Wednesday, April 28, 2010

You Need A Lead In

I'm so excited this morning!

I had a break through.  I big giant breakthrough.  I've been struggling with how to tell these stories.   For the sake of just doing it, I've been writing the stories down as they come to me but they seemed to just float in the air without a tether to anything.  How do I make these stories relevant to my bigger life story or to my identity.  How do I make anyone care about reading the story when they don't know why I'm writing them or what their individual themes are.

Well, last night as I was reading Writing About Your Life, by William Zinsser, it hit me.  I need a lead in paragraph that is separate from but related to something in the story that talks about why I'm telling the story, why it's important to me and gives a hint of it's conclusion.

I got up this morning and the lead ins to my essays became somewhat apparent to me.  And it felt like a light bulb turning on.  I woke up my husband (poor husband) and told him the lead in to one of my favorite stories and after a few initial grumbles (which I forgave because of his sleepy state) he actually thought the lead in was really good.

Figuring this out and making it work for at least one story gives me hope.


  1. Hooray for break-throughs and clarity!!

    I think David Sedaris is a master of lead ins.

  2. You're so right. I should re-read his stuff again to get inspiration.