One of the best responses I can get as a writer is to know when my writing has energy. At the writing retreat, someone gave me this advice about the lead of my YA project. After giving myself another talking-to about being willing to revise (even if I've already revised six thousand times), I tackled the lead again.
I pulled a few books off my mentor text shelf...
|This week's book stack -- mentors for writing strong leads.|
I wanted to make sure they were diverse titles, because I wanted to study the leads. I read a few pages of each and began to notice some techniques to writing an engaging lead. I was reminded of all kinds of things I already knew about writing leads. Things like...
- Make the reader care about the character.
- Don't show all of your cards -- make the reader wonder and ask a few questions.
- Establish a mood and make it wrap around your reader.
- Good writing matters. Craft well. Make the words dance.
The leads of all of these were effective, because even though I've read them all several times, I couldn't stop reading after just a few pages. Yep, I've been up into the wee-morning hours reading these stories that captured me the first time and continue to do so each time I open the covers.