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review 2017-01-17 06:19
Possibly the most important book you'll read about writing

Most writers would agree the beginning of a story is the most important part. That's where the reader gets "hooked" and continues read on or abandons the book.

 

In Les Edgerton's book,  he describes in broad strokes, fine strokes and with examples how to achieve what his subtitle proclaims.

 

According to Edgerton, you can't write the opening until you know in significant detail who your protagonist is and what the story is about. To do this you must first identify your hero or heroine's "storyworthy problem", that would be the problem that is just below the surface and is gradually revealed as the story unfolds.

 

From that discovery, and Edgerton urges you to drill deep to find out what's really bugging your protagonist, comes the inciting incident. This is where the story begins, the moment where the status quo is upset and the protagonist sets about to resolve it.

 

The inciting incident presents the first indications of the bigger issue, the storyworthy problem.

 

Don't start with backstory - bringing the reader up to date on your protagonist's life, start with "trouble" - an incident presented in an action filled scene that incites your protagonist and reader to carry on to resolution.

 

A provocative opening sentence, an exciting inciting incident giving a glimpse at the storyworthy problem and you're on your way.

 

Complicated? Maybe, but Edgerton hammers it home again and again (with examples).

 

Hooked may very well be the most important book you'll read about writing. Edgerton writes in non-academic, easy to understand language, includes entertaining examples and even gives agents and editors the last word on the most common mistakes made in the manuscripts they see and, you guessed it, a bad beginning ranks right up there.

 

Edgerton's prescription on how to come up with a good story opening is actually more than that, a lot more. It's the formula for a sound story structure.

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2015-01-13 00:00
Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One & Never Lets Them Go
Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One & Never Lets Them Go - Les Edgerton Quite frankly I don't get the reviews this book got. Yes, I put it under "abandoned" books, but not because I fully dropped it, rather because I didn't read it in it's entirety and instead ended up skimming ahead.

Why?

First the good: Every so often, you might find some sound advice or tips. But you have to look hard.

Now the bad: The book is repetitive and unnecessarily long. The author uses a lot of examples from his own writing (which I don't find good at all). Every time he gives an example line he wonders "who wouldn't read on?" like it's a masterpiece; not a single time did I answer "me" to that - all those opening hooks (which by the way did not seem to match at all with any of the things he said they should have to be good) were terrible to me, and if I truly were to judge those books by their opening line, I would have quit most of them before giving them a single chance.

Considering all those problems made me lose faith in the author, I could not take what few, far in between tips I found might have been of use, as serious.

Also, one of these two books could have used a different cover...

[bc:Hooked|2230444|Hooked|Jane May|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1266655183s/2230444.jpg|2236244] [bc:Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One & Never Lets Them Go|414771|Hooked Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One & Never Lets Them Go|Les Edgerton|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1408313466s/414771.jpg|403983]

And given the publication dates, I'm thinking it should have been this one.
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review 2014-08-25 20:30
The Rapist by Les Edgerton
The Rapist - Les Edgerton

The Rapist is the story of one Truman Ferris Pinter’s final hours before the death penalty is executed for his crimes, the Rape and murder of Greta Carlisle. Told in first person, we ride the wave of opinion and conceited thought of a thoroughly dislikeable man with not a shred of restitution or an ounce of regret.

 

A man who finds the concept society defines as rape to be incredulously wanting, she was a common whore not capable of being raped and a man who thinks it well within his rights.

 

Prisoner 49028 has a plan for death, he believes he can escape its clutches, it’s just unfortunate that we have to wait as long as we do to see him get his just deserts.

 

A more self-righteous, egotistical sociopath you’ll not meet again and it’s the dark, troubling journey of someone who believes himself worthy of applause, who goes into great detail to explain his actions, his thoughts of rape as a crime before God and a man who thinks himself superior, and infinitely more intelligent than anyone else.

 

The Rapist is clearly a controversial piece of fiction by a very talented writer, full of wonderful prose and inspired feelings of hatred. The subject matter was probably not the best introduction to Les Edgerton and I felt the story got bogged down a little towards the end with the dreams of a nutcase and his flying act.

 

I would certainly read more from this author and the story more than battered my emotions with a 2’ by 4’.

 

A 3.5* Rating.

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review 2014-05-26 00:00
Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One & Never Lets Them Go
Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One & Never Lets Them Go - Les Edgerton This book was an entertaining and helpful little read on the importance of good beginnings. Broken into chapters focusing on different aspects of intros (Backstory, Great First Lines, etc.), the book is a must for any novel writer - experienced or not. We are, after all, always learning how to better our craft!
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review 2014-04-01 00:00
Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One & Never Lets Them Go
Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One & Never Lets Them Go - Les Edgerton This book is about the importance of the first few pages of your manuscript -- not only that but even more important, those first few words.

It is a concise read.
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