Writing Exercise: Narrative Hook



I attended ConCarolinas for four years – 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Before that I attended two ConDFWs (2009 and 2010). During ConCarolinas 2010, I was lucky enough to attend my first writer’s workshop.

I have since gone on to attend two more at the 2012 and 2013 ConCarolinas. I published the results of the 2013 workshop on this blog. I thought you might like to see an earlier attempt.

My first one was hosted by Allen Wold. Sixteen writers participated. The instructions were create a narrative hook, total should be under 100 words, write it in ten minutes “… and go.”

Below is what I read to the critique panel and fellow attendees. . I only typed up what I wrote; no changes were added. And yes, I know that “daisys” is spelled wrong; it was spelled wrong then too.

Welcome (Writer’s Workshop Version)

The vampire smiled at seeing the welcome mat in front of the apartment door. Well, that saved a few steps of trying to get permission to cross the threshold. He glanced over his shoulder enjoying the last misty blue colors of sunset. The Florida haze hung low.

Maybe he should have eaten before coming he thought as his gut clenched, but life when he was mortal, (was it only a week ago?) he forced his body to obey his mind. Then he marshaled his emotions and rang the doorbell.

A grey-haired woman answered the door and he thrust the rapidly wilting daisys into her hand.

“Hi mom, sorry I haven’t called.”

(words 111)


Your turn. Create a narrative hook – set your phone for a ten minute alarm. When the alarm goes off, the pen goes down. One hundred words for your hook. …. and go. 

Put your hook into the comments below.

Think about whether you have captured your audience. The object of the narrative hook in get them to read the first three pages. The longer narrative should then have enough bristles to stick with the reader so they read the first chapter, and so on. While the first narrative hook isn’t essential, it can make a difference.