What Not to Do Wednesday: BEWARE!

Gotcha, didn’t I? Grabbed your attention and now you want to know what this big, old BEWARE is all about, right?

It’s about grabbing attention, grasshopper. Which seems simple enough, but it’s one of the hardest parts of writing. It doesn’t matter if I’m writing a funny column, a short story, a book chapter, or an article about office chairs, that beginning is what always takes the longest for me to write! And here’s why: I know if I don’t grab a reader in the beginning, I won’t have that reader sticking around till the end. Unless the reader’s my mom. And even then, there’s no guarantee with a mom like mine.

I had to revise a story recently for an assignment and really, the revisions were few and mostly a comma here or leaving out an adverb there. But something else was missing in my lovely children’s story. Conflict? Nope. Good characters? Nope. Big bang beginning? Well, there you go. I rewrote the beginning till I had written a “Gotcha” start.

So, beware, grasshopper. Don’t send anything out unless you grab that reader from the get-go. ‘Cause the best writing in the world can’t save a ho-hum opening. It’s as simple as that.

4 thoughts on “What Not to Do Wednesday: BEWARE!

  1. That’s a great point. My attention is seldom held for very…Oh! Gotta get my oil changed this week…where was I? Oh! Attention. I hardly read at all. I think your blog is one of the things I regularly check. But, from the first book, I read the “Potter” books very quickly. The last book I finished in under three days. The same with you, Cathy C. What I have read of yours always seems to get my attention at the start. And, that’s a GREAT start!

  2. Very true. A great lead is the hardest part of writing.That explains why newspapers (remember those) have screaming six inch headlines. “DOW DROPS INTO HADES”. It scares the he–, I’m mean it helps sell newspapers. From what I’ve read, you do have a knack for writing really good leads. I am curious though, how would you write a great lead in an article on office chairs?

  3. Well, Anon, that’s an interesting question. And when my article on office chairs comes out in November, then you can read for yourself. So, stay tuned for those details. Because honestly, I don’t remember how the heck I started an article about office chairs with a bang!

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