LEADS Or, how to grab your reader’s attention so he/she keeps reading all the way to the end.
What is one of the things that draws you into an article, a story, a book, a play, a speech, a TV show, or a movie? By the first few scenes, lines or chapters we know if we want to keep reading or not. There are a few different ways we can draw our readers into our writing just by how we begin. These are called LEADS. Please write the type and a brief description of each in your Journal. Label it LEADS.
TYPICAL It was a day at the end of June, 1984. My whole family, including my mom, dad, brother, and I were at our cabin on Rangeley Lake. We arrived the night before at 10:00, so it was dark when we got there and unpacked. The next morning when I was eating breakfast, my dad started yelling for me from down at the dock at the top of his lungs about some car in the lake.
ACTION:A character doing something I ran down to our dock as fast as my legs could carry me, my feet pounding away on the old wood, hurrying me toward the sound of my dad’s panicked voice. “Scott!” he hollered again. “Coming, dad!” I gasped, and picked up my speed.
IMAGERYPaint a vivid picture to draw in reader I gazed out at Rangeley Lake …
DIALOGUEA character or characters saying something “Scott! Get down here on the double!” my father hollered. “Dad?” I hollered back. “Where are you?” I was sitting at the kitchen table eating breakfast our first morning at Rangeley Lake Camp, and from someplace outside my dad was calling for me. “Scott! Come quick. You ‘re not going to believe this,” dad’s voice urged me. I gulped down my milk, pushed away from the table and bolted out the door, slamming the broken screen door behind me.
REACTION:A character Thinking about something I couldn’t imagine what my father could be hollering about already at 7:00 in the morning. I thought hard and fast about what I might have done to get him so riled up. Had he found out about the cigarettes I’d hidden in my knapsack? Or the way I’d talked to my mother the night before, when we got to Camp and she’d asked me to help unpack the car? Before I could consider a third possibility my dad’s voice shattered my thoughts. “Scott! Move it! You’re not going to believe this!”
TOPICAL/SYMBOLIC EXAMPLE:An idea or theme that relates to yours • The ancient Greek potters were skilled craftsman. They created ornate lamps, jars, tiles, vases, and cups with the simplest materials from the earth and a small man-made kiln. Archaeologists today value these pieces of pottery as priceless works of art. I value the flower pot my mother gave me when I was 5.
Give it a go yourself Choose two of the methods used above to create alternate leads for your personal narrative. Please write these in your Journal.