Start in the middle
Want to spruce up an opening? Start in the middle!
Sure you could write:
I love spaghetti. It’s my favorite dinner.
But seriously, who cares that you love spaghetti? We’re finished before we start. The truth is out and there’s nothing more to know.
So how about starting in the middle?
The noodle slipped out of my mouth and smacked my sister’s chin.
Whoa! How did a noodle get from your mouth to his chin? We all want to know! And so we’ll keep reading…
Dogs are better than cats.
Yes, this qualifies as the typical topic sentence. However, it doesn’t conjure up anything in my imagination. Readers are fickle. They want to be lured forward as though on a treasure hunt for the next clue to what the writing is all about. If you let the “cat out of the bag” too soon, the reader is bored and will only slog through the writing if required to give it a grade.
I try not to take it personally when Cookie, my cat, goes on licking her paws when I get home. Charlie, my dog, on the other hand…
Starting in the middle might not seem like you are following the topic sentence top down paragraph form. But it’s one of the most common tips in revising that professionals are taught.
Tell the story and I’ll know the topic!