Several US riflemen have cordoned off the area.
The roadside bomb has been isolated.
And Sergeant J.T. Sanborn seems a little too relaxed, as he remotely controls the disposal robot.
This is the first two minutes we see in The Hurt Locker, a movie that went on to win six Academy Awards in 2010.
Its opening scene is a prime example of irresistible storytelling – starting in the thickest of the action.
You’ve seen this approach a hundred times over …
Think of Troy, which starts with Achilles in a one-on-one battle. Gladiator, with Maximus leading the fight against a barbarian horde. Or 300, with its now infamous THIS IS SPARTA introduction (yes, I’ve got a tickle spot for swords and shields).
As viewers, we’re given a truckload of credit by the director – who knows we’re gonna build a fast story around the action in our heads.
Learn how to do this with your blog intros and you become a more explosive writer over time.
5 Dynamite Blog Intros You Can Try Right Now
Kathryn Bigelow had a professional film crew working with her on that explosive opening in The Hurt Locker.
When blogging, you just have a keyboard and your wits.
So, how do you kidnap attention in the same way?
You employ any (or a combination) of the below ‘tricks’:
- Use a short sentence (it could even be one word, like I tried at the beginning of this post)
- Open with a question
- Start your story in the thick of the action
- Get a bunk-up from a wonderful quote
- Induce the reader’s imagination with clear instruction
Let’s talk on that last one for a second.
Picture this …
It’s bonfire night, and you can smell gunpowder in the air.
You light another firework on the lawn, only to watch this one fizzle and fail to launch.
Your neighbour’s 12-year-old wants to help.
She runs towards what she thinks is a dud.
The feeling you should have in your gut right now, has been created by the scene you just painted in your mind.
I didn’t paint it – I just handed you the brushes before my description by saying ‘Picture this …’
It works with lines like ‘Imagine this for a minute …’
Or even just ‘Imagine:’
And it’s another of my favourite copywriting tricks from the school of Demian Farnworth.
Test Your Blog Intro Before Hitting Publish
If you’re working on an intro at the moment, share it in the comments to get instant feedback.
Or, if you’d rather do it over email, join the Content Cavern and take advantage of our free editing service.
This post was originally published on my old website: http://www.philbinmedia.com/2014/04/25/explosive-blog-intro/
I lost the logins a long time ago – so it’s gone stale over there. To be honest with you, the post we had lined up for the Content Cavern this week wasn’t quite ready … and so we thought this would act as a decent substitute.
I hope you liked it.
Image source: UXO Rachaf
Edited: Reduced saturation to appear black & white