Friday, October 31, 2014

Figure Skating and Writing

I touched on this topic before. Today I look at it from another angle.

When a figure skater takes the ice, she wants to give a good performance. However, she doesn't nail her first jump that sets the tone for the whole program. She, of course, continues to either fight to pull it together or let it fall apart for various reasons. (Which is unfortunate.) The audience watches her till the end of her skate and applaud.

As a writer, though, we don't have that kind of luxury. I call it luxury because once a reader picks up a book and reads, if the story and/or writing fails to hook her, she will put down the book and go text-messaging friends, or Googling the Internet, or "working" on her iPhone. Those are a few of activities that are competing with people's attention, readers included.

After missing a jump, a figure skater can go on with her performance. After losing a reader's interest, we will lose her forever. So, hook the reader from beginning to end.

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