Ten Great Openers For Content Writers
Posted by Ruth Graham

A good opening line can draw in a reader and make them want to know more. Here are some suggestions if you’re stuck.

  1. START BY USING A SHOCKING OR UNUSUAL WORD – SOMETHING THAT’S AT ODDS WITH THE PERSON BEING INTERVIEWED OR TALKED ABOUT.

“Damn, that’s not at all how it should be.” Not quite what I was expecting on my first meeting with Evangelist Billy Graham, but then the man was under huge pressure. He’d been up since 6 am, had already delivered 3 services, and had just received the news that ……..(Go on to tell details of what was happening, and story unfolds).

  1. PAINT A PICTURE OF WHAT IS HAPPENING AROUND YOU, OR WHAT IS BEING SEEN.

Just 10 days ago/ 1 week ago / yesterday.. I could never have imagined witnessing what I’d seen today/yesterday etc…
Closeted in my comfortable house, xyz was furthest from my mind, but thanks to xxxxx, the situation has/had totally changed in just 24/36/48 etc hours. And now it’s become reality – all I can see is xxxx.

  1. USE A WELL-KNOWN QUOTE OR SAYING, AND LEAD IN FROM THERE

It takes two to tango – or so they say. But after spending a week on tour with the STRICTLY COME DANCING TEAM, I’ve witnessed it takes at least 30 people to get their particular Tango sorted….

They say curiosity killed the cat, but here at Pussy Palace cat rescue centre, these lucky felines have a different story to tell…..

  1. ASK THE READER TO IMAGINE A PLACE, A PERSON, A THING (That’s relevant to something done within the story). 

Imagine being asked to fire your best friend. Would you be able to do it? This is the dilemma that once faced Paul Williams when he was head of one of Britain’s top ten earning companies. “It wasn’t easy,” says Paul. “I had nightmares about it for several weeks. But ultimately, the picture was bigger than me or him. Numbers had to be cut, for the greater good, and he was one of the casualties.”

  1. USE A QUESTION/RIDDLE TO OPEN WITH.

What do Jake Jones,  a furry toy and a toothbrush all have in common? (Then give the answer. Maybe Jake invented them both and has gone on to make a fortune). Then follow up with stuff like how did Jake get his ideas / his breaks/his history/influences etc.

Why does it always seem to rain more on a Monday? This was the question I posed to meteorologist Sally Brennan, when I visited her at her home in the West Midlands.

“Do You Think I’m Sexy?” This was the opening line I heard from male nurse Steven Jones when I visited him on the ward at Hilltop Hospice in Shropshire. Followed by a roar of laughter, Steven explained this was his most-requested song when he puts on Sunday evening shows for his patients…

  1. START WITH A STRAIGHT FACT

Three years ago, Benton Pies employed just two people. Fast-forward to today, and the workforce boasts 27 people, and counting. “It’s been a dream come true,” says Managing Director Beverly Beef. “Thanks to a government grant, we’ve been able to move premises and grow beyond our wildest dreams.”

  1. HOW ABOUT USING A QUOTE THAT DESCRIBES HOW SOMEONE IS FEELING?

“I’m worried. Worried that when the results come in, it’s going to be bad news.” And 27-year old Julie Bates has every right to be. After 3 bouts of treatment for cancer, she’s no longer accustomed to expecting things to go her way.”….

  1. FLUFFY OPENERS SOMETIMES WORK

Every now and then, someone comes along that defies description/belief. This is the case for …..

If my mother had told me I’d ever meet someone like….

  1. OR HOW ABOUT A LIST

22 convictions – (three for drug abuse, 12 for shoplifting, 3 for assault, 4 for petty larceny) and Dave Jones is still unrepentant. “I didn’t have a start in life,” he says. “I can’t be blamed for what’s happened to me.”

With 3 Oscars, a BAFTA and a MOBO to his name – is there anything left for Danny Davis to achieve. “Get away man,” he grins. “This is just the start of world domination.”

  1. PERSONAL OPINION/EXPECTATION CAN SOMETIMES WORK

I don’t know what I was hoping to see when I met athlete Phil Peters, but the figure that stepped up to greet me wasn’t it. “Sorry man,” he said. “We finished our training last night, so I let go a little bit.”

Meeting a hero can sometimes be a bit of a disappointment, but that wasn’t the case when I came face to face with Halle Berry. Far from it.  I’ll try and maintain a little bit of professionalism here but, WOW! Halle – I love you. Actually – that’s not very professional, but I couldn’t help it. The woman is a goddess. Anyway – back to the story…

I hope some of these help. It’s all down to personal taste, but if you can get an opener, then you’re off! Good luck with your writing.