“Intros and Hooks” Challenge

Dandruff shampoo commercials don’t lie: you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Your opening lines are your first chance to hook your readers — or lose them. Nowhere is this truer than on the internet, where we make instant decisions about where to click. Make sure people stick around by crafting a compelling opening. Ask yourself:

  • What’s the question I’m trying to answer with this piece of writing?
  • Is my angle evident in the introduction?
  • Have I buried the real point of the story?
  • Am I giving away too much of what’s to come?

At the heart of any piece of writing, fiction or nonfiction, is a question the author is trying to answer. Identifying your question and asking it in a unique way creates an introduction that gives readers a strong sense of who you are, while including relevant, limited details piques their interest.

On the resource page, go in-depth with eight ways to craft a compelling introduction, and give them a try with your own pieces. Remember: if you decide to publish something, use the tag #shapingyourstory to make it easier for other participants to find you — or visit someone else, and leave a supportive comment!

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