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  1. Elliot wrote on

    Very good advice. Whilst on the subject of first sentences, in the past few months I’ve noticed what I fear might be the beginning of a terrible trend: After the headline and lead-in, the first sentence of the article proper is a vague, descriptive statement, either about a person, a location, or a scenario.

    For example, see this Wired article about the resurgence of radio, which opens with a lengthy description of a faulty radiator:

    http://www.wired.com/2015/04/internet-radio-soulless-outlaw-station-fix/?mbid=social_twitter

    I understand what the intention is – to intrigue, to entice, to beguile – but whenever I read such an opening, I sigh deeply. To me, it just suggests that I’m going to have to trudge through some meandering musing before I reach the meat of the article.

    Blame The New Yorker. Blame Wired. Blame The Guardian and, as usual, blame Buzzfeed.

    The only problem is, I can’t currently think of a better opening gambit for long form pieces.

    1. Glenn Murray wrote on

      YES! I completely agree. I know they’re just going for that intrigue/story-telling thing, but I groan whenever I see it. Like you, I know I’m going to have to do more work to find the meat.

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