How a Good Hook Makes a Story More Adaptable for Film & Television

If you’re writing a book that could make a great movie or television show, it’s important to know what Hollywood is looking for before you publish. Dan Watanabe, Entertainment Expert and Media Arts Instructor, explains how to begin a story so that it’s easily adapted for the screen. “The trick for any novel or TV project is to look at a story and say ‘What is the hook?’ says Watanabe. “The hook is what will get the audience emotionally involved.” In the clip below, he discusses two different parts of a hook. First, he says he looks for an “identification.” This is a description of a character or a setting that the audience wants to follow. A great film or television story has a perspective rooted firmly in a person or a place. Sometimes, that perspective is created through the shock value of coming up with a new idea. However, the focus doesn’t have to be innovative. Occasionally, a hook is simply a well-worded concept rather than a surprising idea. Listen as Watanabe shares examples and tips for writers who want to see their story on screen.

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