Tag Archives: openers

How to Grab ‘Em at the First Sentence

A blogger only gets one chance to make a first impression.

The Expectant Gnome

He's opening with a bouquet, trying to make a good first impression.

As a blogger you have to give careful thought to your first few sentences–what we are calling “openers”.  We have been auditioning a few on our soon-to-be-published Where I Live pages. We are trying to grab your attention and invite you to read on. Tell us: do our openers grab you?

Because we are especially generous, we will share our strategies. Actually, they are used by other writers use, too. Feel free to improve upon our ideas–and then tell us about your writing. (Not all of our Where I Live pages are published yet–the drafts are still being polished. Stay tuned.)

You can start a piece of writing with a question. Like this:

Do you live somewhere where you are close to big white mountains, fresh-water rivers, and amazing wildlife? I do! ~ Matt

Have you ever wondered why our license plate has “Beautiful British Columbia” written on it?  ~ Arwen

How much further West can you get in Canada? Not much!    ~ Jared

You can start a piece of writing with humour. Like this:

Where do I live, you ask? I live …uh…..I…(check map)…I’m just kidding. I live in breathtaking British Columbia, Canada.  ~ Kendra

It’s where I live. It has grass, trees, and the occasional Camspot (camel refueling station).  ~ Noah

You can start a piece of writing with a strong statement. Like this:

I live in the most beautiful place of all: the Comox Valley, where it’s not too cold and not too warm.  ~ Charlie

The world is huge, the world is amazing… and lucky for me, I live in the best, most beautiful place ever!  ~ Jane

You can start a piece of writing with a triple phrase. Like this:

Tall trees, fresh air, and icy, crystal clear water… I have them here.  ~ Darion

The stunning view of the Comox Glacier, the crashing waves at Goose Spit, and the soaring bald eagles are enough to make someone faint.   ~ Matthew

Do you live by the ocean? Can you see towering mountains off into the distance? Are you able to go to a beach and swim all day? ~ Greyson

You can start a piece of writing by painting a scene for the reader. Like this:

The eagle screeches in the the early morning, soaring over the sky, the great glacier in the distance. ~ Jack

I live in the beautiful Comox Valley where all the Douglas fir trees are and the Comox Glacier has a blanket of snow and ice on it all the time.  ~ Ethan

You can start a piece of writing with by creating a sound-scape for the reader. Like this:

Puff…    That’s unmistakable sound of the rippling, powdery snow as I carve down the newly blanketed face of our mountain, Mt. Washington.  ~ Jordan

You can start a piece of writing with a very short sentence. Like this:

Everything. That’s what I have where I live. I have everything I could ever want: lakes, oceans, forests, mountains.    ~ Maya

Beautiful British Columbia. A place of everything from mountains to shopping. A place of nature and the 21 century.  ~ Meghan

You can start a piece of writing with a surprising fact. Like this:

I live on Vancouver Island in the Comox Valley, where deer walk the streets.  ~ Zach

I have the ocean and snow-filled mountains close by. That means I can fish and ski all in the same day!   ~ Reid

I live in Canada, the second largest country in the world.  ~ Amber

I’m going to take you on a journey, outside the computer screen and into my world. ~ Laina

You can start a piece of writing with a combination–a question and a triple phrase. Like this:

Have you ever wanted to just unwind in a beautiful landscape? Imagine the salty spray in your face, the smell of sweet sap on a pine tree, the taste of freshly cooked salmon.  ~ Andrew

Well, that’s quite a variety. Each student is writing about essentially the same topic–our home, the Comox Valley–and yet there is wonderful diversity in their writing. We are writing these pages to help visitors, many of whom are taking part in the Student Blogging Challenge, have a sense of where we live. Please take time to visit and encourage these bloggers. I suspect you will be entertained, informed, and inspired.