On Narrative Hooks
Narrative hooks ought to work, but they don’t. Instead of drawing the reader into the story, they prepare him or her for a terrible disappointment. There is a very simple reason for this. They—
See what I did there?
I remember an introduction once, I think it was Where Were You Last Pluterday, that opened with the protagonist hanging on to a ledge above an abyss and slowly losing his grip finger by finger. In the second paragraph, the narrator explained that there was no ledge and no abyss, and that the protagonist was safely home in bed, but the narrator had once met a reviewer who boasted that he only read the first paragraph of any book. He wanted to leave that reviewer on tenterhooks.
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