Started some writing!

Hey, I figure, I have to celebrate the small stuff along the way. I have, by golly, started working on a story. I was planning on using my time on something else (a job application), and just couldn’t focus – so I sat down with a blank page, the character names recommended to me in the comments of a recent post, and started writing.

It wasn’t much. Hard to tell, with some of these new-fangled, no-distractions writing apps. I’m using iA Writer, which I think is more appropriately Writer by Information Architects. I, as a writer who has learned about Information Architecture, really like their simple interface, and their cloud sync – which is a lot of why I am using it. So I can write on whatever device is handy!

I have not thought of anything remotely resembling a title, and anything really close to it could be giving away some of my thinking, and like many writers (I imagine), I play some of the cards close to my vest. For now, I’m using a working title of “New Foundation.” I’m leaning towards a female protagonist, because why not, so her name will be Platia as recommended.

I’m planning on writing the whole plot start to finish, but I’m not sure that’s the order it should end up at. That might just be because I love¬†in media res so much… But maybe just start at the beginning. Like my working title namesake –¬†Foundation by Isaac Asimov.

For now, it just feels good to have found a project I feel ready to write. Yatta!

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!

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