paragraph!! Give it a minute you mosquito-attention-span readers!!"

    Okay, I said that in my head. But I still think a good voice and great writing beat out action in the first chapter any day. And since I got published, I must not be the only one. :)

  5. I'm with PJ. I'm always willing to go beyond 25 words to see if I like a book. I've read entire books waiting for them to get good! *sigh* And there are plenty of really good books that don't start with impressive words.

  6. I get intrigued by the back of the book blurb; I get hooked by flipping through several pages at random. I give a story a lot of leeway to live up to my initial impressions.

    For me, the first few pages of a book are for introducing the main character/characters, setting up tone and voice, and setting.

    I like your idea for a random paragraph critique. I'll be sending you mine.



Your spotlight on R.A.W. :0) I strive to respond if you have your email address attached!