About 16 years ago, we attended a writers’ conference at Winthrop University where Gary Provost conducted several classes. His stories of how to become a published author were unforgettable. But, he made it and became successful. And, even though he had an untimely early death, Gary left a legacy of books and great ideas.
The following excerpt is from “Success, Your Path to a Successful Book,” by Maralyn D. Hill and Brenda C. Hill.
Gary Provost gives ideas a FIT test:
“Just because something is familiar does not mean it’s a good story. Or, because something is important to you does not mean it’s a good story. And, because something is true, does not make it a good idea.”
For good ideas, Gary uses the WAGS acronym, which stands for World, Active, Goals and Stakes.
• W-the narrative world is where you’ll take people.
• Active-you want characters that take action.
• Goals-know what your characters want.
• Stakes-begins with trauma and ends with it being resolved.
After attending one of Gary’s workshops in South Carolina, we won’t forget one of his and Peter Rubie’s standard quotes, “Hooking a reader is about catching that reader from the outset: No explanations, no setup or slow windup to your story, but bang—straight into it… Hook them, and you’ll get published not just once, but consistently.”
Non-fiction should also have a hook so the reader will understand why they should read your book and how it will benefit them.
We hope our tips hook you.