Sometimes, all it takes is the tiniest hook to pull you into a story. A little hint of something wondrous, a well imagined and realistic character, or even a world you’d want to step into… whatever the hook, it doesn’t need to be big; it can pull you in as long as it actually snags you.
Recently, I started reading Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds – a choice I’d made after thoroughly enjoying Pushing Ice. I’d been reading for a while, and had come across a few interesting hooks thrown my way, but none of them seemed to be catching. None of them dug in. Not one.
Then, somewhere near the 128th page (18% of the book already complete according to my e-reader) something was revealed that completely saturated my interest. The hook – which at this point could be the main hook of the story – dug in, and snagged a wanting deep inside my brain. A want of knowledge; a want of things magnificent, and magical, and so utterly indescribable that people haven’t even thought of them yet (save for maybe the author) was triggered. And I fell, hook dragging me in deep.
I’ve experienced this type of hook once before, the one that hides until you’re in over your head and then yanks you into the depths. It was from my current favourite author Peter F. Hamilton, which happened to have an introduction at the start of Revelation Space.
Excellent writers have to stick together, I suppose. 😛