In this email, I'm going to share with you one sentence that will get people to read your writing.
But first, I must address why I'm emailing you today. I normally email you once a week (on Fridays). However, with my book launch coming this Friday at 11:00 a.m. P.T., I've decided to share even more irreverent stories with you. If you don't want these emails, no sweat. You can opt-out by clicking here: ((((No thanks, I don't want to receive emails about the book launch.))))
Anyway, back to the main point of this email…
What I would like to share with you now is a piece of writing advice that will suck your readers in——with just one sentence.
You see, here's the truth:
People can go forty days without food, three days without water, and about thirty-five seconds without finding meaning in something!
Great writing grips the reader from the very first sentence. It must communicate to the reader that there is MEANING in what they are about to invest their attention into.
Sure, you can grab someone's attention with surprise, shock, or curiosity. But these are TACTICS. The most important thing that you do is communicate WHY they should invest their time in reading what you're about to say.
When a person begins to read something, you want to tell them WHY it will be meaningful to them. You want to tell them what they will learn from what you have to say.
Guess what the number one radio station in the world is? It's a radio station that you may have never heard of, but I guarantee every single one of your neighbors, friends, and colleagues listens to it. The radio station is named…
It stands for "What's In It For Me?" That's right, every single person, whenever they're about to read something, ignites a process in their mind that searches for the answer to the question, "What's In It For Me?" We are evolved to look for meaning in everything that we do——it's how we survive (and thrive).
The most powerful tactic is to slap your reader in the face with meaning right from the get-go. How? By communicating meaning in your very first sentence. The novelist John Irving says it best, "Whenever possible, tell the whole story of the novel in the first sentence."
When writing your next piece, try telling the reader why they should invest their time and attention in what you have to say——in the very first sentence. Just one sentence. Don't worry about spoiling a surprise. Tell them exactly what they're going to get by reading what you have to say——and make it enticing!
That's what I did with the very first sentence of this email.
Stay crispy, my friend.
Scott P. Scheper
"A Man Who Writes About Writing"
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