Writers (of fiction, non-fiction, online, print, and so on) know that beginnings are important. Without the right beginning, the chance for retaining a reader declines rapidly.
So, what type of beginning is best? There’s no perfect answer, of course, but do you have a habit of starting stories, articles, or blog posts the same way? If so, or if you’re unsure, now is a good time to evaluate your writing and see if there’s a way to refresh your beginnings.
Exercise: Pull out a few stories, articles, or blog posts you’ve written recently. Note how you started them. Did they start with the same part of speech? Do you lean on nouns, verbs, pronouns, or adjectives every time?
If not, you already have variety in your beginnings. Bravo!
But if you notice a tendency to open with a certain part of speech (I favor starting with ‘The’), consider trying something new with the next piece you write.
Here are some examples of ways to start a sentence:
- Adjective – Bright lights can show more than you want seen.
- Article – The best way to manage your time is to schedule it.
- Adverb – Sometimes clients know what they want, but not what they need.
- Conjunction – But you may not find the answers if you don’t ask the questions.
- Gerund - Crossing your arms is a sign of disagreement.
- Noun - Jess made her way to the stage to accept her award.
- Preposition - On the ropes, the boxer glanced at his girlfriend and winked.
- Pronoun - She bought the antique clock after taking its measurements.
- Verb - Start now and celebrate the milestones.
Practice opening your sentences in different ways to see if anything new works for you.
Give it a shot, there’s nothing to lose, and only refreshed writing to gain.
Lisa J. Jackson loves working with words in her own work and with businesses. She also loves New Hampshire and is focused on completing several 5Ks in 2013 as a way to get off the couch consistently. You can connect with her on LinkedIn, Biznik, Facebook, and Twitter.