I found this cool little video that I just had to share. It’s a little lengthy, but it’s worth the time it takes to watch it. I just may have to search out the others in this series.
Writer Crash Test
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You know, if you read the same advice enough, eventually it starts sinking in. I read a short piece about opening hooks (and I can’t for the life of me remember where, otherwise I’d quote directly from the article) and I don’t know how it happened, but something finally sunk in.
That’s what’s been missing from Driving Into Forever, an opening hook. It’s all so simple, and it’s been staring me in the face all along. I’ve read this same advice hundreds of times. Start with action to pull the reader in. That’s why I changed the first prologue (one with the MC packing up after music practice) to the second prologue (where the MC is at a bachelorette party at a strip club). But the problem with both was the same. They weren’t necessary to the plot.
I scrapped both versions of the prologue from DIF and started it where is should have started in the first place, with my MC driving home in the fog. (I know that sounds just as ho hum as the other two, but this is most definitely necessary to the story). I don’t know if I’d describe it more as a light bulb appearing above me, or a Homer Simpson “D’oh!” slap to the head, but whatever it was, it worked.
That’s probably why I like the second DIF book better (I’m about 20,000 words into it). There’s no prologue. It starts with the MC’s best friend worrying about her, and then going off into danger herself.
All I can say is, “D’oh!”