I'm sitting here trying to figure out, for the millionth time in my life, what the heck I have to do to make this book I'm working on be the ONE that sells. I think I know, and then I get sidetracked. Let me explain.
No matter how many times I read this stuff about hooks, I still can't manage to stick with a plan once I start writing a book. I know what a hook is. I know how to write an opening hook (I once won a Happy Hooker contest–what fun using that in a query letter!). My problem is getting the plot hook for the book and then sticking with it. I like to change things. A lot. I toss in the proverbial kitchen sink. I end up cutting. I change the sink from stainless to marble. Then I decide granite is better. But oh, maybe that porcelain farmhouse sink. Wait, what about that Tuscan stone basin? Oh shoot, doesn't Villeroy and Boch make lovely hand-painted wash basins?
But today, I read something that made a LOT of sense. Joe Konrath says in the comments section of a post: “If a book is poorly written, but has a great hook, it has a much better chance of selling than a well written book with no hook at all.This is a business. Books are a product. The sizzle sells the steak.”
Whoa. So I really do have to get the hook and stick with it. Think sizzle. Think steak. (But not too much, because there goes the New Year's diet….) And I already knew this, but I'd never heard it explained quite like that before. Maybe food metaphors are the key to enlightenment. 🙂