How to Conquer Writer’s Block: Tip 76


I used to say that once I’ve found my character, I’ve found my next story. Not true, I now realize. I have to find a “hook”, not a character. Only then can I find my character and my setting and my plot and my theme – all that other heavy stuff. Also, getting the Hook is a matter of “revelation”, not active searching, often when I’m just waking up.

A Hook is a phrase, sentence, vision, concept that gets me started. For my about-to-be-published novel it was this sentence: “You can stop seeking messages in spider webs,” a sentence that just popped into my head, leading to many questions. Who said that? To whom? Why?

Other Hooks of mine: “Cats have nine lives; this cat has more lives to live.” “An orange tree in an empty lot.” “Families tell stories when baking strudel.” “A girl’s letters to her unborn sibling.”

Hooks of other authors more famous than I: “A crazy man runs a chocolate factory”.
And, “a school for wizards”. (The authors themselves have confirmed finding these Hooks…”)

I don’t worry if I don’t know what the Hook means. But I always know when a Hook is potentially useful. I hope another one is revealed to me soon.

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