Compel Training 101 Session 2

Empty cookbookI have to admit that while I have had the desire to write for many years I have no formal writing experience and I’ve never taken any creative writing courses. What I do have is a passion to learn and a desire to string wonderful words together into beautiful images that you my readers can see in your mind and feel as if you are right there in the moment.

Recently I joined Compel Training  and am learning so much about the craft of writing. I hope to post a tidbit of valuable information from each teaching I view.

The most recent teaching I watched was how one author does some pre-work before she begins writing by asking herself these questions:

  • Who am I writing to?
    • While we may want to reach a wide and varied audience, who is that one person you really want to reach? This helps to keep us focused on our topic.
  • Is there a specific situation, problem or idea I want to address?
    • Choose one topic and stick to that.
  • What is the practical application?
    • How can my readers apply what I have to say to their life?

After the pre-work move to the crucial first sentence which should be a sentence that draws your readers in and causes them to want to read your words. The following are some crucial first sentence guidelines.

  • Is my first sentence on point?
  • Don’t get off topic.
  • Don’t make it all about me.
  • Don’t send your readers to a buffet line by giving  your reader too many things to think about.
  • Don’t cause your reader to lose hope.

Finally, here are some examples of crucial first sentences.

  • Admission of your own failure.
    • When I left for work this morning I forgot to turn the crockpot on. Surprise! Dinner wasn’t ready.
  • A question that draws others in.
  • A surprising statistic.
  • A counterintuitive thought.
  • An invitation to imagine.

I hope you have found these thoughts and ideas helpful!

 

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