Four Things to Understand About Hooks

Jens Thoughts

I’m currently reading K.M. Weiland’s “Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing An Outstanding Story”.  This is a great resource and even better paired with the workbook. If you have novel  idea50 million thoughts running through your head, it’s a great way to flush out the important and valuable ones for your story.

Here’s an excerpt from her book and what a hook should contain. The book gives several examples as well.

“So what can we learn from these masterful hooks?

  1. Hooks should be inherent to the plot
  2. Hooks don’t always involve action, but they always set it up
  3. Hooks never waste time
  4. Hooks almost always pull double or triple duty in introducing character, conflict, and plot – and even setting and theme.”

I also enjoy the simplicity of her writing and explanations. I tend to get bombarded with writing advice, rules, and “how to’s” that it’s a breath of fresh air to have…

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Registration is open! Blogging 101, Blogging 201, and Writing 201: Poetry

The Daily Post

Note: Blogging 101 and Blogging 201 are the same courses previously offered by Blogging U. Feel free to take them again, but be aware that we will cover the same topics.

Blogging U. courses are a great way to work toward your blogging goals, bolstered by our best advice and the support of other bloggers just like you. This February, we’re offering three courses:

Blogging 101: Zero to Hero (February 2 – 27)

Blogging 101 is four weeks of bite-size blogging assignments to help you publish posts, customize your blog, and engage with the community. You’ll walk away with published posts and a handful of drafts, a theme that reflects your personality, a small (but growing!) audience, a grasp of blogging etiquette — and a bunch of new friends.

Blogging 201: Branding and Growth (February 2 – 13)

Blogging 201 is a two-week challenge to give your blog a serious kick start. We’ll help you define your brand, build your audience, use…

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Registration is open for February’s Blogging U. courses!

The Daily Post

Note: Blogging 101 and Blogging 201 are the same courses previously offered by Blogging U. Feel free to take them again, but be aware that we will cover the same topics.

Looking for a way to grow your blog, strengthen your technical blogging chops, develop a writing habit, connect with other bloggers, or all four? Welcome to Blogging U.

February’s Courses

Blogging U. courses are a great way to work toward your blogging goals, bolstered by our best advice and the support of other bloggers just like you. This February, we’re offering three courses:

I thought I knew something about blogging and that my blog is good enough. I thought I would cope alone. But this challenge showed me how much further can I go without even pushing that much, and how these fantastic people I’ve met are my everyday support.

– Anna at Tantoverde

Blogging 101: Zero to Hero (February 2 – 27)

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Announcing the Beauty of a Woman BlogFest IV! #BOAW15

An interesting blog fest to participate in February.

Girl Boner

“People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.” — Sam Levinson, The Beauty of a Woman 

Three years ago, when I was a blogging newbie, I decided to share a story from my experience with an eating disorder I was diagnosed with while modeling in Paris. I have no idea why it struck me that particular day, but it did, so I went with it.

The post, Does Dirt Have Calories? My Story, was longer than many pros suggest, but I believe all of our writing should be as long as it needs to be. And heck, I was sharing it because my gut said to, for cathartic reasons, I suppose, and because I figured a few people struggling with similar issues might read it and find a new glimmer of hope.


I was blown away when far more happened. For days, I received a…

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This short list is from Writer’s Digest

Click on any name below to see the full mini-profile on the GLA Blog (with submission instructions). Good luck querying!

1. Amanda Panitch of Lippincott Massie McQuilkin

She is seeking: Young adult and middle grade only. In particular, she’d love to find a high fantasy set in a non-Western inspired setting. Other concepts she’d love to see in her inbox include a dark psychological thriller, a quirky mystery, a gorgeous literary contemporary, historical fiction set in a place or time not often explored in fiction, or anything featuring food as a main element. She is also drawn to generational spaceships, unreliable narrators, magical realism, the pre-Columbian Americas, the Amazon, close sibling relationships, and slow-burning romances.

2. Kirsten Carleton of Waxman Leavell Literary Agency

Kirsten is seeking: Upmarket young adult, speculative, and literary fiction with strong characters and storytelling. She’s particularly interested in novels…

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Recent Workshop about WordPress

On January 13, Roy Richardson (from ) graciously held a workshop to teach us about using WordPress to create a blog. We had a full house and everyone was eager to learn more.


We can sum up his workshop this way

  • Choose a good website name
  • Customize your blog with an appropriate theme and plugins
  • Use lots of pictures (check copyright usage )
  • Optimize your site for speed
  • Have robust security to prevent hacking
  • Back up site files on your home computer
  • Have a regular publishing schedule (CONTENT is KING)

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The full list of plugins, sites, ideas, and links to material about WordPress, resources to help with Blogging in general, and help with Social Media are here.

From January 13 – January 15, Roy is offering his book WordPress from Setup to Website for free. This book is a great deal at the regular price, and an even better bargain for this short time.

Thanks to everyone that attended. Look out for future workshops. The leadership committee is working on developing a workshop to discuss social media tools. Stay tuned. More to come!!!

Featured Author – Lee Wyndham

Why do you write?

I write because I breathe. Just as teaching was, I write because it is a calling. I write to make a difference.

What genre are your books? Christian Non-fiction

What draws you to this genre?

As a former school teacher and businesswoman, I want to pass on the wisdom I’ve accumulated through the years. Writing excites me, and I feel obligated to share what I have learned. If we can’t learn from each other’s mistakes, we’re all going to hell in a hand basket! Through my books I now have a platform from which to speak to church and civic groups. Some of the places I have spoken are: the Golden Kiwanis Club, the American Legion, the Greenwood County Library, The Burton Center, the Chamber of Commerce Women’s Forum, study clubs, and church groups in Greenwood, McCormick, Greenville, Columbia, and Edisto Island. At most programs after I speak, my husband and I entertain with a short musical program.

What have you written and where can we buy them?

I self-published two meditation books: “Meditations of My Heart” in 2007 and “He Keeps Me Singing” in 2009. Then in 2012 Ambassador International published My Oh My: A Journey of Faith through Marriage, Parenting, and Miracles for me. You can buy My Oh My from or from McCaslans’ Bookstore in uptown Greenwood. I have a limited number of “He Keeps Me Singing” for sale personally. These books make a great gift for young adults through senior


The bi-line for “My Oh My” is “A Journey of Faith through Marriage, Parenting, and Miracles.” It is not a complete autobiography because there is very little in it about my childhood. That may come later.

Basically my book includes many of my life experiences, most of which are humorous and dramatic. I share several miracles that have happened to me and I share my secrets to being happily married for 50 years and raising four “normal” daughters. Many people have told me they keep my books by their bedside and re-read passages regularly. That tickles me to no end!

God is good and throughout my book my stories are intertwined with the underlying message of my faith. Shooting straight from my heart I describe my spiritual beliefs and disbeliefs.