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How to write better feature intros

by on 26 Jun, 2010

My advice? Keep them short.

Too many intros go on for far too long. And that’s not a good thing in these days of busy readers with ever shorter attention spans.

I’m all for being creative and using scenesetters and anecdotes to pull the reader into your piece. But that is not an excuse to unleash the hidden novelist within.

And you don’t  have to. Look out how much this writer gets across in just over 30 words.

“Da-a-a-aaaad,” my son says, stretching the vowel until it breaks in two. “I’m bo-ored.”  We’re playing Connect 4, our umpteenth game. It’s Saturday morning, and we’re supposed to be having fun.  It’s not working.

It’s from a column about fatherhood but I don’t really need to tell you that. The intro sets you up brilliantly for where you’ll be going.

Compare that with other intros you read this weekend. Could they trim some fat?

Then remember to do the same with your next intro.

If you want some more tips on feature writing check out Top tips on feature writing. Or for even more ideas, try our e-learning course on feature writing.

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