I'm a firm believer that journaling, the stories that go with our photos, is a critical part of scrapbooking. I love to read the journaling on other's layouts. Over the years I've collected quite a few tips on making journaling more engaging to the reader. Today I'd like to share a few.
All summer long there was a funny looking box on my Grandpa’s front lawn. It was his night crawler trap. You see, Grandpa loved to fish, but fish don’t swim up to a hook and try to eat it…unless there is an interesting worm on the hook.
The same is true for your journaling. You will attract readers if the first thing they read is a hook: an interesting opening sentence or paragraph.
Go Fishing Tip #1: Start in the middle
My favorite example of this comes from a children’s story about a class fieldtrip to the farm. The child in the story reports on how her day went beginning with “The field trip was great until we had to leave early when the farmer got mad at us,” to which her Mom asks why? “Because the pigs were on the bus.” “Why were the pigs on the bus?” She continues explaining what happened, little by little (and backwards) unraveling the story until her Mom understands the whole thing.
I don’t recommend telling a story backwards (unless it’s really short) but the idea for an opening intriguing fact is a good one.
Suppose I want to tell the story of the day my daughter ran away from home. I could start the story with: “One day Natalie ran away from home.” I might as well start with "the butler did it" No one would read that book...they already know the ending. So I think I’ll start my story like this:
I burned the cookies. Badly. I was distracted...
I could have also started with “I thought my heart had stopped”
Go Fishing Tip #2: Start with something controversial or questionable.
Hiking is dangerous.
Blue is the best color.
Readers will want to continue to see WHY you made the statement. Here's one of my favorites by my friend Melanie
I am not what you would call a handy man.
You can read the rest of this story here
Go Fishing Tip #3: “Once Upon a Time”
We’ve been conditioned since childhood to wonder what comes after those our short words.
So the next time you are ready to add journaling to your layout, think for a moment of your opening sentence...and make it a hook!
I'd LOVE to see what stories you tell: firstname.lastname@example.org
(CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT CHELLE)