- The character has to go on a quest or his/her whole world is doomed. There's nothing to beat the desperate stakes call for desperate measures stories!
- The character has gripped you so much you have to find out what happens to them. You won't find better characterisation than in stories which manage to achieve this.
- The villain is so vile you have to read to the end in the hope they meet a truly nasty fate. This is like a mirror image of 2 above but here the motivation is to see someone destroyed. (I know, we story readers can be charming at times!).
- In science fiction and fantasy especially, the world intrigues you so you have to find out more. This kind of story is a great opportunity to demonstrate some truly great world building but it has to be a world that grips your curiosity.
- You have a story where two characters hate each other yet you also feel somehow they are made for each other so read on to see if their feelings change. Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice is the classic for this.
A great story (of whatever length) hooks you in so you have to read it till the end. (A magnificent story is so good you read it often and are hooked all over again each and every time. Pride and Prejudice, Men at Arms and The Lord of the Rings does that for me. A good mix! All great stories have classic hooks. Some of my favourite hooks include:-
I'm Allison Symes and write fairytales with bite, especially novels and short stories.