The story I refer to was The Hook and the Hitch.
It illustrated two very important copywriting concepts. Which ones? The first clue was in the headline: the hook and the hitch.
So, let me show you what those words mean:
- Hook: the ultra-unique angle that makes a product, service, or idea stand out … tied deeply into the emotional condition of the prospect. It’s the “aha moment.” In this case, the hut in sheer seclusion provides a sanctuary for the main character to recover.
- Hitch: Otherwise known as “the catch” … your hook is so unbelievably cool there has to be a catch. This is the reason why. In the case of the story, the catch was the reason why the hut was so inexpensive (it was haunted). Explaining the hook allows you to add credibility to your claims.
Okay, I did run into one particular problem with this story: “what’s the hitch?” It’s not a typical phrase.
However, that phrase came from a conversation I was having with a client. I was explaining to him that you need a good hook when describing a product … but then you have to follow up with the hitch.
Then the light bulb went off.
I dropped the phone, wrote the story, and went to run it by my wife … who, after some minor tweaks, said. “I love it. But I don’t think people actually say what’s the hitch?”
It sounded so natural at first, but then when I looked it up I couldn’t find any references (except an awkward mention in an LA Times article … there were a dozen mentions of Christopher Hitchens, aka the Hitch, however) … and the dictionary didn’t have any mentions.
However, looking up synonyms for the word “catch” I discovered what I was looking for: a reference to “hitch.” Enough justification for me. 😀
And by the way, three other readers wanted to know what happened next in the story. Eh, sorry, I didn’t have a next in mind. But I guess I could think one up. What do you think: should I?
Image source: Fishing hut on Isla Del Sol in Lake Titicaca