Short story hooks with Paul Jennings

Narrative Hooks

The Salesperson

Think of the best true stories you’ve heard from your friends and family. Often they come with some kind of initial pitch to get you interested to hear more, kind of like a salesperson does.

“Have I told you about the crazy roadtrip I had last summer?”
“You would not believe the day I had yesterday!”

Paul Jennings opens a lot of his stories this way from the perspective of a character. Here you establish that there is some kind of narrator, usually the protagonist, who is talking directly to the audience. 

All right. So you want to hear the story of the ghost on the dunny. Everybody wants to know about it, so I am going to tell it for the last time. I will put it on this tape recording.

Unreal!Paul JenningsSource
Highlight breakdown

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

I can’t believe I’m telling you this. This is the story of how aliens stole my chemistry teacher. Not many people know about it, everyone I tell thinks I’m crazy. But this is one voicemail I hope you’ll listen to.

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