8 Ways of Grabbing Your Reader from the First Sentence, Pt. 3 of 3

In which the Octopus provides tips 6 through 8 and a concluding statement.

Our final installment will feature the last three ways of grabbing your reader from the first sentence.  Of course there are probably many more in the world worth using but I sincerely hope that these articles have given you some new tools to try when starting a new project.  Without further ado, my inklings, I give you the last of our list.
6.  Blunt Force Introduction:

“The Landon sisters looked as stately as ever in their matching coffins.”

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8 Ways of Grabbing Your Reader from the First Sentence, Pt. 2 of 3

In which the Octopus offers Tips 3 through 5

Welcome back, my inklings.  On March 26th, we started a discussion about how to grab your reader from the first sentence of your story.  Today we’ll continue with a few more methods designed to intrigue and excite your reader.

Note: If not otherwise attributed, any example “first sentence” is my own creation provided only to prove concept.  I may eventually revisit these sample first sentences and turn them into full stories.

3. The Contradiction:

“It was only after my grandfather died that he really began to talk to me.”

Often a contradictory statement, the reader is propositioned with an intriguing juxtaposition of concepts that they can only make sense of if they keep reading.  Continue reading

8 Ways of Grabbing Your Reader from the First Sentence, Pt. 1 of 3

In which the Octopus provides an Introduction and Tips 1 and 2

The mythical first sentence; for your book, it is the phrase that launches one hundred thousand words.  For your reader, it’s almost like your book’s pick up line.  You’re trying to inspire the reader into getting into a serious relationship with your story.  This is about more than just making a good first impression.

The first sentence is sometimes your only chance to snatch up a potential reader’s interest and propel them headlong into your story.  Write a great one and your reader will dive in and not look back.  Write a bad one and, well…take a look at this: Continue reading

Consistent Motivations Make Fake People Real

https://rjvchristensen.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/octopus-reading2.jpg?w=700Readers can be a fickle bunch.  They will believe whatever an author says about the story unless their suspension of disbelief is strained too far.  We have to respect readers because of what they bring to the story even while we’re manipulating their emotions in order to make the story impactful for them.  The writing is really only one half of the endeavor.
We writers need an audience to take our characters and bring them to life in their imaginations.  The reader is willing to take our story and believe it emotionally, if only while they’re reading, unless they hit a snag.  Continue reading