Today on Write Better Fiction we’ll cover The Exit Hook. Write Better Fiction is a process to help you critique your own manuscript and give yourself feedback. This will help you improve your novel, so you’re ready to submit it to an editor.
Everyone knows the cliche hook, line, and sinker. You can apply that to your scene but think of it as entry hook, scene middle, and exit hook. You’ll need all three of these elements in every scene to create a story your readers can’t put down.
The Exit Hook:
An exit hook is the thing that will keep your reader wanting to start the next scene.
You can ask yourself: Why would the reader keep reading once they reach the end of a scene?
Types of Exit Hooks:
- Cliff Hanger – perhaps your protagonist’s life is at risk.
- Revelation – show the reader something that will change the course of the story.
- Set back for protagonist or antagonist – one of these characters should be very unhappy about the latest event.
- A secret revealed – you can either reveal a full secret or only part of a secret.
- A question left hanging – this will tease the reader, making them want the answer.
- An unexpected plot twist – this will keep the reader guessing.
Like scene entry hooks, varying the types listed above will make the novel more interesting for your reader.
You don’t want the reader to get to the end of a scene and be bored. You want them to resist going to bed, or making dinner, or going for a walk, and instead, keep reading.
Your challenge this week: Go through your manuscript and list the type of endings you have for each scene. Do you vary them? Have you used all the types? If you have other types, please list them in the comments below and help other readers learn from your experience.