Do you know how to prepare a grand opening?

How to write a grand opening?

Come one come all, to the BIG GRAND OPENING!

Snagging your reader in the very first chapter is important. We’ve all heard about hooking the reader, but it’s more than a hook. A writer needs to entice the reader to do several things.

  • Pick up the book.
  • Read the covers.
  • Buy the book.
  • Read the first chapter, the second chapter and keep reading to the end.
  • Tell their friends!

How can we accomplish this?

By wowing the reader from page one! 

Think about the sample clerks at a grocery store.

They set up a nice station with decorations and signs to grab your attention. Lovely samples are arranged for tasting. However, if you want to gag at the smell or the first nibble, no way in hell are you going to invest in a purchase. But if it’s good, they’ll buy the package and share with friends.



Or, how about a new restaurant opening.

Big banners announce the opening. Fliers go out in your neighborhood. Pictures of beautiful dishes appear in social media. You’re excited to try the new place. Now if you get there and the restaurant doesn’t live up to the hype, you won’t be back. But if the staff is friendly and welcoming, if the food tastes as good as the pictures, and the price is as advertised, not only will you return but you’ll tell all your friends. 

Now, I don’t know about you but that is how I want readers to react to my stories.

Good presentation, a beautiful cover and tantalizing summary will only get us so far. We want our readers to not only invest in our books but to enjoy the journey. And recommend our books to friends!

Recently, I read a great article by Tina Ann Forkner on the Writers in the Storm Blog.

Ms. Forkner explains how a writer can prepare a grand opening in a story.   The past few weeks I’ve been working and reworking the first two chapters. So finding her post couldn’t have come at a better time for me.  Why? Because I want to grab the reader and tempt them to keep reading.

What I learned…

  • A sense of place involves the vibe, feeling, senses of the setting.
    • Can the reader see themselves there with your characters?
  • Make sure your characters are engaging.
    • Will the reader want to know meet them?
  • Life doesn’t happen in a vacuum.
    • Action, even the small ones will make the scene more enticing.
  • Organize the opening.
    • No one will want to eat samples all jumbled up in a big mess.
    • Give enough information, in the right order to light a pathway for the reader.
  • The all-important hook.
    • Leave a sign, a question, or desire to turn the pages. Like a billboard advertising next week specials that lure patrons back for another dinner.
    • Give your readers something to look forward to in the next chapter.

You really need to click the link below and read the entire post. 

Have you ever thought about a Grand Opening for your work in process?
Did you realize writers need more than a Hook?
Got any tips to help me write that Grand Opening?

Do share, inquiring minds want to know. Namely me. LOL

How to Make A Grand Opening By Tina Ann Forkner





Is your website easy to read on a mobile device?

Is your blog mobile ready?

Whether, a book review, cooking, breaking news, mommy & me, or cute kitties blog, you need to make sure it passes the mobile ready test.

Shocker! I just found out mine wasn’t. Guess what I’m doing later today?

Mobile use has skyrocketed over the past years. People are on the go and using their smart phones to connect. Make sure they can read your blog in the doctors waiting room, the hairdressers chair or pool side catching a few rays.

How do you find out if your blog is mobile readable?

Google has a Mobile-Friendly Test page. Here you can put in your website and Google will let you know if your blog is mobile ready.

Follow the steps and get smart phone ready so people on the go can keep up with you and your blog.

Want to know how many people read your blog on their smart phones?

Go to Google Analytics click on the “Audience” section. Then select “Mobile > Overview.” Here you should find information on the amount of traffic your blog receives from a mobile device. 

Whew! That’s done!

Can you read it now?

I love comments, almost as much as I love clicks, so after you pass my post on to your Facebook and Twitter pals let me what you think. If you’re not already, please follow me @jeancogdell on Twitter and jean.cogdell on Facebook!

How to Tweet and Blog Effectively

Think you’re too busy for Twitter?

Well there is a way to tweet and keep writing. twitter-117595_640

Over at Positive Writer, Bryan Collins lists 6 tips on how we can be successful on Twitter and not let our writing suffer.

Twitter and Facebook are tools writers use to engage readers, not annoy them.

My favorite is number 5, there Bryan gets us started with 10 great hashtags.

Tweets can get lost without hashtags.

Need more than 10? How about 100?

Then click on Areogramme Writers’ Studio for 100 hashtags every writer should know. Thanks Bryan for the link.

Here are 7 more tips for success from Janice Wald.

I love comments, almost as much as I love clicks, so after you pass my post on to your Facebook and Twitter pals let me what you think. If you’re not already, please follow me @jeancogdell on Twitter and jean.cogdell on Facebook!


Don’t Read Unless You Want to Know

You heard right, sometimes the answers smart a bit.

Want some good ole common sense, take no prisoners, tell it like it is advice?

Wow 3 clichés in one sentence. That’s a record for me.

Okay back to the advice.

Chuck Wendig, over at Terrible Minds, has the answers to your most burning questions.

As a successful writer and blogger, it appears as though Chuck has heard them all and now he is ready to share.


Don’t expect any hand holding or sweet-talking, no not from Chuck. But do expect a swift kick in the pants if you need to jump-start your writing.

Numbers 4, 6, 11, and 14 are my favorites.

Now where do I start with my letters of apology?

writing5Dear (insert name), Sorry for bugging you to read, edit, pump me up… .

Damn that’s gonna take too long. Just better take Chuck’s advice and get back to writing.


I love comments, tell me what’s happening with you and if you’re not already, please follow me @jeancogdell on Twitter or jean.cogdell on Facebook!