Book Review – Hooked by Les Edgerton



Title: Hooked

Author: Les Edgerton

Genre: Non-Fiction, Writing

Publisher: Writer’s Digest Books

Series: No

Rating: 5 bats

Heat Level: n/a

Besides loving Les Edgerton’s style and voice in general – the information in this book is a must have for anyone and everyone in the realm of fiction writing.

An unfortunate but true fact is that most editors and agents won’t read past the first page – or five if they’re feeling generous – if the story hasn’t hooked them. There’s exceptions to this, obviously, but best not count on hitting that rare editor/agent that’ll read past that without a darn good reason to. Gone are the days where writers could leisurely set the scene and go over a character’s history (and good thing too I say! How dull!).

Les takes the art of writing stellar, gripping beginnings and breaks them down – complete with examples. He’s easy to understand and his advice is, as usual, spot on.

The chapters:

1. Story Structure and the Scene

2. Opening Scenes: An Overview

3. The Inciting Incident, the Initial Surface Problem, and the Story-Worthy Problem

4. The Setup and Backstory

5. Combining the Inciting Incident, Story-Worthy Problem, Initial Surface Problem, Setup, and Backstory

6. Introducing Your Characters

7. Foreshadowing, Language, and Setting

8. Great Opening Lines

9. Red Flag Openers to Avoid

10. Opening Scene Length and the Use of Transitions

11. The View From the Agent’s and Editor’s Chair

This is a book I plan on keeping and re-reading each year to keep his advice engrained!


  1. Vero
    May 10, 2012

    I love Les’s style and his book “Finding your voice” is absolutely great! I also have “Hooked” on my Kindle, but haven’t yet gotten to it. Can’t wait!

  2. Raven Bower
    May 10, 2012

    Yes! His advice in Finding Your Voice is fantastic. It’s one of my favorite writing books. Now that you remind me, I should review that one too.

  3. Les Edgerton
    May 10, 2012

    I’m just plain delighted you found my little blue book helpful! And, thanks to Vero also for your nice words. You folks just made my day!

    Blue skies,