Day 2 in San Francisco: Quick Tips for Great Story Starters
Free Report #2 from The Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop in San Francisco, CA
To grab your reader’s attention, you need a compelling lead—something that draws your reader in.
Yet when you’re just starting out as a writer, it can be difficult to know where to begin—unless you have a cheat sheet, that is. And that’s exactly what Jen Stevens delivered today…
Allison here again, coming to you live from the Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop in San Francisco. Today, attendees had a chance to start penning their own travel articles and receive individual critiques from our expert editor instructors.
Jen told everybody: Think about your favorite “image” or experience from a trip. Ask yourself, what’s the “nugget” that encapsulates this place and your perception of it?
Consider how you answer when a friend asks you, “How was your vacation?” When you say, “It was great. In fact, one night we…”
That “one night we” stuff… there’s quite likely a lead in there.
Jen said there are hundreds—maybe thousands—of ways to get into a story. But she shared four sure-fire openers, tried-and-true leads that’ll help you entice a reader and get your story off in a positive direction. For story starters, you could:
- Tell a relevant story
- Open mid-conversation or action
- Use a stunning statistic
- Paint a picture with a vivid description
Here’s an example from Jean Flitcroft, which appeared in International Living. (Jean, incidentally, is a workshop graduate from a few years back!) She writes…
I ALWAYS SWORE I WOULD NEVER SKYDIVE
By Jean Flitcroft
International Living, July 2010
After we fell 7,000 feet my instructor casually pointed out his new house on the lakeshore below. I had been hitched to Pete in a haze of terror, dangling from the plane at 12,000 feet, but the exhilaration of the jump and the breathtaking view made up for it.
As Jen says, Jean “drops” you right into the middle of the action… drawing you into the text from the get-go. She could have started with something like, “Skydiving in New Zealand isn’t as scary as you might think.” But it wouldn’t have been nearly as compelling.
Instead, pick your “best” moment from a trip. Give the reader a look at the feel of the place. “Take” him there. Don’t just tell him what it’s like.
I’ll be back tomorrow to give you more insider tips to help you get on your way and start turning your travels into income.
Great Escape Publishing
Official Ultimate Travel Writers Workshop Spy
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]