Monday, October 15, 2007

Not Just the Eyes Hooked Me.

I don't know who else besides Danita watches Men in Trees. It's on Friday nights at 10PM, but I am still drooling over the newest character they added. Cash. Or in real life Scott Elrod. He has what they dub as "Paul Newman" eyes. They are so blue they are almost freaky, yet the whole package is yummy!

Anyway, his character is "helping" the main character, Maren, (who is an author) renovate a house she bought and get over a man. Cash is a free spirit construction man and in Friday's episode he took Maren to see a "spiritualist" to help her get her muse back. The "spiritualist" told her to write all her hangups/things she doesn't like about herself on rocks and toss them over a cliff. As she and Cash are walking up the mountain, she is lugging a big heavy bag of rocks and he is only carrying one. She asks what his problem is and he only smiles. At the top, he tosses his rock and waits as she one by one reads hers written in red marker and tosses them off the cliff.

At the end of the show, they always have Maren talk about what she learned in the episode and show the different characters and how they are reacting after each of the scenarios that have played out. At the very end they show a rock with blue writing that says, "sickness".

Wow! That hit me! You know it's Cash's rock because it is written in blue. But it didn't say illness or disease- like he is physically ill, it said "sickness" like he has a mental problem. What could it be? Is he a stalker? A serial killer? Depressed? Man, my mind has been going over what if's all weekend.

That has got to be the best "hook" I've ever seen at the end of a show. And the writer in me has been piecing together so many scenarios!

Have you watched a show that had a hook so intriguing at the end you had to watch the next episode or episodes to see what was going to happen? And if you have written linked books, have you written a hook that will make your readers pick up the next book?


Anonymous said...

Oooohhh, he's very pretty. ;)

As far as shows, Lost and Battlestar Galactica were my favorites for a while. They had me very hooked after each episode, but it's a pain to watch them on the internet so I gave them up. Maybe I'll rent them someday and just have a marathon of sitting in front of the TV.

I'm just not a real TV enthusiast. I've seen an episode of Men In Trees once, it was funny and I enjoyed it, but they didn't have each episode on the internet to keep up with it so I gave up on that show too.

I've not written any books, let alone linked ones, lol, but I do love reading them and the hook for me is usually the secondary characters. I just have to know how their story turns out. Some of my favorites are Shannon Drakes "Graham" series, Eloisa James "Essex Sisters" series, and of course, Julia Quinn's "Bridgerton" series. Those are very hookifying books. :)

I'm curious as to how Cash is "helping" Maren "get over a man" as you put it. With those eyes and that square jaw, I can think of many ways it would be fun to get over a man with him. LOL

Okay, back to the last of the tomatoes that never end! I swear this year of canning is going to kill me!

Nice eye candy post, Paty!

Lisa Pulliam said...

That would drive me nuts too!!! When I first started watching the tv show 24, they were already on their 3rd or 4th season. So I upped my Netflix to 5-at-a-time I think. I flew threw the first few seasons before the new season was about to start. That show has so many hooks!!! But they didn't bug me that much because I was watching them on DVD.

But then I started watching the new season live, so I had to wait a week. I made it through 2 seasons that way I think, then I couldn't take it anymore. I found myself getting annoyed by the hooks and losing interest before the next episode. I'm also finding that with some book series that I've been reading from the beginning. I'm not hooked anymore, I've lost interest in them. Sigh.

Alice Sharpe said...

I think Lisa brings up an interesting point about hooks. They can work against you.

I got hooked on Heroes last season. The end of every episode compelled me to the watch the next. Then they went on a hiatus (I heard so the writers could catch up) and I lost interest when it came back on. It's on again this year with a new threat to mankind, a new painting, new heroes and I couldn't care less. The idea of regular people saving the world with superhuman abilities, interesting. The idea of it happening over and over again? Yawn...

Your blog came at a timely moment in that I am writing two interconnected books right now and I'll be sure to leave a hook at the end to draw the reader forward. But in a way, I don't even like the idea of a hook in this context. What I think of it as is an unanswered question, the fulfillment of the whole idea.

Karen Duvall said...

Paty, that guy is delish! I'd watch the show just to watch him. 8^) My favorite eye candy hottie on the tube is Henry from Blood Ties. Grrrrroooowl.

I like series television and keep up with a few shows. The new Journeyman is a fun watch, but not especially hooky. Maybe Grey's Anatomy fits that bill better.

I used to love Lost, then it got old. Like Alice says, the whole suspense on tenter-hooks plot line of these shows often work against them. Heroes is a good example. I loved it last year. This year... not so much. My husband flat out refuses to watch because he says it goes "no where." He has a point.

For series books, I follow Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan books and will buy the hardbacks when they come out, which is saying a lot for me since I'm a paperback only kind of gal. 8^) But she killed off a great continuing character in her last book and I'm a little mad at her right now. However, it is an urban fantasy series, so chances are he could come back. Hee hee.

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Never watched Men in Trees, but I do like the name Maren (that was my heroine's name in a previous book).

I don't watch a lot of TV, so I can't talk a lot about episode hooks. As for books, I think Nora does a good job with her trilogies to keep readers hooked. I remember her saying her trilogies are really one big book separated into three parts, sot hat makes sense to me. JR Ward did a good job of hooking readers into her third book because the heroine in book three was kidnapped in the end of book 2, so I was chomping at the bit to read the third one to see what happened to her.

I'm considering writing a series, so this is timely for me, Paty. I want the first book to be truly stand alone because I want to be able to sell it with or without the series tie-in, but at the same time I want to leave enough hooks to make a reader (or editor) want to read (or buy) the next one.

Paty Jager said...

Hi ladies! Sorry, I didn't get back sooner. I was out schmoozing with the librarians. LOL

Had a good time talking about romance with the gals from Rose City.

Yes, Piper, he makes watching the show worthwhile! ;) I don't watch a lot of shows and usually this show doesn't end with a hook, but this time it did and it caught my attention.

So far Cash and Maren haven't done anything in the sheets. At least not in the episodes I've seen.

Lisa, I don't normally get hooked by the ending of a show because what I usually watch has a satisfying ending.

Alice and Eli, with my petticoat books, I've been pondering what kind of a hook to add. The first book had the dangling tintype that needed cleared up and I do that in book two, but I've not really written in a hook at the end of book two, though I will have one at the end of book three. I think with a series like this, people get connected to the secondary characters and want to read more whether you have a hook or not.

Karen, as you know I'm not into the paranormal stuff and have never watched heroes and I don't like the survivor stuff. I don't like watching an hour of people backstabbing each other. So I can't say much about the hooks they may use in those shows. But I could see where an on the edge of your seat every week hook could make a watcher weary.

MaryF said...

That scene got me, too! I wasn't all that intrigued by him till THAT.

Genene said...

Hey, all! I'm not even sure where the on/off switch of the TV is any more as it's been years since I watched anything more on TV than kids' videos and not even many of those any more.

As for hooks at the ends of books, I'm with Lisa: I find them incredibly annoying. Even with connected books, I want the main characters' story wrapped up in a neat package.

But, yes, make the secondary characters interesting enough with mysteries and lives of their own that I'll want to read their story.

Maybe that's contradictory ...

Danita Cahill said...

Cash is pretty hot and I keep thinking he and Maren will get together since her old flame, Jack, is engaged to his high school sweetheart, who's pregnant with another man's child. 9man, how much like a soap does this sound?) Although I'm still rooting for Jack.

It was a great hook.