Enchant me or I’ll leave!

Book cover "Scaramouche" by Rafael Sabatini, photograph by AdS
Book cover “Scaramouche” by Rafael Sabatini, photograph by AdS

The first sentence of a book is said to be the most crucial one. Either it draws the reader in or not. I heard of writers who left the first sentence until they had their first draft complete. Then they would reflect and write that first sentence with the completed story in mind.

Does this also count for blogging?

What draws a reader or fellow blogger into your post? Is it the title or the first sentence? Many will probably say that the title is more important as that is what circles around social media.

If so, then your title should reflect the result which you wish to achieve and the post’s body would describe how you reached that result. For example, the blog title “How to write a killer post” would attract your attention and then in the post you will read how to write successfully.

With a book (and a movie for that matter), I agree that the reader/viewer’s attention must be grabbed immediately. If a movie does not draw me in within the first 10-15 minutes I tend to regret sitting down to watch and it is all downhill from there.

If a book does not enchant me within three chapters I get impatient, restless, and start to peek at my reading pile to see what else is there.

In the picture, you see Rafael Sabatini’s “Scaramouche.” The first sentence is “He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.” He kept my attention.

How do you write your blog posts? Do you concentrate on the body text first and add a title later? Or, do you have a title in mind and then fill in the details in the body text?

Last, here is a post from the American Book Review with 100 best first novel lines. Just as inspiration. Don’t copy them but let them simmer in your brain until you find yours based on the post you are working on.

Happy Blogging!

4 thoughts on “Enchant me or I’ll leave!

  1. hi alice; this is my first time to comment on one of your posts. I like how you spend more of the post getting us to think about how we are doing it and sharing with you so we can get better. i used to write my titles first. they turned out to be functional and dull. after a few friends wrote posts about writing better titles i switched to writing the post first. i now spend some time really thinking of what the post is about and a title that wil make people want to click the link when they see it on twitter face book linked in or their email inbox. my last post i really nailed it. the post was about my progress from being afraid to sing in public to now singing for my youtube videos where anyone can hear. also i talked about how people say i can change anything else but don’t remove the singing. since i am also a coach focusing on people’s big goals and dreams and how they get there i went with the following title. I called it why i sing and how i can help you free the song in your heart. actually got a couple of comments on just the title. so will definitely continue this practice. thanks for sharing, max

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