I've read a lot of articles about writing. I've surfed the web and visited blogs in search of writing tips. And one that keeps jumping out at me is about the concept of hooks. You know, the tantalizing tidbits that lure readers in and keep them wanting more.
One kind is the first sentence/first paragraph hook. I've read different accounts that say your first paragraph must be written in such a way as to immediately grab the reader's attention. Some even go so far as to say the very first sentence must fulfill that role. It's a daunting task, trying to convince someone (and agent, an editor, and readers) that your masterpiece is worthy of their time, and the first few words may make them want more or flat out reject it. After all, you have to establish the characters, setting, and tone of your work in a few hundred words.
Another type of hook is the "leave them wanting more" kind that should be utilized at the end of each chapter. The idea is to have the reader get to the end of a chapter, saying they will finish tomorrow, but realize they just HAVE to read one more chapter because they can't put it down. I've ended some of my chapters in several ways: by having the characters learn something that they didn't already know, having them realize that their safety is in jeopardy, and by having their worst fears confirmed. Now these are not the only things I've used, just a few that made me want to plunge immediately into the next chapters. After all, if I can't wait to find out what happens next, maybe the readers will feel the same way, too.
What are some things you have learned about hooks? Do they frustrate you when trying to come up with them, or do they come easily to you? What are some tips you can share?