Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Chapter Hooks & Goosebumps

Goosebumps: Attack of the MutantAt every possible point a story needs to propel the reader forward all the way to the end. Chapter endings are super critical because it's a stopping point, probably a place where the bookmark rests between the pages most often. Hooking a reader to want to rush to the next chapter is critical. Nowhere have I seen this done so precisely as in the Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine. Who can't learn from someone who has sold over 300 million books! And my seven year old son loves the series, so much so that when I get to the end of the chapter he literally begs me to read "one more page mom, pleeaaaaase". Imagine, who can so no to a child begging for more books. So I thought it would be nice to illustrate the chapter ending hooks here with three examples from the current book I'm reading to my son.

Here are a few examples from the book, Attack of the Mutant:
ending of chapter 4 
"The driver was a nice guy. He saw me running and waited for me. Breathing hard, I thanked him and climbed on to the bus.
     I probably wouldn't have thanked him if I had known where this bus was going to take me. But I didn't know that it was carrying me to the most frightening adventure of my life."
ending of chapter 5
     "I was staring at a tall building on the other corner. A tall, pink stucco building with a bright green, domed roof.

     I was staring at the secret headquarters of The Masked Mutant."
ending of chapter 6
     "I narrowed my eyes and squinted through the glass doors.
     I couldn't see anymore. It appeared dark inside.
     I took a step closer. Then another.
     I brought my face right up to the glass and peered in. I could see a wide lobby. Pink-and-yellow walls. A row of elevators near the back.
     But no people. No one. Empty.
     I grabbed the glass door handle. My throat made a loud gulping sound as I swallowed hard.
     Should I go in? I asked myself. Do I dare?"

Have you seen good examples of chapter hooks you'd like to share?

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