Writing Books for Writers | Hooked by Les Edgerton

My copy of this is a smallish paperback that has a blue cover with a picture of a goldfish. A quick glimpse of this on a book shelf and you might think it is about pisciculture of some form, unless of course you read the subtitle: “write fiction that grabs readers at page one and never lets them go.”

I admit to being hesitant about buying this book. I had little faith that a book with a goldfish cover would be serious enough to do my fiction writing any good. I soon found out that writing great fiction is what this book is about.

There is no doubt that Edgerton discusses how to craft great opening hooks, in fact a major portion of the book is dedicated to it. But, the best hook in the world won’t help if the story behind it fails. To help us prevent that, Edgerton spends a good amount of time explaining a story telling system that includes two concepts, the “story worthy problem,” and the “surface problem.”

My own observations tend to agree with Edgerton’s that many beginners miss the existence of the story worthy problem and instead only write about surface problems, which makes for flat stories without depth or dimension. The insight that Edgerton gives should help many avoid that flat-story issue entirely.

With just the two concepts of “Story Worthy” and “Surface” problems, Edgerton goes on to detail in a very simple yet workable form how a good story is generally constructed. The advice and instruction match that given by many other authors that I’ve read, but the explanation is perhaps among the best I’ve encountered. It is simple, direct and very clear.

Hooked might not cure a hangnail, but it should be of vast help to beginners. This is a book full of construction information that will help new writers cook up better stories and intermediate writers find ways to garnish their own with a bit more flair. Advanced writers will probably find less fresh material here but might want to take a peek anyway.

I’m rating this as a beginner book although I think intermediates will gain insight also.

See you next time.

4 stars over all.
4 stars for ease of reading.
4 Stars for usefulness of information

2 Responses to “Writing Books for Writers | Hooked by Les Edgerton”

  • Les Edgerton says:

    I just wanted to express my thanks and gratitude for giving my book “Hooked” a shout-out. You made my day! It’s gratifying to think that it helped writers–that was my aim at the git-go. Do me a favor and let me know when your own next book comes out. I’m a firm believer that the way you support a fellow writer is to buy his/her book. For the past twenty-three years, my wife, son and I visit one of our local bookstores each Saturday and we each buy 2-4 books apiece. We don’t have many material things, but we own thousands of books–I’d love to add yours to my library.

    Again… thank you!

    Blue skies,
    Les Edgerton

  • H. Midiam says:

    Thanks, Les. I’m glad to help. You did a great job of putting together a book that is more than just theory, but also contains enough actual “how-to” to make any writer better.