You don’t have much time. You need to work fast. Your article or book or whatever it is you are writing to engage a reader/ audience must tease them 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 35th anniversary a few months back. 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.
Remember, you must come up with something clever, funny, gripping, frightening, shocking, intriguing…. And it must be well-written. Have fun with your ideas. I come up with my 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.
New York City dazzles in December with lights, ribbons, carols and jingles. And then there’s this:
Manhattans and Murder is the Murder, She Wrote novel I co-wrote with Donald Bain, my father. I’ve written several with him and this was the second in the series–and now there are 42 novels. And all the novels I wrote with him are still in print and selling strong.
Manhattans and Murder is a great read for those who love a little mystery, a little Jessica and a little NYC at Christmastime. Jessica comes to Manhattan for a visit and guess what happens? She also visits Sea Cliff, the sweet town on the Long Island Sound where I lived at the time I wrote the scene. It’s about 25 miles from Manhattan.
So, if you feel like a little Christmas, a little mystery and a little New York City, cozy up with this cozy mystery! Oh, and this novel came out awhile ago, but was reissued more recently. How do you like them apples? Also, I have two engagements coming up after the holidays where I’ll be speaking about writing the books, as well as my other writing. I’ll fill you in, so stay tuned.
Thanks, spread the love this holiday. Make it good day and a better day for someone else. Especially your children and grandchildren 🙂