I’ve always loved the slogan: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression!”Nothing could be truer when submitting an article or story to an editor.  What sells a feature article?   Interesting content of course, but more important, instant appeal.   Readers have to be grabbed – to really want to read our work.

Next time you are in an airport terminal, railway station or large magazine shop, observe the customers.  See how they skim through a magazine,  flipping rapidly through the pages, pausing only when something grabs their attention.

Their roving eyes are caught by titles and illustrations. Once they pause, they will probably glance  at the opening lines.  If those first words interest them, they will probably want to read on.  So as a writer, you have those first three or four lines to grab their attention.   And remember, the first reader whose attention you want to grab, is the editor.

For maximum impact,  the opening paragraph should be about half the average length.  You have about 25 – 30 words to grab the reader.  Here are some hooks you could try:

A provocative question.

A simple, but interesting, statement.

A relevant quotation.

A shocker, or an anecdote.

All of the above are effective.  Start your next article with one of them.  It works for me!

My latest novel “Searching for Sarah” is available, direct from me at discount price.

Contact me at:  I am always glad to hear your comments, and willing to help you with any of your writing problems.  Happy writing!






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