Hook, Line, and Sinker: How to Determine Your Book's Hook and Craft an Attention-Grabbing First Page

Hook, Line, and Sinker: How to Determine Your Book's Hook and Craft an Attention-Grabbing First Page

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  • You are struggling to condense your novel's hook into one line
  • You are currently composing a novel and want to make sure your work gets read
  • You have been rejected by agents and editors, and want to evaluate why your novel didn't make the cut
  • You are getting page requests from agents, but falling short after that point

You only get one chance to make a first impression,and that one chance with a reader lasts only minutes. It is no longer acceptable for a book to “get good on page 40." From your “hook," the one-sentence logline you use to describe your book, to the first page of your novel, it's critical to grab the reader's attention immediately,whether that reader is an agent, editor, or consumer. Not only do you want to quickly pull readers in with your story idea, you also need to establish your narrative voice as compelling, believable,
talented, and authoritative.

So how do you best accomplish this?

In this presentation, instructor and literary agent Jessica Regel shows you how to grab your reader's attention with your hook and first page. Using real life examples from her own client list, Jessica examines the hooks and first pages from published books to show you the dos and don'ts of opening your book and the common mistakes that drive agents crazy and stop them from reading the rest of your work.

Runtime: 91 minutes


  • How to write an attention grabbing one-line hook
  • When it's appropriate to compare your book to another book
  • Why it's important to hook the reader from the first page
  • Why a prologue may do you more harm than good
  • Common mistakes of first sentences and first pages
  • Overused beginnings and clich√©s that can drag down your work
  • The benefits and pitfalls of starting with action

Jessica Regel has been with JVNLA since 2002. She maintains her own list of award-winning writers while also handling Film and Audio rights for the agency. Originally from Iowa, she was working at her local library when she was offered an internship at JVNLA and she promptly moved to New York City. After receiving her B.A. in English Literature from Hunter College, she became a full agent at JVNLA, representing both children's and adult writers. With energy and persistence, Jessica works closely with her writers to develop and sell their work to publishing houses.

NOTE: Writer's Digest does not offer refunds for OnDemand Webinars. All sales are final. OnDemand Webinars do NOT include a critique.

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