Now, I need to always remember this information, so, I’ve reblogged it. Perhaps you need it, as well…. Good to have on hand and return to the teaching.
When we surf the internet, we make constant split-second judgements about what we want to read. There are lots of reasons we might click away from a post — a hard-to-read font, a busy background, or an opening that doesn’t grab us.
We’ve talked about fonts and backgrounds before, so let’s turn to the latter: think about nixing your first sentence (or your first few) to create an intro that hooks readers right away.
The beginning of our story is not always where we think it is.
Often, when we’re drafting, we use our first sentences to set up and focus our posts, and then we get into the nitty-gritty. For example:
Sometimes, my imagination gets in the way of real life, and it puts a strain on my marriage. I was in the living room thinking about what color to paint the walls, and Jim was in the kitchen making suggestions…
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3 thoughts on “Quick Tip: Give Your First Sentence the Axe”
Also Alan, the formatting of a poem or story is also a real turn off if it isn’t visually aesthetic. A poorly set up written piece will hurt the eyes if it is not set comfortably in a precise pattern set with the meter . Long one to three word poems bother my eyesight and effect my comprehension and I will move on to another. One sentence poems too long (length) on a page is also bothersome.
So, aesthetics are important.
There have been so many times, in which I have moved on by the end of the first or second line or sentence. Be it a story or a poem. I was told that most readers of poetry, are turned off by poems that exceed a dozen lines. And will only read them if they know the poet, or that the first line and stanza grabs them, and holds on to them for the entire poem. With so many authors to choose from, being captured and held by what is being expressed in the start of the story will hold on to me throughout the rest of the story.
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Yes, that is true… It’s a weary process because the reader must figure the poets symbolisms and flow, time, meter, rhyme and the lengthy poems will be overlooked unless the poet is Henry Wadsworth, et al.. However, I have also learned to break up long poems. Put breaks in them or rest periods.
Some of my long poems tell a story, and they are difficult to read and understand unless a reader has a very good idea about fairies and warfare and the meaning behind the poem… Poetry is grueling because it has so many levels and variables to grasp..