Short story hooks with Paul Jennings

Narrative Hooks

The Question

What could this section possibly be about?

That is the question.

And to get the answer, you will keep reading. 

This hook relies on setting up a question in the opening that just demands to be answered. You cannot rest until you know! Build it up slow, making sure there is enough context or conflicting information so that when the question drops the reader is already wondering the same thing.

Someone was playing music in the middle of the night. It sounded like a saxophone, or maybe a clarinet. I could only hear it when the wind dropped. But there was no mistake about it.

I shivered even though I was snug in bed. I wasn’t cold. I was scared. Stan and I were the only people on the island, and he was in bed in the next room. I could hear him snoring. So who was playing the music?

Unreal!Paul JenningsSource

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

Mr. Fitzgerald was stumbling up the school path as I gazed out of the window at him. He seemed flustered, hurrying along as though he was very late, and his clothes looked askew. I frowned, my mind still foggy in the early morning. Mr. Fitzgerald was my homeroom teacher. The homeroom I was sitting in right now. With Mr. Fitzgerald sitting at his desk, sipping his coffee.

So how was he also outside?

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