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Attention spans are short! So it is very important that you grab your readers attention as soon as possible! So without further words, here is a sample of Jeff Elkins’ post from The Write Practice on how to write a great attention grabbing lead paragraph.
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How to Write a Lead Paragraph that Wins Readers’ Attention
You’ve spent countless hours pondering the plot, creating the characters’ voices, and building the perfect twist at the end that will leave readers speechless. Once everything is as good as you can make it, you publish your writing and wait. . . .
But no one reads your masterpiece.
Unfortunately, in our content-saturated age, if you don’t grab people by the throat, pull them in close, and yell, “Pay attention to me!” with your first paragraph, they won’t stick around to read the amazing story you’ve crafted.
Your Opening Paragraph Is Vital
When I was editing submissions for Short Fiction Break, if the first paragraph didn’t hold my attention, I rarely kept reading. I’m an avid reader looking for things to read. If a story didn’t keep me engaged, it had no chance of catching the attention of the average internet reader.
A scroll through my Facebook feed illustrates the problem. Here are some of the titles vying for my attention:
- 21 Bacon Recipes for When You are Trying to Eat Healthy
- This Game of Thrones Theory Blames Bran for Everything!
- 15 Times Super Heroes Kill People
- Amazing Movies Streaming Right Now!
That blog post you just published? That’s what it is competing with: bacon, super heroes, the entire movie industry, and Game of Thrones. I see the Game of Thrones headline and neurons in my mind begin to fire. “Yeah,” I tell myself. “I bet the whole crippled thing is just a clever ruse. Damn you, George R. R. Martin! Damn you and your ever-twisting plot!”
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