Nobody goes into writing a book and thinks “I’m going to write a story that doesn’t hook.” But everybody worries about writing a story that doesn’t hook.
And most importantly, you don’t always know you’ve written bad setup. Not only because you’ve been living with the story for a while (whether you’ve been writing it or seriously contemplating the events before you even sit down to write it). But also, there’s very much the possibility that you think you’ve communicated your setup to the reader in a way that makes sense, and the reader won’t perceive it that way.
Either way, it’s always a good idea to temperature check your setup and make sure that it’s doing what it’s supposed to be doing.
The safest option for authors who might not know if setup is their strong suit, or writers who just want to incorporate checking the effectiveness of their setup as part of their writing or revising process, is to run a series of diagnostics.
Diagnostics are super helpful in just double-checking whether or not you’re including the right information in your setup, and if your setup is creating the right expectations for the story you intend to tell or have already told.
Whether you run these diagnostics before your book gets edited, during revisions, or use them to inform writing your next book, diagnostics are really there to help you identify your setup strengths and weaknesses.
So, let’s explore some ways you can identify if and why your setup doesn’t hook a reader.Continue reading “Ways to Identify If & Why Your Setup Doesn’t Hook”