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Ten Ways to Turn a Trashy Introduction Into Gold

Sometimes it’s tough to get started on a writing project. Much like an artist, the hardest part can often be stating what you want to say and not scrapping every idea into the dustpan. I used to love drawing, and when it came to starting new projects I was particularly devout. Every idea was a good one, and every false line became a source of inspiration to turn my ''destroyed'' creation into something else. In writing's case, I remain reluctant. That's why I want to do up a list, not just for myself, but for everyone, to show the ways an introduction can be made without tossing it and starting afresh. When the coffee doesn’t help, and the feedback isn’t so precise, here are some tips on how to keep your introduction something new and sparkly.

1. Cut to the chase.

Are you over-delivering? Or do your words just fuff around too much? Look back at what you've written and think to yourself if you really need every single sentence, or if some can just be removed or refitted. People will find any reason to skip. So, make sure you say what you need to say and don't prolong it.

2. Find the spotlight and use it.

You've got your target, but is your spotlight on it? This is a common chaos delivered by writers when getting involved with their scene, especially one that has some emotional weight to it. Focus on what's happening (or happened) and describe it. Don't ponder on it, but action it instead.

3. Is dialogue better?

Ever read a book and found yourself brushing over to the dialogue? Perhaps your scene would be better read the same. Decide if it could be said better in speech, and run with it if so.

4. Mix up your syntax.

Sometimes what holds a piece of writing back is its blandness. Give it flow. Make the readers involved. If your writing reads too much the same, either choppy or droning, mix it up and give it some life.

5. Cut the scene.

Sometimes an introduction reads poor because it has nothing to add as a preceding companion to your main body of writing. Especially in first drafts of creative writing, an introduction is clumsily used to get the writer thinking rather than the readers themselves.

6. Are you trying too hard?

It feels like a slap to get this feedback, but sometimes it's true. Too much effort, whether it be in editing or writing, can make your writing come across unnatural and stripped bare of its natural voice.

7. Clear up the clichés.

Cliches have no room in enjoyable writing. If someone wants to read your work, it's because it has something interesting to say. And cliches are nothing new.

8. Find a hook and deliver it.

What makes your story interesting? And what'll get readers wanting to read past the first page? Find that hook and punch it into your introduction. Remember: a publisher is looking for every reason not to choose your sent-in work --- so give them something they won't want to put down.

9. Give it a setting.

You know what gets a reader involved? Being involved. Create a picture. Give it scene enough to taste. Much like travel writing informs: make your setting as vividly written as possible so that the reader can see what you describe.

10. Make some promises (and later deliver them).

Much like a hook, except you are conveying it'll be revealed later on. What does your story anticipate? Allude and then continue.

For more tips on writing, you can visit blogs like Louise Allan's 'On Writing', Mandy Wallace's 'Write or Die', or Grammar Girl.


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