Writing Leads Ways to Lift the Level of your Writing
What is the most boring way you could begin a literary essay? In this essay, I will tell you about… Boring…Boring…Boring!
What is a lead? A lead is the beginning of your story.
A good lead catches the reader’s attention, making the reader want to read on. It also makes the writer want to write more.
Different Types of Leads • Question Lead • Talking Lead--Dialogue • Set-up Lead • Snapshot Lead
Talking Lead Start with a line or two of dialogue.
Example of a Talking Lead for “Just a Pigeon”: “He spends his money on a pigeon.” That’s exactly what Terrance does. The short story, “Just a Pigeon” by Dennis Brindell Bradin is about a young boy that finds a wounded pigeon. When most people would just walk away, Terrance decides to nurse the bird back to health. Throughout the story, Terrance’s actions demonstrate that he is a kind and sensitive individual.
Question Lead Draw your reader in with a question.
Set-Up Lead Set up the action for the entire story in a few sentences.
When writing a Set-up Lead for Writing Assignment #1, think about how the character changes from the beginning to the end of the book. Next, think about a saying that matches the character’s change or create a saying that identifies with the character that you could use as the Set-up Lead. FIRST: Think about how your character changes: A character in a book starts off by wanting to be rich and then wins the lottery. However, by winning the money, people treat him differently, and they hang around him only for his money. He changes, because he realized that he was happier having no money and being around the people that loved him. NEXT: Think of a saying that could be used as a Set-up Lead: In life, you should be careful what you wish for because it may come true.
Another Example FIRST: Think about how your character changes: A character in a book starts off by wanting to fit into a group. At first, he tries, but he doesn’t succeed. He tries and tries again. After all of his hard work and effort, he is able to fit into the group. NEXT: Think of a saying that could be used as a Set-up Lead: Keep trying until you succeed! If you don’t succeed, you should try and try again.
You Try: Independent Practice: FIRST: Think about how the character changes: At the beginning of a book, a character doesn’t want to do a school project with one of the kids in his class because the girl looks and acts different, and she isn’t part of the “in crowd.” By the end of the book, the main character is best friends with the girl, she really saves the project, and the two of them earned an A on the project. NEXT: Think of a saying that could be used as a Set-up Lead
Snapshot Lead Create a picture of the setting or a character in the reader’s mind.