My new school visit pal, Sammy the CheerREADER, came with me ( and Goldie and Bo Peep) to The Reading Bug last weekend for a Get Ready for Back to School storytime. It's that time of year, my friends.
The Reading Bug--and the Classroom-preparation conversations on Twitter--made me realize Hooking the reader is like starting a new school year. Think about it.
As teachers and librarians--and book store owners--, we want our space to be a place kids want to come back to--a welcoming, comfortable, safe-but-exciting place to take risks. A place that promises. Isn't that what we love about books?
Bulletin boards are like first pages of a manuscript--harbingers of things to come; affirmations that someone here (teacher, author, main character) gets you. We can learn from each other. Take risks. Find adventures! Come on in!
I've spent a lot of time agonizing over The Hook. (Come on--I even wrote a rap about it. ) I used to think it meant starting your story in the middle of the action. Bop! Zing--off we goooo! But that's like having new student transfer into your class in December. Or arrive in the middle of storytime.
What I didn't realize until recently is that YES, it's best to start the manuscript where your character's world changes (or right before)--but consider this...
And maybe it comes down to one thing: You. Do you like your job? Do you love your job? Find a way. The positive energy that comes from YOU is a powerful hook.
Happy Back to School. Happy writing. Happy Readers!
Hook .em Dano...