Catching the Reader's Attention!


Kennedy, ''Short Stories: 10 Tips'' -- Jerz: EL150 (Intro to Literary Study)

"In today's fast-moving world, the first sentence of your short story should catch your reader's attention with the unusal, the unexpected, an action, or a conflict."

This was an interesting quote because I always like when a story begins with an attention grabber. It makes me want to keep reading because of suspense or some conflict. The example that follows this quote use great detail to express how this neighbor practices "scream therapy." This makes the reader want to keep reading on because it makes you wonder what will happen next. This is a good way to begin a paper because it can be very interesting for the reader.


I think this rule is actually applicable for all stories. I mean, think of some of the books you've read. "A Series of Unfortunate Events" pops into my mind right away, because what's more interesting than having the narractor tell you right off the bat not to read this book? (It's been a while since I've read those, in case this isn't quite how the book opens. I think it's the general idea of it, though, if memory serves me.) If a book plans to get read, it has to catch the readers attention immediately, because the public isn't going to buy something that looks boring.

I also like when a story is exciting at the beginning. If nothing happens early on, I tend to lose interest in the story. After reading A is for Alibi, I wanted to continue reading Sue Grafton's series, but B is for Burglar was a stinker in my eyes. It didn't catch my attention early on in the story, and that was a HUGE turn off.

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This page contains a single entry by Derek Tickle published on February 19, 2007 9:50 PM.

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