A Chapter Book Writing Lesson from WritingFix

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exploring a unique apprach for writing introductions


Student Writer Instructions:

Have you ever had trouble writing an introduction that grabs the reader’s attention? Or writing a powerful ending? This lesson will help you do both.

Pages 1 through 4 of Gary Soto’s The Afterlife begins at the end of its story, which in this case, is the last five minutes of the main character’s life. The author describes, in rich detail, the events (in this case, seemingly very ordinary) that lead up to his death. In just a few pages, Soto paints a picture of a friendly, ordinary guy who is excited and happy to be meeting a girl he likes at a dance. The last line three words of the passage are “. . . I was dead.”

When a book starts out that way, it makes you want to read more. Your mind fills with questions—what was his life like before he was killed? Was there a reason the stranger in the bathroom killed him? Or was it just random?

For this writer’s challenge, you will learn to grab your reader’s attention by starting at the end of a momentous (very important, possibly life-changing) event in your life. You will describe what happened in the moments leading up to the climax of your event in such a way that your readers feel as if they were there with you.

To start this writers' challenge, you will need to choose a momentous event from your own life. You may press the button to spark ideas.

Next, you will write the last sentence of your introduction—this sentence will be the climax (most exciting moment) of your momentous event.

Then, you will use a graphic organizer to help you write interesting and high-quality details about the events leading up to your climax.

Finally, you will use your details and last sentence to write your introduction, which must be at least five sentences, but can also become four pages (like the introduction in The Afterlife).

Interactive Choices for Writing:

If you're struggling to start, click the buttons below for some ideas that might inspire you to launch your piece of writing.


Do you have a momentous story to tell about ...

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