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Writing Leads

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  1. Writing Leads

  2. What is a lead? • A lead is the beginning of your story. • It is also called the hook because it should hook the reader and reel them into your story.

  3. A good lead catches the reader’s attention, making them want to read on. It also makes the writer want to write more.

  4. Different Types of Leads • Set-up Lead • Snapshot Lead • Ba-Da-Bing • Dialogue • Internal Monologue • Character Introducing Themselves • Character Summarizing the Story • Background Information • Description • Near the Problem

  5. Set-Up the Lead • Set up the action for the entire story in a few sentences.

  6. Snap Shot Lead • Create a picture of the setting or a character in the reader’s mind.

  7. Near the Problem • What is wrong or what happened? Example: The python habitat was empty. It took a minute for it to sink in. Somewhere in Billy’s house, a 10-foot python was loose, and Billy didn’t know where it was.

  8. Ba-Da-Bing Example: I casually walked into my room one evening while my parents were out to dinner and a movie to check on my pet python. As I entered the room, I laid my eyes on an empty snake tank. “Oh no! How did he get out?” I asked myself.

  9. Ba-Da-Bing Example: I casually walked into my room one evening while my parents were out to dinner and a movie to check on my pet python. As I entered the room, I laid my eyes on an empty snake tank. “Oh no! How did he get out?” I asked myself. BA = Where you WENT

  10. Ba-Da-Bing Example: I casually walked into my room one evening while my parents were out to dinner and a movie to check on my pet python. As I entered the room, I laid my eyes on an empty snake tank. “Oh no! How did he get out?” I asked myself. DA = What you SAW

  11. Ba-Da-Bing Example: I casually walked into my room one evening while my parents were out to dinner and a movie to check on my pet python. As I entered the room, I laid my eyes on an empty snake tank. “Oh no! How did he get out?” I asked myself. BING = What you THOUGHT

  12. Dialogue Start with a line or two of dialogue. Dialogue is when someone is talking. Be sure to use beginning and ending quotation marks. Example: “Eeeeeek! It’s a snake. There’s a snake loose in here.” Billy heard his baby sitter’s screams downstairs as he looked under his bed for his pet python.

  13. Internal Monologue • The author is speaking to himself/herself. Example: There’s no way, Billy thought, that his snake could have escaped from his room. He just had to be in there somewhere. Just then, the screaming started downstairs.

  14. Character Summarizing the Story • Give a brief synopsis of what the story is going to be about, but be sure to leave the reader wanting more. Example: I suppose I should have been more careful with my snake. I just never realized he could cause such trouble if he got loose. He did get loose, and it turned out to be the biggest event that has ever happened on my street.

  15. Background Information • A history of what led up to the event. Example: Most people are afraid of snakes. But as long as Billy could remember, he had loved them. That’s why he asked for a python when his father offered to reward him for good grades.

  16. Description • Use vivid verbs, adjectives, and adverbs to describe an event. • REMEMBER: SHOW DON’T TELL!!!!!! Example: A police cruiser pulled into Billy’s driveway with its lights flashing and its siren blaring. Paramedics in white uniforms sprinted up the driveway to help the babysitter, still screaming with her face covered in blood after she crashed through a plate glass window.

  17. DONOT start your lead with: • A question • A noise • I was… (telling, not showing) • Hi! My name is… • I am going to tell you… • My story is about…

  18. Remember You only have one opportunity to “hook” the reader. Experiment with leads when writing your introduction. The first try isn’t always the best.