You have maybe five minutes to hook your reader. That’s it! Scary thought, you bet.
You may have written the most beautiful piece of prose, something that will touch a reader’s heart clear to the end. You may have written a thriller that will make a reader bite their nails all the way to the story’s end. You may have written the most informative magazine piece on a really important subject.
But if you don’t grab (hook) the reader’s attention fast–as in the first sentence, the first paragraph, the first few pages, you’ve probably lost their interest. The days of writing the nearly unending narratives and exceptional setting descriptions is gone. We want things Right Now. We want food fast because we’re always in a hurry. We want to get a message to someone fast and send text messages or Tweet. Our time is stretched so thin and it is a go, go, go world. (Which, of course, all of this is very sad.)
So, in order to make that writing sale, or to create that newsletter article to capture the attention of your clients, or to not bore your teacher to tears in an essay, you have to “get ‘er done” (as some say) fast.
As always, my article on Hooking the Reader has been added to both the Writing Tips on this blog and to the Writing Tools on my website.