Let’s see… where did we leave off?
"I believe Lilly got an idea and we all adjourned. Did anything pan out, Lilly?"
"Of course. Things always pan out when you add more ideas. I decided to make the format, itself, a hook, and I think it’s going to work out beautifully."
"My dear, so far you’ve got a hook in the first line, one at the end of each chapter, your main character is also a hook -- and now – you’re telling us you’ve fashioned the format into a hook? I should think at the moment, it would be too frightening for anyone to pick up."
"People like frightening, these days, Professor."
"Well, then they’re living in the right era. Personally, I prefer the last century. There seems to have been more thinking going on then. Anyway, you can’t just have a mass of hooks, we get that with the evening news. One shock, jab, or prick after another and not a thing you can do about most of it. Too many of those tangle up the lines – which are the truly essential part of any story. Wouldn’t you say so, Ann?"
"I agree everything has to end up going somewhere. But I can also see that if people are doing less thinking, one might have to shock, jab, or prick a little more to get any reactions. Then again, it depends what you’re fishing for."
"Which brings us to the most important facet of hook study. There are different kinds of hooks for different kinds of quarry. One has to know who the audience is before preparing any type of a hook. For the simple reason that what appeals to one might have little or no effect on another. Have you thought about your audience, Lilly? Do you know who they are?"
"They’re ordinary people like us."
"Who don’t particularly like change. They’d rather ignore most of the irritating stuff one hears on the news, but every once in a while, something comes along to dump them into a catastrophe, and they have to deal with it."
"Better, but keep going. Are they young or old? Male or female? Working or unemployed?"
"All of the above."
"Good grief – what is this thing? Another War and Peace, only this time, with survival tips?"
"Something like that, yes. Look how worried people are over the war these days."
"Well, I’m stunned. I thought we were dealing with one of your light, experimental manuscripts for the purpose of practicing the craft, and now you’ve got us going in so many directions, I hardly see how anything beneficial can come out of it. What kind of a person is this Stella Madison, anyway? And who the blazes is the devil?"
"I beg your pardon, ladies – may I propose that we have sufficiently covered the subject of hooks?"
"Well, it seems that if we are now demanding explanations of the who and why of these characters, we might as well get on with the subject of characters."
"Lilly’s a character, if you ask me."
"Thank you, Ann."
"I move that tomorrow we go on to the next subject. Lilly, will you be responsible for the demonstration this time? The thought of what the Professor might concoct in his lab to show character gives me the chills just thinking about it."
"Certainly. But I might at least have to get some advice from him."
"Oh, for heaven sake! I can see where this study is headed, already."
What’s happening on the farm today: Fourth day of arctic weather. Still have electricity, although the woodpile is going down fast and we now have to carry water to the animals. I used the ax to break through the ice in the horse trough this morning, but it is frozen nearly halfway down. Now is when it begins to show how really out of shape I am, and how much of a pansy I am when it comes to being out in the cold.
Habit status: Day 5 second round (beginning to move right along)