Reduce Vague Introductions and Reuse Powerful Statements
Words are the foundation of communication. How words are used and arranged in sentences and paragraphs determines the effectiveness of our communication. All it takes is just a few simple tricks to reduce a string of words into a powerful message. It's all about how you tell your story.
Words are more than just a combination of letters. Words make the world go round. Words entertain. Words spread information. Words build relationships. You don't need a college education to use words effectively. It's all in the way you tell your story.
Here are six simple strategies to craft compelling, clear and concise reviews, recipes and how-to articles.
Get Right to the Point
Capture your reader's attention in the first sentence. Starting a story with a quick and striking statement of fact can be very effective. Make this first sentence simple, direct and brief. Readers will stick around to read your story when you tell them the central and vital fact of your story at the very beginning.
Put Your Best Foot Forward
Phrases and word choices can lure a reader in or turn a reader away from a story. Statements that distract a reader, phrases that are trite and word meanings that are unclear are sure-fire ways to keep an audience from reading a story to the ending.
Here are a few tricks for writing a strong story introduction:
- Avoid beginning a story by asking your readers an "If" statement. When a reader is asked, "If you were...?" or "How would you like it if...?" the reader's mind will want to answer the question and will forget to finish the story.
- Find creative ways to begin stories and paragraphs. Using "a," "an" or "the" as the first word in a story or paragraph isn't very creative. Choose a word that is virile, a word that shows action.
- Don't start with a time or date. Whether something occurred today or yesterday doesn't really matter. There are other things to be said which are more important.
Keep It Simple
Fancy words and phrases that require a dictionary can be a turn-off for some readers. Use common words and short sentences. Remember, you are writing for your readers and for your reader's enjoyment.
Always tell the truth in the stories you write. Don't exaggerate. Don't distort the facts. Just tell the truth, the plain truth.
Interview Interesting People
Adding another person's point of view, telling another person's tale or validating your story with an expert quote creates interest. Using quotes from others brightens up a story and gives it life.
Reveal Your Sources
Anonymous interviews, general statements, inferences and implied accusations weaken a story and cause a writer to lose credibility. Every fact and every expert statement must be cited. Tell readers where you found your expert quotes, statistics and factual information.
I hope these tips have helped you recycle your inner editor so that you can create compelling stories that readers will want to share with their friends.
Until next week,