A Hook is like a Guard Dog

This week I’ve been working on a Christmas bonus story for my Deep Cover readers–a what are Rick and Ginny doing for Christmas kind of story.

Not sure if it will ever see the light of day, because the process has impressed upon me why romances end at “They lived happily ever after.”

Showing the happily ever after is boring. The fun is in the chase!

Of course, I like a challenge so I’m dreaming up ways to stir up some mischief. And the process got me thinking about hooks. 

A hook is like a guard dog. It either lures in the unwitting reader or sends her running.

A guard dog?

Yup, a great suspense is going to have a teeth-baring rottweiler guarding the house. Fierce enough to make you shake in your boots, but impressive enough to make you curious about what’s inside.

A light romance might have a tongue-lolling golden retriever sitting on the porch. Friendly enough to lure you to the step for a little pat and ready to win you over with a wet, sloppy kiss.

Then there’s the quirky, cozy mysteries…I’m picturing a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig as the guard dog.

Yes, a little pot-bellied pig sitting on someone’s porch is going to make you curious about what kind of character could possibly think the wee-little thing would scare anyone off the property. 

You’ll step closer.

It’ll puff itself up, taking it’s guarding duties very seriously. Snort. Snort.

Pot-belly pigs are intelligent. They’ll wait until you’re only a few feet away, laughing at them. And then…

Two-hundred-pound, Papa pig will lumber around the corner!
Gotcha ya.

Your turn: What kind of openings hook you into a story?