I have to admit that while I have had the desire to write for many years I have no formal writing experience and I’ve never taken any creative writing courses. What I do have is a passion to learn and a desire to string wonderful words together into beautiful images that you my readers can see in your mind and feel as if you are right there in the moment.
Recently I joined Compel Training and am learning so much about the craft of writing. I hope to post a tidbit of valuable information from each teaching I view.
The most recent teaching I watched was how one author does some pre-work before she begins writing by asking herself these questions:
- Who am I writing to?
- While we may want to reach a wide and varied audience, who is that one person you really want to reach? This helps to keep us focused on our topic.
- Is there a specific situation, problem or idea I want to address?
- Choose one topic and stick to that.
- What is the practical application?
- How can my readers apply what I have to say to their life?
After the pre-work move to the crucial first sentence which should be a sentence that draws your readers in and causes them to want to read your words. The following are some crucial first sentence guidelines.
- Is my first sentence on point?
- Don’t get off topic.
- Don’t make it all about me.
- Don’t send your readers to a buffet line by giving your reader too many things to think about.
- Don’t cause your reader to lose hope.
Finally, here are some examples of crucial first sentences.
- Admission of your own failure.
- When I left for work this morning I forgot to turn the crockpot on. Surprise! Dinner wasn’t ready.
- A question that draws others in.
- A surprising statistic.
- A counterintuitive thought.
- An invitation to imagine.
I hope you have found these thoughts and ideas helpful!