Grab the Hook! Writing Great Lead Sentences ~ We Begin Discussions on The Hero

“Mickey Cray had been out of work ever since a dead iguana fell from a palm tree and hit him in the head” (Hiaasen Chomp). (What? How?)

“There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife” (Gaiman The Graveyard Book ). (Whose hand? Why?)

“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number 4, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much” (J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone). (Meaning that possibly they were not very normal)

“He began his new life standing up, surrounded by cold darkness and stale, dusty air” (Dashner The Maze Runner). (Why? Where?)

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit” (J.R.R. Tolkien The Hobbit). (What’s a hobbit?)

A lead sentence grabs the reader and never lets go. It is the hook that makes the reader want to continue to read and turn that page to find out more.

Pretend you are writing a story about a hero who undertakes a dangerous quest. Write a lead sentence (first line of the first chapter) that will hook your reader into continuing on with the story. Yes, you can make up a hero’s name. Be creative, descriptive, and write something that would make you continue to read.

The purpose of this exercise is to get you familiar with writing great lead sentences, as this is a skill you will need to perfect as the year goes on. Readers need some introduction as to what they will be reading, and good lead sentences can provide these clues. A good lead sentence also makes the reader ask how? Why? What? When? Where?


  1. The ground was shifting, almost wriggling, all the sudden a swirling purple hole opened up directly in front of his feet and he was swallowed up.

  2. As me and and the remaining troops advance forward to victory, are leader and the other troops turned around and vanished, I’m left alone.

  3. Something in BoatLift that stuck out to me was when the two airplanes crashed into the Twin Towers. All of the people that had a boat went to go pick people up and moving them to the other part of the island (New York). All of the people were working together to get on boats. It was very scary but people were still helping others to get on the boat.

    My definition of a hero is someone who stood up to do something and saves someone’s life or saves them from an injury. I think a firefighter is a hero and they save so many lives in one day and save peoples houses and furniture.

    The quote that I connected with was the one were it was talking about were “someone has given their life to something bigger”. I really like that one because it was very meaningful to me because I hade an event in my life that was like that.

  4. When the boats were crashing down in the 911 video, I had know idea what was happening. Apparently, part of 911 was left out of the whole story. There was boats everywhere that were picking people up by the water because Manhattan is surrounded by water. There was not enough boats to pick people up people and take to the other side, so the coast guard spoke in the radio saying, “If there are any boats by Manhattan please come and help” and ten minutes later there was boats everywhere.

    A hero is a person who risk their self for thousands of other people. In my example this hero doesn’t save thousands of lives, she just saves my moms life. My mom was covered in tears because hear father was going to die. The lady at the desk said, “I will reroute you so you don’t need to stop in Manhattan. Five hours later the plane my mom was going to get on crashed into the World Trade Center.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson connected with me. That phrase reminded me of when the lady saved my moms life. That one small five minutes saved my mom. That is a true hero even tho she didn’t do that on purpose.

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