- the most important sentence in any essay or story is the first one. First sentence induces the reader to go to the second and so on – until the reader is hooked. This is the lead.
- How long should it be? No pat answer. But beware that readers want to know very soon what’s in it for them.
- The lead must do real work: details that tell the reader why the piece was written and why he or she ought to read it. But don’t dwell on the reason. Give the reader a little more.
- Continue to build. Every paragraph should amplify the one before.
- the perfect ending should take your readers slightly by surprise and yet seem right.
- one rule for the nonfiction writer: when you’re ready to stop, stop. If you have presented all the facts and made the point you want to make, look for the exit.
- A few sentences should wrap things up. They should encapsulate the idea of the piece and conclude with a sentence that jolts us with fitness or unexpectedness.
- One thing you can do is to bring the story full circle. The sense of symmetry is gratifying to the reader.
- Another thing to do is to use a quotation. Look through your notes and find some remark that has a sense of finality or it’s funny or unexpected.
CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP
Open to all genres - writing and feedback in a relaxed and encouraging atmosphere
Starts Tuesday September 9 - 6 to 8 pm - every other week - 6 sessions
Location: Lincoln Park (write for exact address) - free street parking