Paragraph 4 begins, "I was that child."
My response: Who cares? She told us many facts, but she didn't involve us emotionally in her story. Had she started with herself, she might have made us care.
By building tension, we nudge the reader onward—something that makes them want to know more. What happens next?
In the third blog of this series, I used this opening: "We won't be able to celebrate Christmas this year." With tears in his eyes, Dad turned his face away from us.
Let's build on those two sentences and add suspense.
Dad stared at his hands. "I wanted . . . I wanted to make this a special Christmas . . ." He didn't need to say more, because we understood.
What have I done? I've withheld the detail that you want to read. Why weren't there going to be presents? Why the teary eyes? I built on that by showing the broken heart of the father. Then I added one more significant detail: "We understood." No presents at Christmas and we understood?
withhold significant information.