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Do Your Introductions Dazzle and Sizzle?

Updated on May 12, 2015

A Comment That Left Me Speechless

Maybe six months ago I wrote another article about introductions and how important I feel they are. I mentioned the Ten Second Rule, how, as a writer, you have about ten seconds to dazzle your reading audience. If the dazzle is lacking then the readers will go elsewhere.

One of my followers mentioned that my rule is not always true. She stated that people who do an online search for a recipe or even a craft article couldn't care less how well the article is written or how fascinating the introduction is; all they want is the damned recipe.

And you know what? She was correct. As much as it pains me to admit it, she was right on. The average online seeker of truth has the attention span of a fruit fly. I said “average,” so please don’t get in a snit. The fact is that someone looking for a recipe for meatloaf couldn't care less how interesting the introduction is; hell, they don’t even care if there is an introduction.

I hate that fact but there you go! The reality of online web searches in black and white, no frills, just the facts, Jack, and nothing more, please.

So this article is not for those of you who write recipe articles. It’s not for those of you who write “how to” articles or even craft articles. This one is for those of you who write novels, non-fiction books, and articles with some serious meat in them. It is not for vegetarians.

An extension of the Mailbag....all writers are welcome
An extension of the Mailbag....all writers are welcome | Source

Speaking from My Own Experience

I’m a busy guy. I’m sure most of you are as well. I have a limited amount of time to devote to reading. When I go to the library on Saturday I am in search of entertainment and I don’t want my time wasted on pablum-for-the-easily-entertained.

I head to the mystery section and I start grabbing books that look like they might be interesting. I read the jacket cover for a synopsis and then I read the first page. If I’m not sold by then the book goes back on the shelf, and it’s amazing how many of those books do not entertain me and do not hook me in the first page.

Writers need to embrace this simple truth: people are busy and it is the writer’s job to hook the reader quickly. Otherwise you will lose them.

The introduction is the beginning of a journey you wish to take the reader on
The introduction is the beginning of a journey you wish to take the reader on | Source

So How Do You Do That?

When writing a novel, it is crucial that you understand the basic structure of a novel. That may seem like a “duh” statement, but I am surprised how many writers don’t understand this.

It all begins with the “inciting incident.” The inciting incident is the first sign of trouble for the protagonist. It is the gasoline that fuels the rest of the book and sets the plot in motion.

However, very few novels dive right in with the inciting incident. Usually the protagonist does not realize, on the opening page, the problem that will propel the book, so there has to be an initial problem that leads to the main problem. Something related to…something that leads to….some catalyst that gets the reader from Point A to Point B.

And that brings us to the introduction.

I am a big fan of the senses and emotions we all share. I play to them often when writing fiction. I want the reader to immediately feel what I feel or, in the case of fiction, to immediately feel what my characters feel. Let me give you an example of how this works.

I’m going to share with you the introduction to the novel I am currently working on, “Shadows Over Innocence.” Because you won’t be able to read the whole book for some perspective, I’ll give you a brief synopsis of the plot and then show you the introduction.

Quick Synopsis

The protagonist of my book, “Shadows Over Innocence,” is Eli Baker. Eli is a pretty good guy. He volunteers his time working with the homeless and at various food banks. He’s a good friend. He’s trustworthy and loyal. He’s also a vigilante and he has killed five serial rapists and murderers in the past three years.

He has suffered great loss during his life and he is so very tired of the bad guys going unpunished, so he decides he will be the executioner.

The body of a teenager is found. She’s been raped and strangled. Eli is on the case, but he barely begins and another dead teen is discovered.

His investigations eventually uncover a sex-trafficking ring and Eli, with the help of some friends, spends the rest of the book eliminating those who would profit from the misery of others.

Setting the tone with an introduction is crucial
Setting the tone with an introduction is crucial | Source

Now You Are Ready for the Introduction

This is the intro to that book:

I don’t trust good vibrations. I get downright nervous when things are going well because sure as shit it means God (if He does, in fact, exist) is about to pull the rug out from under you. My old man, who had been a veteran cop, always prepared for the worst when the good weather arrived. He said the crazies came out of their burrows when the sun shines. He said when it got really warm, those same crazies would peel off their clothes and inhibitions, get liquored up, and completely ignore societal and moral constraints. Then, he continued, the gutters would flow red and all semblance of order went right out the window.

I wish I could enjoy the beauty of a late summer day without constantly being on guard for the sinister shadows. When you’ve seen too much death, as I have, you tend to expect the worst even when the gentle breezes caress your face. You see young children playing in the park and wonder which of them is being abused. You walk into a crowd and wonder which of them will be violently murdered by year’s end. You drive by a cemetery and hear the whispers of your victims, and I have five who are constantly calling out to me.

So, What Did I Do There?

I didn’t start with a murder. My goal was to establish a dark tone immediately. I want my readers to settle in for an unnerving ride. I want them to understand, from the very beginning, that this is not going to be a trip to Disneyland, but rather a ride through the Dark Side.

Once that has been accomplished it is time to tell the story. What you don’t see in the introduction above is the next section. A teenage girl goes to the mall, supposedly to meet friends and go shopping. What her parents don’t realize, though, is that she is meeting a boy and she is going for a drive with him. She barely knows this boy. He is older, and they have been texting each other for several weeks.

When she doesn’t return home by midnight, her parents, now frantic, notify the police.

The rollercoaster of terror, one any parent would understand, has begun its ride.

All aboard!

The Message Should Be Clear

If you write articles about recipes or travel, ignore 99% of what I just told you.

If you are a novel-writer, I hope you paid attention.

You get one chance! You get one opportunity to capture the attention of your readers.

Don’t waste it!

2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Bobby!

    • the rawspirit profile image

      Robert Morgan 2 years ago from Hutchinson Island, FL - Myrtle Beach, SC - Scottsdale AZ

      Thanks again for the help. I will just focus on writing. Buildingreps also gave me some useful input. Thanks again. You are greatly appreciated.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bobby, it is quite normal for that to happen, but after almost four years I still don't know why it happens. Obviously HP is fine-tuning their algorithms or some such nonsense, or Google is....what I have learned is that these things even out over time and we just have to be patient. Mine went from 98 to 90 in a month's time, then went back to 93 where it has stayed for several months, and I swear I have done nothing differently in that time.

    • the rawspirit profile image

      Robert Morgan 2 years ago from Hutchinson Island, FL - Myrtle Beach, SC - Scottsdale AZ

      Billy is it normal for HubPages to knock you down from a 92 -88 in one day? I have been revising the openings on several of my hubs over the weekend, and they are better than they were. I just went on, and now my score has been reduced to 88. Yikes. Any ideas? Thanks, Bobby

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bobby. I'm glad you found this helpful. My book? The mystery I'm working on? It's been slow for this one, mainly because I'm doing work around the urban farm. I should be done with it by October. Trust me, the world will know when I finish it, but thanks for asking about it.

    • the rawspirit profile image

      Robert Morgan 2 years ago from Hutchinson Island, FL - Myrtle Beach, SC - Scottsdale AZ

      Thanks to you I am understanding the importance of writing from my heart and making sure I have a good introduction, I am in the midst of rewriting all my introductions. Thanks again, Billy, Blessing to you and your loved ones. Bobby

      By the way, have I missed your book?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for your thoughts, frozenink. I appreciate all these visits.

    • frozenink profile image

      frozenink 2 years ago

      I think introductions do really have to be appealing for readers to stay. The importance of proper introductions have been emphasised over and over again (or maybe I've just heard it quite a number of times), but it is really not an easy task, in my opinion, to come up with a brilliant introduction. I like the part especially when you can illustrate a nice intro from your book. I am sure it will be a hit. =)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audrey, you are always so kind with your words. Thank you for that. I truly do appreciate your support and if I've helped you in any way then I'm happy.

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 2 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      I think introductions have importance to articles, but maybe not to recipes. Of course, you read the beginning of a book to see how you like it. Your new book has a compelling opening and would be difficult to put down. In fact, all your books and articles begin with elements that have taught me more about introductions. Thanks for being you - honest teacher and writer. It is a pleasure to read your work. Sharing, Blessings, Audrey

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Love it, Deb! I couldn't say it any better if I wanted to, which I don't. :) Thank you!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I take everything you say to heart and I learn from it. It is al a matter of meat and potatoes, but in order to get the reward, one STILL must dangle a carrot for the right audience. Controversy, anyone?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Yalul.....I love your line about political analysis being fictional. Best wishes to you and thank you for following.

    • yalul profile image

      Yalul 2 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you for this advice. I am a writer, but more on the technical and academic side. I am most impressed with those who can uphold the Ten Second Rule even if they are writing a philosophical theory. I am still working on my fiction writing (that is, if you don't consider political analyses as fictitious) skills, so I really appreciate this.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you bzirkone. I appreciate it.

    • bzirkone profile image

      bzirkone 2 years ago from Kansas

      Good article. Saving your tips to read more in depth later.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well Deb Dey, thank you for stopping by, and welcome to HP.

    • Deb Dey Ermand profile image

      Deb Dey Ermand 2 years ago

      First day on Hub. Went exploring and yours is the first article I have read. Thanks,

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Shyron, for taking the time to stop by. I appreciate it.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago from Texas

      Bill, I agree with you, I have no time but, will be back to read every word.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Genna but I don't think for a second that you frazzle and fizzle. LOL You are very kind and I appreciate you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Lawrence, I'm glad you think so. My son sure doesn't. LOL Thank you!

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Dazzle and sizzle? I only wish they did. With me, it’s too often more like frazzle and fizzle. “The hook.” So true, Bill! That sought-after holy grail; the “gotcha” we aspire to yet somehow manages to elude us. This article is a terrific guide for us all. And I so look forward to reading, “Shadows Over Innocence.”

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      Let's see now. A thousand hubs. Three novels I think it might be worth listening to you.

      Lawrence

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      if you want the readers to continue, Heidi, it would be a good idea, yes!

      Happy Tuesday to you and thanks as always.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Lawrence. I totally agree, but what do I know? :)

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      And the INciting incident should probably be a most EXciting one, too? :) Happy Tuesday!

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      Awesome hub. I totally agree with you on the introduction. I'd also go so far as to say this applies to our hubs. If we don't grab the readers attention in the first paragraph they'll move on and probably not come back.

      Awesome

      Lawrence

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'll try, Sis, but it's getting harder and harder. Who would have believed I'd ever be 66 years old? Not me. I still think someone is playing a joke on me.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      No problem bro....I'll mail it to Bev anonymously, after I blow it up to an 11X14.

      (BTW....You "clean up" nicely, just like Ma & Daddy taught us bro....try to keep the senior moments down to a minimum.)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh yes, Sis! You got it good! LOL Isn't it the truth, though? That's how it always was for me...instant attraction and my heart rose to my throat before a word was spoken. Now I feel that way every single day with Bev.....BEV, DID YOU READ THAT???????

      Gotta make points wherever possible, Sis.

      Thanks dear friend...for the email as well.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      OK bro....So hopefully I GOT this now.....It's like meeting someone "new" in our younger days.....Upon the intro, the first Hello, if our eyes don't flicker, heart doesn't flip, no bells in our head nor does our tummy feel "butterflies".....just turn around and keep walking. There's a winner just ahead. Right? I got it, right Coach?? Damn you're GOOD!

      Up+++ pinned & tweeted

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Akriti!

    • Akriti Mattu profile image

      Akriti Mattu 2 years ago from Shimla, India

      This is a thoughtful post. Thanks for the good advice :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, it is a hard pill for me so swallow, but you are correct in what you say. My old English teacher must be rolling in his grave right now. LOL

      Happy Tuesday dear friend, and blessings always

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for your thoughts, Kalinin! It's always good to see you here. You are welcome any old day.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      LOL, bless your heart, Bill. Well, actually it is the photo that grabs us initially, then how many ingredients and how easy or not. Shoot, listen to me, with my long stories and a recipe going on here of late ...hahaha that Google just loves the titles on those NOT : ) It's hard to please everyone.

      You do know where your strengths lie for sure.

      Peace and blessings this Monday night. Now, off to see what mail you have received in today's Mailbag Monday.

    • kalinin1158 profile image

      Lana ZK 2 years ago from California

      I think your follower-friend is right, but only about recipes and other "how-to" articles. When people are looking for specific information, I agree, it probably doesn't matter how jazzy your introduction is (although it doesn't hurt). But with something slightly less specific and more personal, like general articles, or fiction, or autobiographical material, and especially if you want to persuade and dazzle, I agree with Mel, it's still of paramount importance how you begin your piece. Always a great read, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dora. I appreciate it. Best wishes for a wonderful week ahead.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      An important expansion on that Ten Second Rule, and a good example in your introduction to your novel. Thanks again!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for your thought, Faith! I'll leave the recipes to someone else. I know where my strengths lie. :)

      Happy Monday dear friend

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate it, Tim! Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suhail, thanks for the tip. I've never heard of that writer but I will try him out.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mel, one day I'm going back to San Diego, and we'll have lunch and laugh our asses off. You are a man who has a similar sense of humor as me and I love it. Thanks for the laugh and the touch of truth.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Sizzle and dazzle are surely to entice one to continue reading!

      I am glad your friend was honest with you about the recipes. Yes, those of us who look for recipes, well, in my case, I look at the ingredients right away, and if too many, forget it. Then the time it takes to prepare it. We don't want to read a dazzling intro to a recipe for sure, and we will know if it is for us in about 10 seconds too.

      You have certainly accomplished the dark tone in your novel from the start.

      Peace and blessings for a great week ahead.

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 2 years ago from Escondido, CA

      Thanks Bill . . . listened to intently :-)

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 2 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Bill,

      Priceless tips and free of cost! I will take them anytime.

      I have recently gotten into reading mystery murder books, thanks to a birds loving writer Steve Burrows. He wrote his first titled, 'A siege of bitterns' and his second 'A pitying of doves' is slated for coming in June. I will surely read yours as well. It seems to have a story to my complete taste.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      The day you start writing recipes, my friend, is the day I start writing a fashion column. That's a completely different species of drones that are being catered to there and no, they are probably not interested in introductions. They aren't interested in good writing at all. But in this day of a mega million things to choose from on the Internet attention is a scarce resource that has to be grabbed, and for the minority percentage of intelligent readers that would be interested in what you have to write you have to grab them quickly. Your opening paragraph there would definitely keep me reading. Great hub!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I'm never heard of that book, but rest assured I won't be reading it. LOL Thanks for the warning.

      Happy MOther's Day to you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Irish! "The King of Hooks." I can live with that quite nicely.

      New babies on our mini-farm....great time of life for me. :)

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Molly! I hope you do write a hub about it...and thanks for letting me know the phrasing was unclear.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alicia. I appreciate it very much.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Vellur. I'm going to make it the best novel I can write. After that it is up to the gods whether it sells or not.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Cyndi10. I aim to please and it's nice to know others find these articles useful.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Nadine. I had this lesson drilled into me very early on and I've never forgotten it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Venkatachari M. I appreciate your kind words. I hope you had a wonderful weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great point, Brian. Thanks for adding that very valid statement. The entire tone of the book is set in the first few pages. Great thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, Clive, and I'm actually one of those online searches...just tel me "how to" and let me move on to the next project. :) Thanks for your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Word55. I always enjoy hearing the thoughts of other writers. Blessings to you today and always.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      I once read a book called "Giles Goat Boy"...the title should have been enough to put me off, but no, I wanted to read it. I kept reading thinking it would get better at some point but it never did. If I had read your hub I would have known to run away! I was young when I read it so didn't understand the allegory and have since found out it has a cult following. Oops, I've strayed from my comment. Yes, a good introduction definitely makes one want to read the book!

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 2 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      You really do show hooks at their very best, the king of hooks. Thank you my friend for more reminders and pointers. Hope you have been enjoying your weekend in Olympia. Love to Bev and the Holland brood.

    • Molly Layton profile image

      Molly Layton 2 years ago from Alberta

      Bill, this is yet another useful, inteligently-written hub. The intro for this hub was full of good information, as it should. The line "I don’t trust good vibrations." is also a strong first line. If I saw that book on the shelves, I would probably buy it.

      What you said about the inciting incident made me think. Partially, that was because your phrasing felt a little unclear. I felt like I had to spend a long time matching the nouns. Once I had put together the meaning, I realized just how often novelists use smaller events to lead to the inciting incident. You're right!

      Now I kind of want to share the intro to the project I'm working on. Maybe I'll write a Hub about it.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      The introduction to your novel is very interesting and effective, Bill! Thanks for sharing it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Kathleen. It's always nice to see you. I'm glad you liked my attempt at humor. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Martie and I would be happy to read your first page.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Melissae...I appreciate it my friend.

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      Kathleen Kerswig 2 years ago

      Excellent Hub and useful for sure. I commend you for readily admitting when you are wrong. That is a character trait that many are not willing to share with the general public. Your intro regarding those people searching for recipes was priceless (in my humble opinion). Voted up! Blessings!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 2 years ago from South Africa

      Thanks for reminding me that the first page should be a real hooker, Billy! I am going to send you my first page. Your opinion will determine its success, or failure :)

    • melissae1963 profile image

      Melissa Reese Etheridge 2 years ago from Tennessee, United States

      Super advice. The intro to the novel really hooks. I will share this with my students.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      The introduction must grab the attention of the readers and make them want to read it in a few seconds, I guess. All the best for your novel.

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 2 years ago from Georgia

      You pack so much useful information into your hubs. They are certainly a great resource for writers. It's hard to miss with the information you share with us. Thanks for continuing to share the wisdom.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Again a great reminder. I have aimed to do what you wrote with each first paragraph in my novels in the past but now i must go over my writings of late again to check. Thanks

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      One more great lesson from you. Your writings are so awesome. They are most useful and inspiring to writers like me still learning the ABCDs.

      Your introduction to "Shadows of innocence" is very appealing and dazzling. I wish all your books bring success to you as a famous writer with great audience.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      The opening not only introduces a novel but is the decision at what point in time and space to enter the story, from what POV, in what voice and tone, etc. I have experienced the difficulty of not getting it right.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I did too, Kailey. It's a lesson that was drilled into my meager brain a long, long time ago, and it's one lesson I actually retained. :) Enjoy your weekend, friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You and me both, John. Either they don't understand or they don't care. I hope it's the former.

      Happy weekend, buddy! Have fun!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, I know you do, and it is so apparent that you make the extra effort. Well done my friend and thank you. Enjoy this gorgeous weather we're having.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, thank you! I'm glad someone finds my mind fascinating. :) Enjoy your weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      drbj, is he or isn't he? Good guy or evil? These are questions I'll have to answer after the hook is set.

      Thanks so much!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I know you are, Bill, and this avid reader appreciates it greatly.

      Happy Weekend my friend. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alan, I think my moment of fame is fading with the sunset. LOL

      Great point on the dazzling intro and maintaining tempo...a very yard thing to do for sure.

      I'm glad you didn't have to struggle so to finally get there. Thanks for making the effort.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Flourish, if that's how you saw it then I accomplished exactly what I wanted to accomplish. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ, something like that indeed. You've earned a great weekend....have it, and thanks. :)

      Bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      True points, Larry. Thanks for sharing and for being here. Have a great weekend.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 2 years ago from Nibiru

      Billy, sometimes even the how to articles people pay little attention to the dazzle and sizzle intro. Some will just skim through the long poetic speeches in the article and go smack to the steps. You are right about novel and short stories, there is where you need to dazzle in the first ten seconds. Good Info.

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 2 years ago from New Jersey

      I think this could help a lot of people. I began working on mastering better introductions in college, and continue to improve! I voted up!

    • word55 profile image

      Word 2 years ago from Chicago

      This was cool Bill. There is an exception to every rule. Every good or bad book needs no introduction if the reader is interested in the title alone. The reader may read on until getting to the meat of it. Sometimes an intro may turn the reader off. It all depends. That's why I say there needs to be no set rules unless the author feels the need for an introduction. Anyway, whatever you say, Bill. You're cool with me. Thanks for sharing.

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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      This is good common sense advice Bill. I am just amazed how many writers don't seem to understand it or put it into practice. Thanks.

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      Linda Lum 2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, as you know I write recipe hubs, but I kept reading this anyhow (LOL).

      I DO try to provide an interesting introduction and not just a slam-bam here's the list of ingredients and the how-to. (I will leave it to you to decide if I dazzle).

      Thank you for your guidance to all of us. Today a recipe, maybe tomorrow a short story. (Hope to someday "spread those wings and fly").

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      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Well done, Bill. Thanks for sharing. It is fascinating to watch how your mind works. Best wishes, and thank you again, for keeping us involved in your process, even as you teach, as well!! ;-)

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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      Your intriguing introduction, Bill, tells me that the protagonist may be psychologically impaired (to put it mildly) but does not discourage me one bit from reading more.

      Excellent intro and fascinating explanation. Thank you for sharing these realistic insights with us.

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      Bill De Giulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great tips Bill and I love the intro to your next novel. I think I best stick to writing about my travel adventures. Even when writing my travel hubs I am always conscious of trying to capture the reader in the first paragraph or with the title. Great job. Have a nice weekend.

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      Alan R Lancaster 2 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      (Not so far down this time. Is everyone asleep or on holiday?)

      Problem with dazzling intros is, you've got to keep up the tempo. Otherwise your readers are faced with an anti-climax as soon as they get to page 2. It's like running into the light, only to find there's a 'dark chasm' just beyond. Best to make it interesting enough for your readers to want to go on reading, and build on that. They've got to feel sorry they've got to the last page, and look forward to the next (if it's a series, so much the better).

      TTFN

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      The novel excerpt has a tone that was hard and edgy from a narrator who is battle weary and hardened and doesn't have his head screwed on quite right but is doing the best he can. Interesting!

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 2 years ago

      It's done! But, there's blood everywhere.

      I cannot find the car keys.

      Where did you say you'd hide the car keys?

      Something like that??

      DJ.

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      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, Ruchira. I can find plenty of excitement sitting at my desk...and I can't get into any trouble for the mayhem I create while writing. LOL Happy Friday to you, my friend, and thank you.

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      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Enjoy the little ones, Ann, and thank you for not telling me about more traveling. :)

      bill

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Whether or not your writing absolutely has to pop is somewhat contingent on the type of writing. But regardless of the writing type, everyone prefers quality writing.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 2 years ago from United States

      Valid points, Bill

      And even though I am a vegetarian I believe that the introductions ought to be meaty, engrossing and juicy.

      I liked your synopsis and am sure your novel is all action packed.

      You must have been on a thrill ride when writing about it :) No need to go on an amusement ride just hop on to writing such novellas :)

      Happy Friday!

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      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      This hub must have been relayed telepathically to me because I re-wrote that intro several times!

      I'm not, so you won't!

      Home on Tuesday in fact and dying to see my little ones again!

      Ann