One word has the power to make me click the X on the tab of your blog post.
W. E. L. L.
In a former life, I ranted and raved about newspaper writers starting any of their works with the word ‘I.’ Newspaper writers aren’t supposed to insert themselves into a story. They are, instead, meant to be recorders of history, enlightening and educating their readers on the issues of the day.
Given my immersion into blog writing and reading, I’ve softened my approach on that rule. We live in a ‘me’ world, a society of attention seekers. It’s even more prevalent today than the original ‘Me’ Generation of the 1980s, my formative years.
But there’s one rule about newspaper writing that will stick me with forever. I just can’t let go.
It’s called a ‘lead.’ When we’re writing to each other, we writers will call it a ‘lede’ so as not to confuse with any other word of the same spelling.
The lede is the nut of your story. It’s the who, what, when, where, why … although not everything at once. After all, you don’t want to overload your reader with information.
It’s meant to draw me in as a reader, pique my interest, make me want to read more.
If you start with ‘well,’ I’m already convinced you aren’t really sure what you want to say.
I’m convinced you’re not writing with purpose.
I’m convinced you’re just barfing words onto the screen.
I’m convinced I’m not interested.
But if I can just change one writer’s methods with this rant, I know I’ve done the world a favour.