How’s it going? I was running errands yesterday with my mom, and we were heading here and there. We were stopped at a light, and she was talking about something that I wasn’t quite getting. All of a sudden she said:
“She flipped him off. Did you see that?”
When I said I hadn’t, she said:
“She flipped him off through the sun roof.”
Apparently some woman had gotten annoyed with a guy turning in front of her or what-have-ya.
Mom wondered if something was going to happen because the guy who got The Finger didn’t look too tickled about it.
Other than being an example of me being clueless and staring at traffic light colors when I shouldn’t be, this whole thing started with an example of a great opening, and it’s something all attention-grabbing copy and fiction must have.
Without it, nothing is noticed, which means it won’t be read.
This is more along the lines of the curiosity stuff I mentioned yesterday, but to me it’s something more than that. Yes, someone has to be curious about something to take a look…but they also think, deep inside, somewhere along the line, that they have to get value from it, or they’ll eventually be gone. That value can take many forms, for sure, even in sales-type stuff.
I could say:
Are These 3 Biggest Email Mistakes Killing Your Sales?
There’s curiosity, but then I need to make my points, don’t I? I have to go into three points that I think could be killing your email sales. And then I’d provide solutions/suggestions to help undo the mistake if you’re making it.
Or we could have this:
Lina peeked around the corner. No one. She wiped her sweaty palms on her pants again, but couldn’t seem to calm down.
^^^Here’s the entertainment type of value. We’ve got curiosity about Lina, because we’re wondering what’s going on, who or what she’s running from, and maybe a little more about her. Us making those connections, or thinking about/trying to make them, is what keeps readers reading and is the value in this case (that’s only my opinion, and it’s not the only thing of value here).
So if you get stuck on a subject line, bit of dialogue, or a piece of a character sketch, try to imagine how you can use details to take readers from curiosity to value.
And then bring those details out and see what happens.
Until next time,