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Viola Rivard said:
I don't really have a science to writing hooks. What I do have, is what I call my Scorpion Move. Remember Scorpion from Mortal Kombat? He's a resurrected ninja who wields a Kunai-tipped rope, which he uses to impale his victims in the chest. This move is followed by him shouting "Get over here!" and then dragging the victim to him so that he can punch her in the face.

Well, writing hooks is kind of like that. Sort of.

Just when your reader is starting to get bored, you need to have your Kunai-tipped rope ready. Impale them with a twist, a revelation, something they weren't expecting or something they've been anticipating. Remember, most readers consider the end of a chapter to be the ideal stopping point, so make sure you have a "Get over here!" moment waiting, so they can't resist letting you drag them into the next chapter.
Best description of hooks that I've ever read :D
 

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Thank you so much for this, Viola! As I hit publish yesterday on my debut work, I have to say I got a little worried, but seeing your success is such an inspiration and these posts are invaluable, so thank you! :D
 
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Hey there Viola,

I enjoyed reading your post!  :-* :-*

~~~

I'm happy with my self-publishing journey so far.  My second book will be out at the end of this month, the third next month, the fourth the month after that . . .

I expect more and more sales as my journey continues.

I'm loving every second of it, and I have zero complaints so far!

~~~

Congratulations on your success!  Your $950,000 away from $1 million, and you'll be there before you know it if you just keep doing what you're doing!
 

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Thank you, Viola, for posting this. I appreciate you sharing all this information with us. I'm definitely going to be watching your climb, and taking notes. I think you're right, the hooks really are key with the serials. There just aren't enough books nowadays that really make you want to turn the page. I'm still working on the hooks, myself.

Congrats on book 8, and on publishing so consistently!
 

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D.D.Parker said:
Thank you so much for this, Viola! As I hit publish yesterday on my debut work, I have to say I got a little worried, but seeing your success is such an inspiration and these posts are invaluable, so thank you! :D
Thank you for the advice, Viola!

D.D., I bought your book. It looks awesome!
 

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Congrats, you're definitely an inspiration with your output. You're very generous with all your info, here's to your next 100K sales  ;D

Also, lol on the hook description, I used to play that game with my son. (bad mom alert?)
 

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Viola Rivard said:
As I tell inquiring minds all the time, I didn't invest in marketing or promos to get my books out there. To date, I've spent a grand total of $5 on advertising. Nope, that's not missing any zeros. There are a lot of things you can do, besides marketing, to set your books up for success.

I don't know about you, but I'm skeptical of anyone who says "If you do these things, you will make money" usually while holding the information ransom for a nominal fee. I'm not asking for any of your money, and I don't stand to gain anything by telling you this. If you do these things, you will make money in self-publishing. I'm not an isolated case. There are other people who have followed this advice and been successful because of it.
Can you reiterate what you did without paying for advertising?
 

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You stated that description is your problem. Unfortunately description comes natural to me, but unless you wish your writing to be boring you need to temper the physical aspects with the environmental aspects that you call 'feel'.

For instance:

Jim looked at the cylindrical silvery metal storage container with two or three indented ribs running around the circumference and a colorful label describing the peaches sealed inside. (BORING)

With 'feel':

The heavy weight of the slick, glittering can of peaches pulled at Jim's arm. (Better)

With Both:

The heavy weight of the large steel can dragged at his arm. The glittering contrast of the silver can emphasized the yellow, peach covered label. Jim smiled, thinking of how the peaches inside would taste, sweet, the thick syrup coating the moist sweet slices. (What do you think?)

I think you are right that a combination of the styles draws a reader into the story with the greatest pull or hook. It can be overused as well.

My problem is description. Sometimes I overuse it. I think in a rigidly logical manner and I have to switch mental gears to speak or think emotionally.


By the way, congratulation on your sales. I hope you do even better in the future.
 

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Viola Rivard said:
LL Akers once said she wanted to wrap me up in bubble wrap and hide me away, I think in her basement or something. So that's not weird at all.
I did say that... In a different place, which you later saw...THAT wasn't s'posed to happen, lol. However, I stand by those words still today...I'm old enough to be your mom too, and I hope no one ever takes a dig at that sweet soul of yours. You deserve your success and the fact that you still wear it so humble makes me now want to double-bubble-wrap you up :-*
 

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Josey Alden said:
Thank you for the advice, Viola!

D.D., I bought your book. It looks awesome!
Aww thanks so much!! I just picked up a copy of All Shook Up! I'm looking forward to reading it tonight :D
 

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Congrats on your success, Viola!  Glad to see your hard work is paying off for you!  Thanks for the advice.
 
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