Short story hooks with Paul Jennings

Narrative Hooks

The Puzzler

In this opening hook, the narrator knows something the reader doesn’t. They discuss a topic in a way that assumes you know what they’re talking about, when in reality you’re trying to piece it together and catch-up to them.

What you’re left with is a puzzle that the reader has to try and put together based on the breadcrumbs the narrator leaves.

Snookle was delivered one morning with the milk. There were four half-litre bottles; three of them contained milk and the other held Snookle.

He stared sadly at me from his glass prison. I could see he was alive even though he made no sign or movement. He reminded me of a dog on a chain that manages to make its owner feel guilty simply by looking unhappy.

Unbelieveable!Paul JenningsSource
What are the breadcrumbs?

Here’s an example, using the same style as the snippet, but using this image as a starting point.

My worst nightmare happened last Tuesday. Everything was normal; I got ready for school, went to class, and he was there.

The other students gaped at him as he stood up the front. He had grown in the years since I’d last seen him. He was like a crow, assessing me with cold, intelligent eyes.

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