Whether you’re publishing a non-fiction book on a specific topic, a novel, or a collection of short stories, you will find yourself writing an introduction. Now, you might think that this is the part readers often tend to skip, but that doesn’t mean that the writer should just come up with something on the fly and let that be it. An alluring introduction will do wonders for the content of your book, because through the introduction, you’re easing your readers into your book. So, how do you write an alluring introduction that pulls the readers in?
1. Write it last
This point might seem like a given – why would you write an introduction if you haven’t even begun writing your story? Here, we are talking about the time between the finishing of your book and the actual publishing date. For example, if the book is in the editing process, wait until it is finished, and then, write the introduction in a way that will complement and complete the content of your book, whether it’s a non-fiction book or a novel. Waiting a little longer will ensure you will be able to capture the whole experience of sending your book out into the world.
2. You share a story
But don’t write it like a dry recollection of how you came to write the book. Treat the introduction like a very short story – and short stories, like novels, have a plot, and a goal to be achieved. In this short story, you, the writer, is the protagonist, and your publication of the book is the goal that you achieved. And the best stories have plenty of show versus tell – which means you should use a lot of showing instead of telling when you write the introduction. This will make you both more interesting as a writer, and yet it will make the reader feel closer to you.
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3. Tell the world why you write
The reason why you write is one of the most interesting aspects of you as a writer and an author. Every reader would be delighted to find out what it is about writing that makes you write, especially if you’re publishing a long novel – that is a lot of words. So sharing the reason, the things that inspire you to write, the things you discover as you write will make the contents of your book, or the story you tell in your novel more significant and special to the readers.
4. Include the acknowledgments in the introduction
As mentioned above, write your introduction like a short story with yourself as the protagonist. There isn’t really a better place to include the acknowledgments than in your story; all the people that helped you on your journey to write and publish the book. Whether they inspired you, or pushed you on when you felt blocked, or simply read the first drafts of your story – they are the secondary characters in your story. Present them as the heroes they’ve become for you, and, of course, the ways in which they’ve helped you or inspired you would be the major, important plot points in the story of how your book became the thing the reader holds in their hands.
5. Speak to the readers
The introduction might be a short story, but even if you’re writing a novel in the third person, the introduction needs to be written from first person point of view, because of two reasons. First, because you are, essentially, writing a biographical short story, and second, because it will show the readers that you’re speaking directly to them. You’re not telling your story just because you have to write the introduction, but because you want the readers to know it. Letting your book out into the world isn’t always easy – after all, your book is your creation, it’s something that you’ve put parts of your own self into. So, speak to the readers – in a way, speaking to the readers will help you show them how much it means to you, that they have decided to read your book.
Image credit: faungg’s photos on flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/photo.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Georgina Roy wants to live in a world filled with magic.
As an art student, she’s moonlighting as a writer and is content to fill notebooks and sketchbooks with magical creatures and amazing new worlds. When she is not at school, or scribbling away in a notebook, you can usually find her curled up, reading a good urban fantasy novel, or writing on her laptop, trying to create her own.