It was the silly season again.

~ Avinash Upadhyay

When I began flexing my writing muscles, a kindly providence guided me to a blogging platform called Sulekha. Don’t go looking for it now, however. The thing has sadly turned into a collection of dubious yellow pages—all commerce and no substance. But it was beautiful when it hadn’t yet sold its soul.

It was the best place I could have landed in. I ‘met’ brilliant writers whose output was as enlightening as it was instructive. A newbie, I asked one of the old hands who were the best writers to read on the platform.

One name was Avinash Upadhyay.

“Avinash is the most popular writer on Sulekha. He’s brilliant!” I was told. The statement was true, is true. He is.

One of Avinash’s posts began with the quote I have shared above. A short sentence of six words, but what an arresting set of words! A combination I have never seen strung together in any sentence. It hooked me sure and fast. I had no option but to read the rest of that thrilling and nuanced story.

“Now that’s a neat thing to learn,” I said to myself. “Intrigue draws people into a story! If I can cast intrigue from the word go, people will want to dive deeper.”

An opening hook is like a storefront that attracts readers.. Once they are in, you must have substance for them to loosen their purse strings or they will leave in a huff, feeling cheated.

My editorial training had nothing to teach me about the value and potential of an opening hook. Avinash had already taught me that—and oh, so well! I bet you want to read that story too!

Starting tomorrow, I will share the most titillating opening hooks that other writers have used to set the tone for the story they are going to tell. Some you will be familiar with, and some not. But you can learn from them all—and adapt to your own work.

Does that sound exciting? Chances are, that your most favorite novel of all time also has a fantastic opening hook. Care to share?

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