A writer holds all the power within the first sentence. After that the reader with either continue to read or move on. If the reader continues the writer has captured the attention and thus regained the power. The power the writer has generated can be used to make a reader think and feel a certain way, whether it is to imagine the rain pouring from the sky, beating down on the window pane on a cold and stormy night to the way it feels to fall off your bike and scrape your knee. The writer can bend and wield words to affect the reader in different ways.
The responsibility that comes from this kind of power is to keep the reader interested. Just because the first sentence was intriguing does not mean the rest of the work can be boring and uninteresting. The writer can hold the power only if they remain interesting and continuously remind the reader to read on. The power comes from using specific tools to enhance the writing, in class we have learned about a few of these techniques and how to apply them.
I plan to use a few tools to hold the power and keep my reader interested in what I am writing about. The first way I will do this is by using Klinkenborg’s idea of short sentences. I have and will continue to weed out the unneeded words to make each sentence the best it can be. In the sentences Klinkenborg writes he makes every sentence able to stand alone. He uses a small number of words to create a bigger impact than many would make. Each of his sentences do not depend on the preceding or following ones which makes his overall piece much stronger.
From the blog NO CAPTION NEEDED I took away the idea of using facts and history to give a picture or place more context. Finding facts and learning about the places I was writing about made it easier to understand and put a new perspective on it. In the example within the blog, of the beach where D-Day occurred, for some it was just a beach people went to on a warm summer day, but for others it was where comrades died and lives were changed. Having all the different perspectives of a place makes it more unique and gives a connection to more readers. I applied this in my close observation project, where I brought the history of the Berlin Wall to the everyday lives of Chapman students walking by the wall together. It gave people who see the wall everyday a new perspective on the lives the wall touched before it arrived on campus.
Reading about Alain De Botton and how he is able to use details I was able to enhance my writing. I now use proper nouns opposed to everyday descriptor words. This has improved the way I can connect to an audience because instead of just a beach, it is Balboa beach with Ruby’s diner at the end of the pier. Adding proper nouns and more details give a better picture of what the reader can see. They are able to see exactly what I as a writer am trying to get them to see.
Having learned all of these tricks to keeping my reader interested I can use my power more skillfully and make my first impression one they won’t want to forget. I will use short sentences with lots of details, intertwine facts and history, and use proper nouns to more accurately convey my writing to an audience of future writers.