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How To Write A Terrible Introduction

Updated on September 11, 2013

The Wrong Assumption

I’ve been wrong for a very long time and I feel horrible about it. As a teacher and as a writer, I have worked from the assumption that everyone wants to write a slam-bang introduction but they just don’t know how to do it. How else do you explain the veritable flood of horrible introductions I have read over the years?

Well, it turns out that there might be another explanation, namely that people are really achieving their goal, that they set out to bore the readers to tears and they have been wildly successful.

What a fool I’ve been! Here I have written article after article trying to help writers write fantastic, attention-grabbing introductions, when I should have given them what they wanted and written an article on how to write terrible introductions.

Well the time has come to correct my mistakes.

Here, then, is a comprehensive guide on how to write introductions so incredibly bad that they can be used to fertilize your garden after they have fertilized the online community.

Pull up a chair and take some notes. About midway through this garbage I’ll get you a snack and something to drink.

There now….comfy?

I am so sorry for my mistake
I am so sorry for my mistake | Source

Great video on introductions

STATE THE OBVIOUS

Use your first few lines of an article to tell the readers exactly what the article is about, even though you already told them in the title. It goes something like this:

How To Make Linguini

In this article I will explain to you how to make linguini.

There now, your reader has been treated like an idiot and you can continue on. Nothing says condescending like stating the obvious. You are basically accusing your audience of having the attention span of a fruit fly by doing this, and chances are they will resent you all the way through the article.

By the way, this is the number one method used by those who are intent on putting their readers to sleep.

DREAMS ARE RIGHT ON

This classic utilizes the over-used and much-maligned dream sequence to open an article or story. By the time you, the author, have finished the dream, your audience will be a) confused and b) spiteful, thus assuring that they will never read your work again.

If you want to take this a step further, don’t tell the reader that the opening paragraphs are a dream. Let them get totally involved in the naked woman dancing on your chest and then wake up and tell them you were only dreaming and the dream had nothing whatsoever to do with the story.

Guaranteed to piss off everyone, including the Pope!

WAKE UP…THE ALARM IS RINGING

The sun was streaming through my window. The bright light wreaked havoc with my eyes as they tried to adjust to the reality of another day at work. Suddenly the Mamas & Papas were singing about a winter’s day and a preacher who likes the cold. I fumbled for the alarm and slammed Mama Cass back into the past where she belonged. My day had begun.

Well, if that doesn’t put you to sleep I don’t know what will. Introductions like that one have no redeeming value whatsoever and thus should make our Terrible Hall of Fame. Try it…you’ll like it. Would I lie to you?

OPEN UP WITH SOME DIALOGUE

Start your story or book with a dialogue happening between two people. Don’t tell anyone who those people are, and don’t give any insights as to what is going on. It could go something like this:

“Are you going to the party tonight,” asked Tom.

“Yep, I thought I’d swing by after work. How about you?”

“Wouldn’t miss it, Bob; hope to see you there.”

Well, you won’t be seeing me there, or anybody else who hung in there long enough to read that inane prattle.

Readers like to become invested in characters. Starting with a dialogue gives the reader no chance of investing anything other than aggravation, so if you enjoy aggravating the masses, give this one a try.

BE INTENTIONALLY VAGUE

She walked home confused. The day was like any other day, except for one slightly irregular event.

She entered the kitchen and kissed her mom’s cheek; she then went to her room and wrote in her diary:

“Dear Diary! I can’t seem to fit in with the crowd, no matter how hard I try. Oh, also, I got an “A” on my Spanish test and Mr. Flagler tripped while walking across the parking lot…..love, Daisy.”

I don’t know about you, but by this time I hope Daisy grows up being as boring as her diary entry.

START WITH BLAND LANGUAGE OR A CLICHÉ, OR BETTER YET START WITH A BLAND CLICHÉ

You can’t take it with you…look before you leap…..she was as pretty as a picture….her smile could light up a room….and how about this one I just made up…..these introductions are so dry they are gag-inducers!

Whatever you do, don’t make up your own clichés or similes….use the old ones that everyone has heard before, thus branding you as unimaginative and lazy.

This is what a poor introduction reminds me of
This is what a poor introduction reminds me of | Source

This guy is reasonably entertaining and informative

The Switcheroo: Introductions to Stay Away From

Now, on the other end of the spectrum, we have introductions that start by grabbing the reader by the throat and tossing them around a bit. We have introductions that force the reader to become invested in the story and guarantee a thrill ride throughout. Would you like to read a couple?

“Jennifer Sheridan stood in the door to my office as if she were Fay Wray and I was King Kong and a bunch of black guys in sagebrush tutus were going to tie her down so that I could have my way with her.” From Robert Crais’ novel “Free Fall.”

Or try this one…..

“If the season could ever have any salvation, if it could ever make sense again, it would have to come tonight under a flood of stars on the flatiron plains, before thousands of fans who had once anointed him the chosen son but now mostly thought of him as just another nigger.” From H.G. Bissinger’s novel “Friday Night Lights.”

Or how about this…..

“In the winter of 1969, an intelligent, sensitive female student of mine committed suicide. She was from a seemingly fine upper middle class family. Her grades were excellent. She was popular and sought after. On the particular day in January she drove her car along the cliffs of Pacific Palisades in Los Angeles, left the motor running, walked to the edge of a deep cliff overlooking the sea and leaped to her death on the rocks below. She left no note, not a word of explanation. She was only twenty.” From Leo Buscaglia’s book “Love.”

This is what a good introduction looks like
This is what a good introduction looks like | Source

The Choice Is Yours

Seriously, it all depends on what you are after as you follow this writing path you are on. If your goal is to drive readers away in hordes, then by all means use my suggestions at the top of this article. If, however, your goal is to write something so memorable that your readers won’t want to put your book or article down, then you might want to give some thought to those opening lines of yours.

They just might make all the difference for you as a writer.

2013 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 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, I think a backstory is a perfect way to introduce a how-to article. Your articles have the perfect balance I think. :) Thank you and have a great Sunday.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      "How-to" intros are hard to write and I often find myself dwelling on the backstory of a recipe far too long to keep anyone interested. I have a rule I try to follow, quick background story that feeds right into the recipe/instructions and a decent photo. It's interesting how different intros are effective for different types of articles. After reading this I have to go back and check my intros.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joe my friend, my hope for you is that you do not step in a pile of poop during your work. LOL

      Thanks buddy and have a great day. Dry here today but chilly last night. Fall is upon us my friend.

      Aloha

      bill

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      I'm still dwelling on that poop...wondering if it was the work of a pet or a wild beast. Magnificent stuff, right there!

      With tongue firmly embedded in cheek, lots of aloha, my friend!

      ~Joe

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Diana, thank you so much. I hope these help someone....we teachers never rest. :)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I love your approach to this topic as "what not to do" when writing an introduction. Your examples are helpful and hit home. Keep doing this and you will develop a whole world of great writers. You should get the nobel prize for this!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael, a willingness to learn is so important in life. I am more than happy to share whatever knowledge I have to help you on your writing journey. Thank you my friend.

      blessings always

      bill

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 4 years ago

      Hi Bill. Another missing piece of the puzzle putting in place. Thank you for leading me beyond the horizon of present knowledge. Profound, yet so simple I knew it instantly after reading.( Sarcasm's O.K.?) I'm always ready to learn, and prepared to be told by the smart and knowledgable only.Definitely you are one of them. Expecting more.

      Voted Interesting and useful.

      Have a very prosperous day.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Crystal, that is a classic and hilarious to boot. I love it.

      Hey, thanks for two visits this weekend. I appreciate it.

      bill

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      How about this classic, from a journalist writing about a flood: "God silently mourned as He looked over the flood-ravaged valleys of (Anytown, USA). "

      The editor's response? "Forget the flood, interview God."

      Not sure if that is a real lead or not, but it was an example of what not to do that we were given in journalism school.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      savvydating, thank you for your kind words. I hope you enjoy the blog. I am heading to your site to find out about relationships. :)

    • savvydating profile image

      Yves 4 years ago

      More wonderful advice, as always. Late 2012 was my first attempt at writing. Needless to say, I have made every mistake you mention, which is why I appreciate being able to refer to your hubs to try to figure out how to do things better. I appreciate your generous guidance very much.

      I have not checked in with Artistry With Words, but I will.

      Thanks again, billybuc.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      drbj, I think our dog ate prunes that day. :) Loved the litany of cliches...nicely done as always.

      Have a great weekend my friend.

      bill

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Bill, this hub is top of the heap, A-number one, the cat's pajamas, greater than sliced bread and more delicious than chopped liver! Loved every single instructive word.

      Perplexed though by the graphic of the purple poop. Is that a deposit from a purple people-eater perhaps?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, what's that old joke about paranoia? Shoot, I can't remember it. LOL

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      No Bill you didn't overdue it and don't go getting paranoid! You're making people THINK.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      lorlie, I'm so glad you liked it. I don't use sarcasm often so I'm glad it was well-received. Thank you!

    • lorlie6 profile image

      Laurel Rogers 4 years ago from Bishop, Ca

      Sarcasm and information are a priceless combination!

      Great Hub...;)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      vkwok, next to the story itself the introduction is the most important part so yes, we do need to take care.

      Thank you my friend.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 4 years ago from Hawaii

      We all really have to be careful of making bad intros. Thanks, bill.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, in our house it was daddy didn't raise a fool. :)

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      It is easy to tell what the story is going to look like right from the intro, just like you said. Mama didn't raise a fool, and neither did I...

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Rebecca...I thought I'd try a little different approach this time to get attention.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I like the approach you took with this, and you provided some powerful examples.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, I agree with you completely. There are SEO guidelines requiring a certain number of keywords in the title and first paragraph....that does not mean, however, that boring is acceptable. LOL You know that as well as I do if not better. Thanks for mentioning that point.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 4 years ago from Chicago Area

      I thought I had already weighed in on this, but I guess not. Oops! You knew I'd have something to say, right?

      I think some of the problem, particularly for online article introductions, stems from SEO advice to include keywords in the first paragraph. Unfortunately, it results in some pretty lame "I will explain how to make linguini" intros. The real trick and test of writing skill is to so artfully include SEO friendly terms to make them seem natural.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nate, great points. Thank you! For me, and I can only speak for me, if I read a poor introduction it tells me the writer didn't care enough to make the effort...so why should I care enough to read it?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jeannie, if you do I know it will be funny. Only you could take a bland cliche and have us laughing with it. :) Thank you my friend.

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      Oh, I want to start my next writing project with a bland cliche. There's a lot of great ideas in here. Thanks, Bill! :-)

    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 4 years ago from California, United States of America

      The irony is that the introduction to this article hooked me in right away; you usually do. You're right about all of this. Some pieces, the titles themselves drive me away from them. Cliche is definitely a dud for me, every time. Boring, dry intros telling us what we already know; absolutely, going to put me to sleep or send me running for safety. There has to be some kind of value in any writing, not just words thrown together to maybe sound "good". Thanks again, Bill; always entertaining, informative and enlightening.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Shoot Mary, now I feel bad. I hope people aren't paranoid after reading this. LOL I was just trying to get everyone's attention. Maybe I overdid it a bit. :)

      Thanks my friend!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Do you have any idea how many writers will now be thinking of you and your terrible introductions hub each time they begin to write? You just may have spread introduction paranoia! Way to pound home the info sensei! Me thinks you have a touch of genius.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting, pinned and shared.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dora and I am proud to know you. You are a good person, caring and loving, and you can hang in my group of friends any old day.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, I rarely do sarcasm anymore. A good writer shouldn't need it....but I thought in this instance it might be effective in getting my point across. Thank you and I'm glad you got a chuckle.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith....LOL....I tried to be clear with how I felt. :) Thank you dear lady and have a wonderful day.

      blessings always

      bill

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, I haven't always done a good job myself, but I'm paying attention and I like to think that I'm improving. Thank you for your example, your encouragement and your generosity--you keep giving it away. Proud to know you!

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Laughing all the way on this line: "Guaranteed to piss off everyone, including the Pope!" and the picture of the poops! Oh Bill, this is so witty and wicked!

      Sarcasm is not really in my vocabulary but I'm okay with it from time to time. Thanks for the hilarious advice. Gotta go back now and check my old articles for some pooping intro. Lol!

      Love from the sky~

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Tell us how you really feel about it now, Bill! LOL

      Yes, we must grab them from the beginning. Thanks for including that video as it is most entertaining and useful.

      Have a lovely evening,

      Faith Reaper

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Bill. I'm just tossing this stuff out there and if it helps anyone then great....if not, no harm. :) Have a great Thursday my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lizzy, you make a good point. I have also taught alongside teachers who taught that style....drove me nuts by the way. LOL

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      You hit the nail on the head Bill. We can either engage readers with our introduction, or send them packing to look elsewhere. I think it's great that you are giving us ideas that we should try to incorporate and also things that we should avoid. Well done as always. Hope your having a great week.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 4 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Additional thought--I am thinking that your first example is the fault of people subjected to some types of journalistic writing, in which the writing is "dumbed down," and the style is instructed to be: "Tell them what you're going to tell them; then tell them; then tell them what you told them."

      Irritating at best; condescending at worst.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS...a bad introduction? Oh my goodness yes, and Mr. Jahner in high school jumped all over it with both feet. LOL I do respond to pain, though, so I learned over time.

      blessings and a hug coming your way

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lizzy, I have heard of that contest. My only concern is being able to shed years of proper writing to write something truly bad. Might be fun to try, though. :) Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Welcome back Michele. I see you have a new hub so I need to get over there. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Audrey! I haven't used this much humor in quite some time. I appreciate you stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Anna, I'm a big believer in whatever works. Nobody can give us our style; that comes from hard work, and in the end the writer is the only one who knows if it works or not. Best wishes to you and thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dahlia! Sometimes using negatives works as long as you don't make a habit of it.

      Sending you hugs and blessings.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sheila, I'll have to read one of your books. I've heard so much about them that I feel an obligation now. :) Thanks as always my friend.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Hi Bill

      Have you ever written one? I know that I did and may still do so.

      You are sharing such helpful info. This is so helpful to one and all. Angels are on the way to you this evening my friend.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 4 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Love it! Sarcasm: the wit of choice for the intelligent. ;-)

      This reminded me of the annual Bulwer-Lytton writing contest, which is about crafting the worst possible sentence for the opening of a 'worst possible' novel. The most famous and clichéd of these being, "It was a dark and stormy night...." (http:// www.bulwer-lytton.com/about. html) (spaces added to preclude an actual link.)

      Voted up and funny--as well as useful--for those who 'get it.' ;-)

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Hi Bill, been off for a while. Love your hubs. Thanks for your advise, I really need it!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Ah nothing like humor to grab you! Well said!

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 4 years ago from Scotland

      Useful and helpful as always. Good advice here.

      Just between you and me though....... I am sticking with my dialogue and media res to open. I am happy with it and I feel it works best with my style of writing. Just skim over my first few lines ;)

    • livingsta profile image

      livingsta 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      A nice way to get your point across Bill. Thank you for this.

      Have a good day!

      Sending you blessings and smiles :-)

    • profile image

      sheilamyers 4 years ago

      Like epbooks said, you're hub got me to thinking about the introductions to my books. I think I did ok. With my novels I always try to introduce the main character in a way which describes the basics for anyone who hasn't read any of the other novels and also introduces the main conflict either within himself or with another character that runs through the entire plot. My hubs probably need some work and I'll have to remember your bad examples and stay away from them.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...thank you Jaye! I try to leave the sarcasm on the shelf most days, but today it was begging to be set free. I'm glad you enjoyed the laugh and message.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Small world my friend. I've never been to Springfield but my dad spoke kindly of it.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Reverse psychology works, and humor (even the sarcastic variety) is a proven attention-getter. You got your points across thoroughly, and gave us some laughs in the bargain...well, most of us. The flatulent person who lacks a sense of humor is an exception.

      Voted Up+++ and shared

      Jaye

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Donna Brown 4 years ago from Alton, Missouri

      So was my husband and his father. My husband's name is Jeff Brown and his father was William Brown.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, thank you cygnetbrown....I really appreciate that....hey, I just noticed you live in Springfield. My dad was born there. :)

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Donna Brown 4 years ago from Alton, Missouri

      You are one of my favorites, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      That is my hope, cygnetbrown....any way to get attention. :)

      I had introductions drilled into me at an early age, so they are always the first thing I work on, and I won't continue with the article until my intro is up to snuff. :)

      Thanks as always for stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Doc!

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Donna Brown 4 years ago from Alton, Missouri

      This is how I usually begin what I am writing, but after I have written it, I then edit it to make it more entertaining. Articles written like this are usually not edited to be readable. I agree, poor article intros are like poo. Often I will write the middle of the article, and then I will write the end and it isn't until I have written the rest that I write the intro.

      I love your humorous educational style! A laughter is a memory booster!

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      Billy, you're so funny! I will come back to read later. lol

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, any way I can get my point across.

      How are you doing? Kids back in school? Have you started that novel yet? :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Crafty, I'm so sorry to have caused such damage. Bill me and the check will be in the mail....sooner or later. :)

      Thanks for the laugh and tell your dogs I'm terribly sorry.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 4 years ago

      Stop it already! I spit my coffee out all over the screen and laughed so hard my dogs are barking!!! Quit it! As I sit here laughing so hard tears are streaming, this was brilliantly executed! The title alone grabbed me and pulled me in! LOL

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Oh man, and here I thought I was doing it all wrong....

      You have a deliciously wicked sense of humor but you also accomplished your goal-I'm sure everyone reading this is pulling up their stories to see if they committed any of these cardinal sins!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, if you are talking about DJ you are very right on. She pulls no punches and is one of my most faithful followers....if you are not talking about DJ then say hello to your teacher friend for me and tell her thank you.

      And thank you to you my dear.

      love,

      billy

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ann and you had a wise grandmother. I heard it was a bit damp over in the UK...sunny and still warm here but our time is coming soon...it always does. :) Thank you my friend and have a safe trip.

      bill

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Oh what a great hub and I loved the passage below !!!

      "How To Make Linguini"

      "In this article I will explain to you how to make linguini."

      You are a natural teacher Billy and I have already introduced some of your hubs to my dear friend who was once my English teacher.

      She also agrees with me and I tell you now that she is very straight and a praise from this wonderful lady is high praise indeed !!!

      As you know she has encouraged me to write on the darker side of life as well as my usual positives of course.

      This now I feel and know is the right way ahead.

      Here's to so many more hubs for us both to share on here and enjoy your day.

      Eddy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL....Mark, keep a hat on buddy; we don't need any sunburn on that dome. :)

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 4 years ago from SW England

      How true this is and how clever to cite the bad to emphasise the good. I always come back to 'The Crow Road' - 'It was the day my grandmother exploded.' Never mind a paragraph; a first-liner like that can't fail to make a reader carry on! Another amusing way from you to make the writer think. You certainly do have a way with words! Back to Britain tomorrow; so glad to ge going home even though it's raining! Have a great evening. Ann

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      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      Great reverse tips Bill :)

      as he walks away shaking his bald head........

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...I am happy, thank you Maria, and it warms my heart to know you will be thinking of me. :) love to you my dear

      bill

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      Maria Jordan 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      I hope you are happy that with every future introduction I write, as well as every future gastric episode...I will think lovingly and gassily of you, you adorable and sarcastic so and so...point taken and loved! Maria

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...why thank you, Ann!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DDE, your words are music to my ears. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Monis...I don't use it often but when I do I hope it is effective. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, we all need a reminder...I fell into this trap the other day on an article I did for a customer...had to go back and re-write the first paragraph after I proofread it. :)

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      anndango 4 years ago

      Such a terrible introduction. Just terrible. ;) lol

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      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Your ideas are always great and most helpful to all writers, with such talent you certainly are doing a fantastic job in letting us know more each day, I enjoy reading your work as I go along here and this is a useful and interesting hub.

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      Aga 4 years ago

      I love, LOVE your sarcasm here, Bill :-) . Still - great tips!

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      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      A laugh but some seriousness here. No matter what that first paragraph gets you going or not. Sometimes really bag beginnings get good..but not often. I need to pay more attention to this..Thanks as always for saying it like it is..you know the usual pins, etc.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I see it daily and I don't know what they are thinking of.....this is one of the most basic parts of good writing. If you don't hook a reader you lose....duh!

      What will it take to get writers to understand this?

      Have a great day. I need to take a deep breath and calm down. LOL

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Fart inserted my smart ass friend. LOL

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vicki, it is a dark and stormy night when I use sarcasm now. LOL Not very often. When I first started on HP I had a whole series of sarcastic comedy articles.....anyway, I doubt you are guilty of this. Have you written on your blog lately? I haven't received any notice of it.

      Thank you my friend!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, thank you. I know of only one way to get better at introductions....yep, you guessed it....write. :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Russ, it should be obvious, but obviously it isn't. LOL I guess I'll keep pounding this lesson home in hopes that many will eventually listen. :) Thanks buddy!

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      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      I love it, Bill. I would like to think, however, that writers who are improving their craft and giving thought to their introductions are the ones who read your tips. If any of your 1,600+ followers aren't taking your tips seriously, shame on them. Oh wait, I think they have migrated over to Bubblews, which means we're still in good company (for the most part). I do see several writers who could really do themselves - and their readers - a huge favor by studying your tips and putting them into practice. All but this one, that is!

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      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      I don't enjoy sarcasm--I abhor dry humor and prefer a more serious approach to life--but I will take your advice into consideration.

      {insert fart sound here}

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      Vickiw 4 years ago

      Ooh! Hope I haven't just committed this cardinal sin, my friend! I have just radically altered my website and blogged about the process. Now having a cup of Java while I ruminate on your wise words, and hope like hell I haven't been guilty. Not used to you being sarcastic - I thought that was my prerogative. Good thoughts my friend. Onwards and upwards with the day!

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      Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I have a tough time with introductions, so I was especially interested in this excellent hub. Never begin with dialogue (as you have outlined above). Absolutely true. The reader has no idea who these people are, and will feel as though you have thrust them into the middle of a story without a character map or storyline with which to get their bearings. Voted Up ++. :-)

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      Russ Moran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

      "It was a dark and stormy night." Maybe not. Fabulous hub, Bill. I realize that, after reading a terrible introduction, I form a decision that I won't go on for more than a couple of paragraphs unless things improve. You state what should be obvious to all writers: the introduction is of major importance. Thank you for helping all of us improve our writing. Russ.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, my sarcasm has been on the shelf for awhile. I figured it was time to pull it down and dust it off. :) Thank you as always.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Liz! I was trying a little reverse psychology today...hopefully it helped someone.

      I hope your day is excellent by any standards. :)

      bill

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      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      I loved your sarcasm here and seriously you really had me going this morning. Thanks for always telling it like it is though and here is to a an awesome day now, Bill!

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      Elizabeth Parker 4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I love your hubs because they encourage me to think back to the beginnings of all of my books, articles, blogs and hubs and make me wonder if I'm guilty of any of these types of introductions. I also will have your advice ringing in my ear for my next hub and make sure that I don't do this. Thank you for another good tip. Always look forward to these! Have a great day!!

      Liz