I am currently writing a fiction/fantasy/horror novel, and I have only written some pages.
I have published the first part of the novel especially for this question.

How can I make my first lines attractive, suspenseful, hooking...? You can read what I have written by clicking here.

  • 1
    Three hours and your link already returns a 404. You'd best fix that before site curators close your question as spam. Commented May 25, 2014 at 10:20
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    For reference to your question, though - take a look at this: writers.stackexchange.com/q/107/16 Commented May 25, 2014 at 10:21
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    New link doesn't work either. I suggest you either remove the link and any reference to it in your question, or fix the link and add the "reviews" tag into the question. Might be seen as SEO spam, otherwise. Based on the first answer below, you may want to consider the first option. My 2c. Commented May 25, 2014 at 11:48
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    Does this answer your question? How to derive a first sentence from a story?
    – Laurel
    Commented Jul 5, 2021 at 17:33
  • 1
    I was going to say "still doesn't work" but then I saw the date on the conversation :P The critique part would be off-topic anyway. Commented Jul 5, 2021 at 22:25

1 Answer 1


Hooking lines make the reader ask one or more of the following questions: What? Why? How? When? Where?

A good example are the stories of Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami (yes, I'm sick of the "Call me Ishmael", and the "they shot the white girl first" examples).

"Man-Eating Cats"

I bought a newspaper at the harbor and came across an article about an old woman who had been eaten by cats.

What the f...? How can a bunch of cats eat a woman?

"The Ice Man"

My husband's an Ice Man

An iceman? How and where did she meet him?

"Nausea 1979"

Thanks to his rare talent for keeping a diary over an extended period of time without missing a single day, he was able to cite the exact date his vomiting stopped.

Why did he vomit for so long? What was the cause?

"A Shinagawa Monkey"

Recently she'd had trouble remembering her own name.

How can someone forget his/her own name?

Good hooking sentences make the reader ask one or more questions without causing too much confusion. They cause wonder and provide information and at the same time in a perfect, balanced way. The worst you can do is to leave the reader thinking: So what?


I checked your link.

Stars… I look at them, dream of them… They are so close, and yet, so far… They sparkle like tiny fireflies on the dark canvas of the bluish sky. The horns of the half-moon have newly vanished out of sight from the horizon, leaving behind them tenebrous ash. It seems the moon is looking at me with its silver-shining beam. I suddenly remember my great-grandfather’s old telescope of which my mother told me about an epoch ago (I might be exaggerating). His death was very enigmatic. Nobody knew how he disappeared. Nobody saw his cadaver.

Everyone look at the stars and dream of them, and it doesn't raise any what, why how... question. Not a good hooking sentence. Consider this:

Watching the stars, I suddenly remembered great-grandfather’s old telescope of which my mother told me about an epoch ago.

What is so special about the telescope? How come he still remembers it?


My great-grandfather's death was very enigmatic. Nobody knew how he disappeared. Nobody saw his cadaver.

How did he die? Why was his death enigmatic?


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