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How to Hook Your Reader: 4 Tips for Fiction Writers

“Make ’em laugh; make ’em cry; make ’em wait.” –Charles Reade

Many readers pick up a new book and begin with the first couple of pages to see if they want to continue; your task as a writer is to figure out how to hook your reader in these first moments. From exciting action to a teasing puzzle waiting to be solved, there are many ways to begin your story to ensure your audience will be interested. Here are four tips to master when learning how to hook your reader.

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How to Hook Your Reader: 4 Tips for Fiction Writers

  1. Begin with an Important Moment

“High, high above the North Pole, on the first day of 1969, two professors of English Literature approached each other at a combined velocity of 1200 miles per hour.” –David Lodge, Changing Places

If you start your novel at a pivotal moment in the story, your reader will likely want to read on so they can find out what happens afterward. You are always welcome to add backstory later in the story to help set the scene, so feel free to begin at a very important moment and backtrack later. Beginning the novel near the end is a great tactic for building suspense and hooking your reader.

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How to Cut “Fluff” [4 Writing Tips]

“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.” –Elmore Leonard

This post shares writing tips for removing “fluff” for your work. When you first learned how to write, likely you were faced with assignments with lofty word counts; adding some unnecessary and “fluffy” words helped to fill the requirement. When penning a novel or working as a writer, unfortunately “fluff” is no longer going to cut it. Here are four writing tips for removing this dreaded tactic from your pages.

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4 Writing Tips for Removing “Fluff”

  1. Plan Ahead

Often when writers begin, they pen their article or chapters as they go, without careful planning. Planning ahead is an essential writing tip that can help you write stronger and tighter copy, free from “fluff.” Plot maps can be very helpful for this; create a loose structure or outline and follow it as you go.

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