Writing Tip: Hook the Reader in the First Line

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You don’t have much time.  Whatever it is you are writing, you must tease the reader from the get-go so that they are craving s’more.

I recently spoke to a business group in Newburyport, MA. I spoke about how to get your reader’s attention. I started out my talk with the first line in an article I wrote that was published in Salon.com and reprinted in Working Mother magazine’s 35th anniversary issue. Here is a link. The first line is a hook and bait. Here it is: I didn’t mean to put the tampons in my seven-year-old son’s backpack.

Gotcha.

http://www.workingmother.com/mom-stories/big-switch

Remember, you must come up with something clever, funny, gripping, frightening, shocking, intriguing…. And it must be well-written. Have fun with your ideas. You can come up with your first line or first paragraph (or ledes, in journalism it is called a lede, not a lead) while running or walking the beach. Or driving. Make your words dance.

Author: Laurie Bain Wilson

I write about travel, food and lifestyle, for outlets including The Boston Globe and OpenTable.com. As a contributing writer to TravelChannel.com, I was the site’s NYC expert and wrote dozens of pieces. I have also written for other publications and websites, including The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Time Out NY For Kids, salon.com, travelmuse.com, Boston Herald, New England Travel & Life, Woman’s Day, New York Daily News, Parenting and more. I was a travel editor for ten years at a national glossy bridal magazine in NYC where I wrote and edited hundreds of articles that revolved around planning honeymoons and destination weddings. I still write about honeymoons for bridal magazines. And I also collaborated on How to Organize Just About Everything with Peter Walsh; I wrote 80 mini-chapters. I have written several travel guidebooks and a children’s baseball novel, Catcher in the Sky. I also co-authored several Murder, She Wrote novels--they are Manhattans and Murder, Rum and Razors and Three Strikes, You're Dead. If you’d like to check out some of my articles, please visit http://muckrack.com/laurieheather If you’re on Twitter, please follow me @laurieheather And my linked in profile can be found at http://www.linkedin.com/in/lauriebainwilson

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