Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Get to the Point by Andy Scheer

I've all but given up on one Christian writing blog.

Week after week, post after post, the feature article typically takes paragraphs before it begins to approach any promised point of reader application.

Instead of getting to the point, its articles commit a felony that back in my magazine editing days we called “backing into the story.”

That's a far cry from constructing an inverted pyramid and giving the core of the who, what, where, when, why, and how in the first paragraph. Or from the feature approach of beginning with some hook like a dramatic quote, telling statistic, probing question, or shocking statement.

Perhaps somewhere there's a school of “cozy blogging” that advocates making the reader feel at home by first describing the grounds of the manor house, its multiple rooms, and all the guests invited for the gala weekend.

Unless I'm dedicated to a blog, I'll give the headline a glance to see if it's worth investigating. Then perhaps a scan of the opening paragraph to confirm my impression.

Multiple other blogs and emails are begging for my attention before I plunge into my morning's work. Unless I'm deep into procrastination mode, the lead needs to hook me, and the material that follows needs to keep me hooked.

So why begin a posting with an author bio, followed by a rambling anecdote designed to set up an analogy? Such throat-clearing might be necessary in a first draft. But never in a piece that aims to attract and keep readers.

1 comment:

Heather Day Gilbert said...

Very good observations, and something for all bloggers to keep in mind!