Tuesday, August 2

Standing at the Corner

The corner of this corral reminds me of the corner of my WIP.


If I were standing here, waiting for something to happen, cows to come around the corner, my heart would be beating fast, my palms a little sweaty. I wouldn't want the herd to get by me. I'd want them to turn into the gate. But if they missed the gate, went on by me, we'd have to start all over again to corral them.

My book is kind of like that.

If I miss my mark, and my reader gets by without seeing the corner, I've lost them, too.

I have to catch the reader, get them to turn in (turn the page) and keep reading. I want them hooked, corralled.

How do I do that?

I can't stand at the corner post and wave my arms! "Get in there."

I have to be more subtle.

I have to have plot, characters, conflict.

I have to know grammar.

I have to have a hook at that corner, to keep the reader going on.

hmmmm....a lot like turning cows.


  1. Never thought of it that way, D'Ann, but you are right. It is like turning coww-not that I've ever done that, but I did grow up with horses. Gets my mind working on my hooks-think I better go check to make sure I have them
    Great post!

  2. I can just picture you waving your arms at readers at a book signing. Or you could get a cut out with a big cowboy hat and a speech bubble that says it.

    Great metaphor, D'Ann!

  3. I feel your pain. Sometimes it's like waving that red cape just to get their attention. HOWEVER, once you've done you job and you've hooked the reader, its like a stampede and they can't get enough. So here's to getting that herd moving down the trail at a might clip. I'll play heeler, you ride point.

  4. She's the Queen of Metaphors, Allison!

    Guess we can't entice the cattle with hay to move them into the pen. That's cheating. (but I cheat when it's 40 head v. 2 riders)

    A hook to catch the curiosity (hay-lol) and something to startle with if they start to wander.

    I always look forward to your posts.

  5. I'm a city Girl so this is a new concept for me, but wow what an image! Guiding a group of wandering folk just where you want them to go. (If my dogs don't come when I call them somtimes I shake the treat jar. That is as much wildlife exposure as I've had.)
    Great post D'ANN.
    Brenda L.

  6. What a great metaphor! We sure do want to corral our readers. The narrative hook is crucial. Back in the Victorian era people expected to read lots of descriptive language before they got to the meat of the story. Modern readers are impatient. So it's good to start with something that draws the reader's attention right away.
    Often an interested exchange of dialog draws the reader into the novel immediately.

    Jacqueline Seewald
    THE TRUTH SLEUTH--request at your local library

  7. The best writers make it seem easy and since you're one of those I say go get 'em!



  8. I have no experience with cows--except my daughter got licked by one once! But I do understand the importance of corralling your readers. Love them hooks! Beginning, chapter ending, book ending (leave 'em wanting to be corralled again!).

    Great analogy, D'Ann. Excellent post. :)

  9. Great post. I'm still chuckling over you waving your readers into the corral.

  10. Oh, D'Ann, I have chased many cows before and this brings a whole new light on getting readers to turn the page. Love the image. Off to check on my hooks.

  11. I love your analogy. Whether you're herding cows or writing a book, it's all hard work. You have to know what you're doing to be sucessful. Great post!

  12. LOL, I love it. Your metaphor totally works!

  13. Nice one! Never even been close to a cow, but I see your point. A book has to have a good hook to keep me reading.

  14. Perhaps you could give us all a lesson in turning cows, D'Ann. LOL It seems like it really does correlate. Fun post.

  15. LOL! You are so right... I chased my share of cows as a kid on the farm.

    Great post!

  16. Everyone!
    You're the best for coming by today! I'm sorry for not responding to each of you individually...work wore me out today. But I do apprecaite you all!

  17. Great post, D’Ann! And I say climb up. I have a feeling you’re about to get a stampede in your direction! Keep up the good work and can’t wait to read your story.

  18. D--great analogy. You always come up with good ones. Would've loved to have seen the pic. LOL