Writing a “Big, sexy hook”

My book coach says to start each chapter of my Memoir ‘with a hook‘ so here’s my re-write for chapter 2, “Obsession“.

I’d love to know what you think, guys.

The Original beginning of the chapter:

When I met him, I was 14 and “Will” was 16. He was broken on the inside, mouthy, sarcastic, shy, tall, as thin as a rake and had big ears. Will’s raven black hair set off the piercing blue of his eyes and I honestly thought he was the most gorgeous boy I’d ever seen in my life. Will was quiet and gave off waves of fragility and fear – mostly fear of rejection; pain from the endless teasing. Other boys called him “wingnut” and bullied him, so he stayed out of the limelight and kept his head down. I liked that about him – his quietness, vulnerability and strength. I understood what it was like to be bullied and rejected, so I felt a protectiveness and a kinship with Will the moment I saw him.

The re-write with ‘a hook’:

I knew it was wrong and I wanted it anyway. I licked my dry lips and with trembling hands, I dialled his number; my fingers skipping over each numbered key on autopilot because this had become so familiar. ‘Muscle memory’ my Psychiatrist would later label it. As I dialled, I felt my heartbeat racing against my ribs. My hands were perspiring, and I ignored the lightheaded feeling that was making the room spin. I wasn’t even going to attempt to steady my ragged breathing because I was beyond caring.

I’d crossed over the line between logic and madness weeks ago.

Now it was time to get what I wanted.

Since I posted the above ^^ I’ve re-written the beginning of the forth chapter – “Annihilated” – too:

Chapter 4’s Original beginning:

I was 16 and ½ when depression first hit me. It came at me like an unexpected tornado – tearing up everything I thought I knew and changing my world (seemingly overnight) from colours and happiness to a misty, thick fog of grey. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t get out of bed. I didn’t understand the sudden (yet invisible) lead weights on my body that held me down and made even simple things 1000 times harder than they used to be. Everything became overwhelming. Showering was too hard. Brushing my teeth was suddenly “too much”. Making breakfast seemed an impossible feat. Getting dressed seemed as improbable. How was this so easy only a few days ago?

The ‘Hook’ Re-write:

The first thing I noticed was that it was bright outside. Too bright. Squinting, I made my way to the window and gently turned the rod that made the thin, vertical blinds turn downwards to dim the sun’s bright rays. As I did, I noticed a tiny heart-shaped sticker on one of the slats.

I paused and looked at it. It was no bigger than a solitary diamond on an engagement ring. It looked so out of place in the drab hospital room. I wondered who had placed it there and why. Was it a sign of desperation or of hope?

7 responses to “Writing a “Big, sexy hook””

  1. I liked the first one .
    I think the big sexy hook, is talking about the hook.
    Not that it has to be about sex,but is flashy and hard to resist.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you sooo much for your feedback, you’ve made my day with your comment. It’s a blurry line for me as a writer – trying to make each chapter interesting but trying not to lose authenticity. Do you write too, Mykl?


      1. i sometimes tell stories. so I think on day I might be a writer..

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think so, too. Keep writing because what you have to say is so important ❤️


  2. Well, here is my take. I am not a book writer, or even a good reader of books. However, I am someone who can relate to your lifelong struggles with mental illness, belonging, bullying, gratitude, and societal pressure. I am not comparing but attempting to be transparent in my response. As a 55 year old male, I like the first write of the chapters over the re-write. It sounds authentic to me and something that I can relate to if I am to read your book and draw similarities that I can use in my own life. Going back to your post earlier, I make this comment as perhaps the person you are not writing this book for. I like both versions, the way you take us through your thoughts but for me, the first write on each is the one that would “trap” me to buy and read. The words and phrasing is more relatable to me. Perhaps this will help you in deciding who your target audience is. Perhaps you can sit on each version and find the “hook” that ties in the authenticity that you are clearly wanting to maintain. As I reread the first one, I see a lot of opportunity to combine your “hook” version with the original. Either way, It appears to be something here at the out set that will be great. Nice work.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to respond when you left such a thoughtful review. Please forgive me, Tommy. I think you are right in a lot of ways, the original feels more authentic, albeit less “exciting” than the re-write.

    When you wrote about reading what I’ve written and being able to relate, YOU became my ideal reader. You are the person I see in my imagination, nodding as they read along, thinking “Yeah, I get that. Me too” so I’ll be writing with you in mind.

    Sending you a grateful hug, J xx


    1. No need to apologize. I have seen several posts from various people that have commented on finding their “ideal” reader. It is because of these comments that I have chose in the early stages of my writing to find my way without the professional influence and experience of other writers. For too long, like many others, I have looked at and read what others are doing and figured that it was the “right” way. Which meant that I was wrong. It also meant that I was slowly losing my identity before I even knew what it was. At a time that is meant to be, I will begin to look to others for advice in a way that will help me hone my craft in the direction that I wish for it to go. It sounds like this is the stage that you are in. As you do this, work hard to be authentic and true to who you are. I did the same with my speech writing. Once I developed a style, I worked with a professional to incorporate a professional structure that maintained that authenticity. Janet, I wrote and posted for the first time ever this past January. There is a large part, because of the kind words that you wrote with regard to my “stories” that I continued. I love writing. It is the one thing that quiets the noise between my ears. I thank you for helping to fan the flames of my dimly lit fire. Hugs of appreciation and gratitude to you. May you be happy, healthy, and safe.

      Liked by 1 person

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