When Not to Save the Best for Last

I read a news release today. I read the entire release because someone had given it to me as a writing sample, and I like to be helpful when I can.

In approximately 450 words, I learned about a fascinating sports league I had known nothing about. But here is what I learned in the very last sentence:

"The all-star team is currently ranked second in the nation."

If I had not been committed to help the writer, I would never have gotten to the end of the piece and that factual gem.

A news release is a bad place to save the best for last. That mention of the all-star team ranked second nationally should have grabbed me (and a news editor) in the title, subtitle, or first sentence.

After reading the release, I looked through the writer’s resume and found the same problem. Her awards appeared last, at the bottom of the page. I should have learned she was an award-winning writer in the first line after her name and address.

If you write poems, short stories, and novels, save the best for last. Make your readers sigh with satisfaction as they read the last word and close the book. But if you write for business, hook the reader with your best offer, idea, achievement, etc., at the top of page 1. It may be your only chance.

Lynn
Syntax Training

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