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No, not those kinds of hooks — the cliffhanger kind in writing.

Author Jami Gold posted a great topic about using hooks at the end of chapters to keep the readers’ attention and spark further interest.

Now, I don’t consciously add hooks to the end of every chapter. I feel like cliffhangers should arrive naturally within the story and shouldn’t be totally abused.

For example, I tend to lean on physical hooks that have something happen to or around the main character. Which makes the start of the next chapter open with an action scene that keeps the reader going. But I also have emotional hooks that involve the main character probably being introspective or relating to another character. Probably in a way that is foreshadowing the plot.

I don’t rely on revealing secrets or adding mystery too much because I do that anyway within the chapter. But those are also really good methods of hooking the reader for the next chapter, depending on the book you’re writing. If a mystery or a thriller, you might have more secrets and mysterious hooks, but to be well-rounded, you probably also have action and emotion hooks.

These different types of hooks should be mixed-and-matched through a book. The reader won’t get too adrenaline-high off the action hooks, too lost in thought over the emotion hooks, too shocked over the secret-revealing hooks, or too curious over the added mystery hooks.

Wait, is there such a thing as a too-curious reader? (No?)

Anyway, using hooks helps move the story forward and keep readers interested in finishing the story to the end. I don’t know how many books I’ve given up on because I just wasn’t interested in what might happen anymore. That’s not good. There needs to be movement in every chapter, whether physical action or emotional consideration. The story cannot be stagnant with nothing happening during the course of the chapter, then ending with a hook that might grab readers. The reader needs to be drawn in from the beginning, then every hook needs to up the ante until we hit the climax and resolution.

I believe even the end of a book can have a hook as well, especially if writing a series. Now, this means the novel-centric plot must still be wrapped up. But sometimes it doesn’t hurt to add a little more mystery and suspense for future books.

Although then the readers might hate you a little for making them wait so long between books to figure out the mystery, haha. But I say that’s a fair price if we manage to keep their interest.

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