… ‘hooks’, ‘plants’ and ‘book-end closures’ for Writers…


…when that remarkable publication, The Readers Digest, was in circulation years ago, it not only had well-written stories and articles, but also a generous smattering of half-page fillers, and bottom-of-page-enders, one of which I found of constant interest, called ‘A Guide To More Picturesque Speech’… this was replete with examples of words and phrases to brighten up yer vocabulary and yer writing if yeez were scribblers… if yeez broaden that concept to yer own writing masterpieces, the ability to make yer WURK more interesting lends it that extra bit of literary polish… here’s where this ol’ Jurassic has discovered (almost by accident, I must confess) that these ’hooks’, ‘plants’ and ‘book-end closures’  come into play for Writers… the ‘hook’ is a simple device which teases the reader into exploring further…


…sum’times getting readers past page one can be a major issue for some authors… but a ‘smack-in-yer-face’ opening paragraph or page overcomes that barrier… the use of ‘plants’ is a tremendous tool… ‘plants’ are the insertions of bits of information in the narrative which later turn out to have contained important elements of the story…


…if these can be written in almost without the reader noticing them, then their eventual surfacing later in the book gives the reader those delightful wee ‘aha!’ moments… ‘bookend closures’ is an easy concept, frequently overlooked by novelists… closing the story with allusion to the opening chapter ‘rounds off’ a story neatly…


…in Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s wonderful ‘Shadow of the Wind’, the closing paragraph almost reprises the opening of the book… highly effective and satisfying to a reader… it gives great balance to the writing, and leaves nob’dy wondering, ’but what happened to, such and such?’… for me, practice helps to make these techniques more polished as my own writing progresses… and I’m LUVVIN IT!… see yeez later … LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

12 responses to “… ‘hooks’, ‘plants’ and ‘book-end closures’ for Writers…

  1. I do love truly rounded books. Thanks for the advice.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Shadow of the Wind is a big favourite of mine; found it in a ‘cheap shop’ for £1 because it was cut wonky and was hooked right from the start. I think hooks, plants and book-end closures are important. In Authonomy, everyone was hooked on hooks! If you couldn’t hook you might as well not bother about the other two things. But plants are important, especially in the kind of story you write, Seumas. I think I have yet to achieve good book-end closures. And I take heart that you think you need more practice, so, although I’m far behind you, I think we will both get there! Happy days 🙂


  3. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    Nicely summed up by Seumas 😀


  4. Excellent post! Thanks. 🙂


  5. Fantastic post. Thanks, Seumas. 🙂


  6. Reblogged this on Wendy Anne Darling and commented:
    I could fall for this guy hook, plants and bookends…
    Some more writing gems from the amazing Seumas!

    Stick a hook in me, I’m done! 😀 I think the first page of my WIP includes a good hook on page one and I’m assuming (or shouldn’t I?) that plants are a bit like small nibbles of foreshadowing that will make sense further down the line. Please feel free to smack me about a bit if I got that wrong. As for the bookends… never heard this one before but it makes perfect sense!
    Thanks, Seumas, tha’s a loverly fella!


  7. All vital parts of a great tale. I’ve always referred to a plant as “Chekov’s gun” being placed on the mantel. I notice plants in movies all the time now too.


  8. Loved Reader’s Digest. Short, to the point and thoughtful pieces. Is it totally gone?
    Lynn M.


  9. I also notice hooks and plants in stories since I know what they are. If I understand correctly, the book-end closure gives info on what happened to characters. I’m not sure about that one, Seumas. 🙂


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