Today I took time to revisit one of my favorite books on writing. I am talking about Pat Kubis and Bob Howland’s, The Complete Guide to Writing Fiction and Nonfiction and Getting it Published 2nd Edition, available at your book store, on-line, and Readers Digest Book Club. I read only a few chapters, when I discovered that I had not consciously been aware for a long time of the essential elements of a narrative hook. It is easy to ignore the fundamentals, when in the heat moment; you are only concerned with getting your story on paper. I am talking about … well the five W’s and H of course! I am sure that your English Composition instructor touched on these even in High School. And if you are a journalist or working toward a degree in journalism I am sure you know them backward and forward. And if you don’t remember them, then here they are listed below: Who What Where When Why How Here is an excerpt taken from the above-mentioned book that shows how they relate to a Short Story or Novel. “Who is the character?” “What is the situation (problem)?” “Where is this story taking place (locale)?” “When is this story taking place (which time frame)?” “Why did the situation happen?” “How did it happen (what is the background)?” It is not necessary to include all these elements when writing an opening hook for a short story or novel, but you should at least attempt to use as many as possible. There are published authors that achieve all six elements, but many do not. One single element alone can act as an opening hook if it is compelling enough. I just thought I would take time to mention this as it is an important part of creating stories that the reader will not put down after the first paragraph or so. So keep these elements in mind and you’ll be able to hook your reader from the very start. And more importantly, the publisher to whom you submit your work.