Six Word Saturday 13

[tweet https://twitter.com/dbc_ii/status/523338774453821441]

Cryptic is fun, right? I don’t know if it counts as a story. I suppose it’s a hook.

I’ve been trying to figure out what to do here, to do with my Features. And some of what I was realizing, as I looked at them all together, was that I had two that were short-writing Features: Muse Monday, and Flash Fiction Friday. I sprung them both on myself at the same time, and have been failing at both at the same time.

For Muse Monday, the goal was a post that was based on a writing prompt of some kind, to get in writing practice. However, it takes a good period of time to do this still: picking a prompt, thinking on it, writing it up… I wasn’t giving myself time to do it on the weekend, and then Monday would come and go.

For Flash Fiction Friday, I was giving myself no prompt. Unlike the Six Word Saturday posts – where I had a goal, of at least trying to figure out #SixWordStory and how to tell a story in six words, and could spend several days in advance on Twitter posting stories. For Flash Fiction Friday, I found myself on Friday, trying to think of something to write, and realizing this defeated the purpose – might as well not write the story on Twitter if I’m going to write it and post it immediately!

So that gets me to now. I like the Friday date – I can spend several days throughout the week, figuring out a prompt, thinking on the story, getting it written so it can go up Friday. And for Monday, I need something easier, something that takes a little less thinking. So I think the plan for now would be to keep up Meme Monday for that purpose, as well as Wordless Wednesday, which I have at least been keeping up solidly every week.

It seems streamlined – let’s see how it goes!

H – Hook

HFor many of the letters of the A to Z challenge, I had ideas pouring out for what to write about, and I started organizing things to not overlap too much, discuss different topics, to be short, personal and opinionated, and of course writing-related. For a few letters, I was left hunting a bit for words. Just so with H, where I found the essential writing term “Hook.” I had forgotten this term, but it is of course one I know and employ, or even over-employ, in my writing. I know when I first did NaNoWriMo, every chapter started with a hook sentence, In Media Res, and the action caught up with it.

However, that got me thinking of the other sorts of ways the idea of the Hook comes up in our world today. What began its life as a writing technique has become something of a way of life in our information-heavy world.

For instance, in blogging, or other sorts of writing online. They say that for search engines, you really want to have your keywords in the earliest parts of your post. That effectively, the search engines are optimized to consider your hook. Also, in RSS feeds, you generally only see the first bit of the post, and this is the Hook that gets people to click-through and read more of your post. Thus, in blogging, the Hook is an essential tool to get read – without a good Hook, the post is likely dead in the water.

By this standard, I’m pretty sure this post fails!

Thinking about the Hook in terms of blogging got me thinking about it in terms of the rest of the Internet in general. And in particular, some of the ways in which the Internet approaches these things like a Journalist. That is to say, we think about webpages in terms of what is “above the fold” (like with a newspaper) – the content that you can generally see without scrolling down, as this is the most-seen content. And really, the first paragraph being the Hook is a heavily used Journalism approach to writing.

And what about Social Media? Twitter in many ways functions as a giant Hook machine – at least, any tweet with a link or picture or anything else you need to click. It has to be interesting enough that someone clicks! It has to Hook them, and it has to do it in under 140 characters. Less, really, with a link in there too!

So be thinking about what you write and put online. Yes, the first paragraph might be the first that you write. But it also has a pivotal role in whether you get read. So go back and look it over before you publish!

%d bloggers like this: