- Maria is frightened by a strange sound in the attic.
- A strange scrapping sound like nails dragging across the attic floor is frightening Maria.
- Nails scraped across the attic floor. Maria froze, holding her breath, listening.
Did you pick C? Most people would. It's dynamic with active verbs--scraped, froze--not passive ones--is frightened, is frightening. The sentence are short and punchy; they grab your attention and ramp up tension and curiosity--what's in the attic? It has sensory details and is specific, not general. It paints a picture!
Fiction writers use these techniques to grab readers and hold their attention. When you are reading, and you find yourself flying through a page to find out what happens, stop and study how the author has structured his or her sentences.
"Show, don't tell" is the fiction writer's mantra, and it needs to be yours, too! Let's look at a business example. Again. which sentence is best?
- My new program is designed to help you grow your business quickly and easily and achieve new levels of success.
- My new program can increase your market share quickly and easily to achieve new levels of success.
- Easily increase your market share and put more profits in your pocket within six weeks. My Business Power Tool Program can take your business higher than ever before.
Send me a comment, tell me which sentence you chose, and explain why you chose it.
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