An Attention-Grabbing Lead

My son came home from school a little jaded the other day because he'd failed to write an attention-grabbing lead and had to start his paper over in class.

Every time I sit down to write something, I get held up with my introduction and lose momentum. So my tip to all you writers is to write the introduction (or attention-grabbing lead) last. I like to use a placeholder - INTRODUCTION - and then get on with whatever it is I'm writing. This way, when I feel ready to write, I don't get hung up trying to think of something witty or catchy.

Usually, by the time I've finished writing, the introduction practically writes itself. After all, at the end, I'm more familiar with my material than I was at the beginning, and it's easier to pull out the most important parts, and usually, if I'm in need of something attention-grabbing, it comes to mind much faster.

Another reason to save the intro for last is that sometimes, you write something different than you originally planned. Writing evolves, and theses change. So if you're writing and come to a different conclusion than expected, it's a lot easier to write an intro that reflects what you have written. Skipping the intro means you're not committed to any particular set of expectations, and you'll be saved the trouble of going back and rewriting something.