When I was sixteen, I was arrested for kissing a girl at a party, and I spent 5 weeks in jail. Where were my Parents? They were in their house watching network news. Why? Because this story isn’t real. I just needed to show you that I can get your attention.
Ordinarily, I should be writing about how to title your works. But you see giving a title is as easy and as difficult as naming a child. You may have nine months and still end up naming your child Charity, or Providence. I’m not saying those are bad names but you know… what the heck?
Okay. This isn’t about names. It is about getting attention. And because I need to get back to running around the Internet looking for nothing — just like you— I’m going to hit the nail on the head.
Attention getters are words, phrases, sentences, or paragraphs that you use in writing to awe your reading audience so that they may be thrilled beyond the first paragraph of your piece, or to read at all. Attention getters are important in any form of writing. I’ve tried different forms and I know what I’m saying (also because I’m the one writing this, not you). A short story? You need a powerful opening. An advert? You need something intriguing. An article? Essay? Attention getters always work. There are different types of attention grabbers (way too many styles) but I’ll discuss four prime samples.
We are all little gossip machines. Our lives are filled with so many routines that we naturally crave for new things, gists, stories. This is why stories will forever sell. You can always incorporate this into your writing. Just ensure that you use words that will interest people enough.
Compare the two intros:
“I want to tell you about a boy with two sisters”
“There was a boy who lost two sisters…”
Ideally, anyone would go for B. Why? Because it looks more promising. In subsequent blogs, I’ll write about tones, passive and active voices. Now, focus on telling stories for attention.
To get attention with stories, reveal a lot at once but not everything. Give the core of the story, but don’t give all of the story. Let them know what they’re reading, and let them find out why. It works.
Did you know that the Romans used to brush their teeth with urine?
If I were to advertise a toothpaste or write an article about global history, this might be a pretty good attention getter. Facts are amazing attention getters. You just need to know the right pinch to use, and in the right context. In fact, facts are my next favourite after stories. Try them.
Numbers work. Unless you’re writing a mathematics exam, numbers fascinate people. What percentage of “who did what” works. This is especially powerful when you’re writing articles or essays. Be a part of the 50% that will try this later.
“With great power comes great responsibilities” — Uncle Ben.
As a writer, arm your head with a lot of quotes from the darkest crevices and brightest recess of the Internet and global history. They are very powerful and highly effective. People like to hear what someone smart has said. It could be Hitler though. But quote away. There’s always context; find it and nail it.
Your attention getter could be a simple LOOK HERE. READ ME. HEY! And they could work too. But for how long? Also, always try to find what interests your audience the most. If you’re writing for a blog, check the impressions based on the form of each writing. Experiment, a lot. There is no perfect way in, or out, but there’s always a way and it’s your job to either find one or make one. Know another way? Kindly share!