This week, we had to find an online magazine, choose an article with a good lead, and rewrite it. Naturally I chose Positive Note Magazine (which you can find right here on this website!) because the newest issue just came out this month (you should really check it out). The article I chose is on page 14 and it is called Inside Out by Sharon Ruff.
Here's the lead: "I remember walking down the basement stairs and being slapped with the odors wafting up from my in-law's basement. It was time for the yearly gritzwurst sausage making."
WHAT MAKES IT WORK?: It's descriptive. The entire article is descriptive. I can smell it. I am walking down the stairs with Sharon, trying to hold back my gag reflexes as I prepare for the tradition I would really like to forget.
HOW DID IT GRAB MY ATTENTION?: It's suspenseful. I want to know what she's walking down the basement, and then I'm attacked by the smell. I want to know more.
Now it's time to rewrite it. I would like to first point out that I do not think I could possibly improve on this lead. I think it's amazing, but here are some different approaches.
1. Every year the in-laws got together to create the strangest of concoctions. It was the yearly gritzwurst sausage making.
2. Every family has their traditions. Some sit around and watch football on Thanksgiving. Others make gingerbread houses with their kids. Then there were my in-laws with their gurgling buckets of intestines. The yearly adventure of gritzwurst sausage making.
3. The hardest part was deterring my gag reflexes.
4. I had never smelt something so putrid.