Continuing Test Posts

EXAMPLE POST FROM PERSONAL WEBSITE — figuring out this template

What Happened?

Hard opening paragraphs over the last two decades in newspaper and magazine work have been replaced with soft openings, this style now infecting all manner of writing, Including business writing. I’m revising nearly every opening that comes across my desk.

A standard opening might have been,

“John Smith, 32, was badly injured in a vehicle accident last night on the 215 Expressway. He was the sole occupant of the vehicle which was hit by a big rig driving in the wrong direction. As of press time, Smith remains in guarded condition in the Intensive Care Unit of St John’s Hospital.”

Now,

“John Smith was a hard working owner of a bait and tackle shop in suburban Urbana. He had kids, a mortgage, a wife of five years, and a dog. Last night his life was shattered. Possibly forever. For reasons still unknown, a big rig traveling in the wrong direction on the 215 collided with Smith’s vehicle head on. A GoFundMe account has been set up to cover some of Smiths’ medical bills.”

Here’s a lead from a randomly selected law office post on ridesharing:

“Ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft have drastically changed the way people get around the city when they can’t or don’t want to do the driving. No one can disregard the fact that Uber or Lyft makes traveling easier and more convenient especially after a night of partying and drinking. DUI’s have reportedly dropped anywhere from 15% to 62% as a result of ridesharing. Car accidents, unfortunately, continue to happen.”

Here’s how I would rewrite the lead:

“Accident cases involving rideshare companies like Uber or Lyft are complex and difficult as the law governing the rideshare industry is rapidly changing. Only an attorney experienced in rideshare cases can get you the compensation you deserve.”

As always, get to the point. Engage in storytelling if you must with the rest of your piece, but get the opening right.

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