Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A Step in the Write Direction, November 3, 2015, Leads (continued)

A Step in the Write Direction

November 3, 2015

Update: I’m sorry this is late. I just finished one of the most difficult editing jobs I’ve ever done. Turns out, it really wasn’t written as a book; it was transcribed from a series of sermons so there were a lot of misquoted scriptures, misspelled words, and many, many thoughts repeated. I did have to stop a third of the way through and raise the price. The final copy will be emailed back tonight!....Good news! Our daughter, Patty, who had the rotator cuff surgery ten weeks ago went back to work last Thursday—light duty for the next six weeks. She’ll be telling people where to go (wouldn’t you like to do that?). Seriously, she’ll be taking people to the different departments of the hospital for tests, x-rays, etc. And our son, Robert, who was off for six weeks with heart problems, went back to work yesterday. All his tests turned out okay; cardiologist said chest pains were just “spasms.” He’s a type A personality and a hard worker…. My little doggie—which has been renamed “Shag” after a dog we lost years ago—has settled down. Whenever I put my shoes on, he gets excited because he knows we’re going for a walk. And when I put my nightgown on and turn off the living room light, he makes a beeline for my bed and is there waiting for me. He’s been a lot of company!

Thought for the Day:
Give me the love that leads the way, 
The faith that nothing can dismay, 
The hope no disappointments tire, 
The passion that will burn like fire, 
Let me not sink to be a clod: 
Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God.
—Amy Carmichael

Song for the Day:
I have settled the question, hallelujah!
I will never turn back from the narrow way.
I am going thro’ with Jesus, hallelujah!
Till I reach the gates of glory some sweet day.
            Haldor Lillenas, “I Have Settled the Question”

Laugh for the Day: The farmer made his chickens swim in hot water so they would lay hard-boiled eggs.

Writer’s Tips:                       Leads (continued)

One of the things I've noticed while editing manuscripts is that I often can delete the first two or three paragraphs without hurting the article. Sometimes it helps to move the lead paragraph to the middle and then flash back as seen in the following example:

A friend wrote an article that several publishers had rejected. The story told of a girl in a wheelchair who was admitted to the hospital. While there, her fiancé didn’t visit her for several days, and when he finally did, he announced that he wanted to break the engagement because he had fallen in love with her roommate.

After he left, she wheeled down to the hospital chapel, sat in front of the statue of Christ, and said, “Why, Lord? Why did you take Jim away from me?”

Up to this point my friend had written the story chronologically. I suggested that she move the paragraph about the chapel to the beginning of the article. Right away the reader will wonder, Why is the girl in a wheelchair? Why is she in the hospital? Who is Jim? And how was he taken from her?

Making that one change, my friend sold the article the next time out to a singles’ magazine.

If you’ve had an article returned several times, can you change the lead to get the editor’s attention quicker?

 Have a good week spreading the
gospel through the printed page.

Donna Clark Goodrich

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