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Being Thankful. Teaching Your Kids to Be Thankful

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Like any skill or habit, helping your children develop a sense of gratitude in life takes practice. The more your children develop a habit of being kind, polite and thankful,the more it’ll become ingrained into their character. Do note; helping them become aware of how blessed they are in their lives won’t come overnight. They need to see, understand, and take in everything happening around them to develop a sense of gratitudeand act accordingly.

If you are a parent who wants to raise children that are not self-centered and see things outside the box, read the following tips on teaching kids how to be thankful to get inspired:

Lead by Example

Like it or not, as parents, we’re in the spotlight 24/7 as kids look up to us, learn from us, and pick up our gestures, opinions, mannerisms, etc. We hope they won’t pick up some of the worst characteristics (all those times we yell, do bad things, curse, and whatnot.) Their learned behavior, mental and emotional development, development of their central attitudes, and core values, are our primary responsibility as parents. It is why the only thing we can do to help them grow into sensible, sensitive, kind, and aware individuals, is to lead by example.

Let your kids grow up with parents who are not only grateful for what they have but also express it frequently – not just verbally – but also in the way they live.

Exposethem to Reality

For the most part, people (not just kids) have no idea what’s happening outside the bubble the media has created for them. Individuals like these rarely ever understand and empathize with the reality of things, with people suffering, with poverty, and problems that are not their own.

To help your kids understand how things are and cultivate a healthy attitude towards things in their lives, expose them to reality. Take them to poverty-stricken areas of your city, encourage them to volunteer in shelters in your community, get them into the habit of donating their clothes to those less fortunate, etc. Educate them by both talking and reading to themand introducing them to real life.

Do Not Spoil Them

Don’t be the type of parents who feed their children’s ungrateful habit of getting everything they want. Instead, make them earn things, say “no” from time to time, teach them the value of money and material goods they have easy access to (as opposed to those who don’t.) If you think“denying” your kids things they can have is insensitive, it’s the opposite – by teaching them to earn stuff, you are encouraging the growth of grace and gratitude in them.

Teach them to Be Generous and Share

Sharing is caring as they’d say. Being generous doesn’t mean sharing (i.e., passing along) your leftovers; it’s giving on a sacrificial level. Real generosity means empathizing with other people’s situations, understanding them, and giving everything in your power to help those less fortunate. Kindness and generosity towards others is a massive step toward gratitude for everything you’ve got.

When you start teaching your children real values early on, you are giving them the opportunity to become thankful for everything in their lives sooner than they usually would. Start educating them early on, and you’ll see beautiful individuals develop right before your eyes.

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Why Do Politics Cause People to Argue and Fall out over Thanksgiving?

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The political climatehas been pretty awkward and tumultuous throughout 2017 and 2018.  Everyone’s got a comment and a strong opinion on what’s happening, followed by an urge to scream it out.

With the holidays approaching and families getting together for a hot plate and a session of yelling, you can probably expect yours too to start sharing their opinions about political tweets, partisan politics that recently been more divisive than ever, and everything else in between. But, why do politics cause people to argue and fall out?

Politics are one of those touchy-feely subjects you can never win in. You can if you are talking to like-minding people with same or similar attitudes and convictions to yours, but the moment you try to cross-reference your opinions with someone who’s had a different background, upbringing, a different social and economic situation than yours, you are bound to clash. Even so, no matter how uncomfortable and disturbing, politics are a huge part of our lives and somehow happen to be one of the favorite topics to talk about.

If you are in the mood to try and reason with your family, go for it. However, if you are one of those who’d instead do everything to avoid a holiday chat turning into a screaming match, we’re listing some super advice below to help you out:

Know What You Are Talking About

Your Thanksgiving table isn’t the place to start a political debate, but if you already are set on doing it, then make sure you’ve got the facts sorted. If you feel strongly about something that’s talked about at the table, and you disagree with what the others are saying, shut them up with facts, dates, and examples. Talking empty will only lead to collective frustration.

Be Ready to Agree to Disagree

Not everyone wants to hear your opinion nor will they agree to your points, no matter how valid. That’s okay – such dynamic is a part of every political talk. What may be the problem here is you not realizing you can’t get to some people. So, to avoid feeling frustrated and turning this dinner into a verbal beatdown, be prepared to put the convo to bed, no matter how unhappy you are with the way it turned out.

Have Other Topics Ready

Sure, they’ll try to drag you in into the political debates, but you can always shut the political drama down by coming to dinner ready with other topics to talk about. Anything that’s not as intense as talking about politics is a great way to defuse the situation. Talk about work, your next holiday, relationships, remodeling your home, other people (yes, gossip seems to be great for taking someone’s minds off of their intended topics), talk about your kids, your favorite books turned to movies, and why you loved them, etc. Anything that’s not politics or is even remotely related to politics will work. Oh, and – avoid talking about religion. That’s a topic that’s almost as equally inflammatory as politics. Sorry.

It’s an unwritten rule – you’ll be talking politics during holidays, whether you like it or not, so you better get ready for it. Check out our websitefor some exciting book topics to talk about when you get together with your family.

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Favorite Charities during the Holidays; in the Spirit of Thanksgiving

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The spirit of Thanksgiving is all about being together, showing gratitude for all the treasures in life, and helping the ones in need. It reminds us to be humble, kind, and to share happiness with those around us, not for one day, but over the whole year. Efforts we make to put a smile on somebody else’s face make us feel enthusiastic and give us the strength to continue the pursuit of our dreams. Little gestures can make a big difference. You can help in many different ways, and sometimes kind words and thoughtful actions are more than enough. Here are some of the ways you can brighten many spirits, including yours.

Join a Volunteering Program

Roasted turkey is a symbol of Thanksgiving, and it doesn’t taste as good any other day of the year. Sadly, some people are unable to purchase or prepare a Thanksgiving feast. Meals on Wheels is a nationwide program that invites volunteers to help in providing food to elderly and disabled persons, and joining this action is a great way to give to the community. You can help by setting up the event, delivering meals, or cleaning up. To make it all more fun, call your friend to join you.

Donate Clothes to a Charitable Organization

While you may be convinced you’ve got “nothing to wear,” there must be a few pieces of clothing you don’t wear – no matter the reason. Instead of throwing the garments away, choose to deliver them to some of the charitable organizations in your town or leave the clothes with a homeless shelter. There is somebody out there who will be delighted with a new shirt or a sweater, so search through your drawers as soon as you get home!

Pay a Visit to a Hospital

Hospitals can be very lonely places during the holidays. While others are enjoying with their families, patients are bedridden, and a surprise visit would surely cheer them up. You can visit a children’s hospital and share gifts or candies, read to the kids (or with them), and embrace the spirit of being there for those less fortunate. It is an excellent opportunity for the whole family to have fun and to come closer while doing a good deed. You’ll feel fulfilled and proud of yourselves.

Use Technology to Spread the Spirit of Togetherness

If you are too busy with preparing for a holiday or you have guests coming by, there is always a way to make an impact from your home. After all, that’s what modern gadgets allow us; to connect with those who are far from us and, in this case, to help them. ShareTheMeal is an app that enables you to donate money for hungry children around the world. It can’t be easier. Download the app, follow the instructions and for only 50 cents, you’ll feed one hungry child for one full day.

Being kind and generous is easier than you think. It doesn’t have to demand time, money or great effort. It is only necessary to think about those who need help and to be honest in your intentions to make them feel better. Thanksgiving reminds us of these little things that mean a lot, and encourages us to share with the world because, as Charlotte Bronte would say: “Happiness quite unshared can scarcely be called happiness; it has no taste.”

See more articles on Progressive Rising.

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How Reading Improves Seniors Quality of Life

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Although extremely advantageous, natural reading is very often a neglected activity, especially in the 21stcentury. These days, people prefer to spend free time doing pretty much anything other than reading as they already spend too much of their workday in front of a computer, reading, skimming through stuff, writing emails and whatnot. Practically, all they want to do is rest their eyes for a while, and we get that.


Unfortunately, there’s no middle in this praxis. It seems that other media has replaced our former glorious obsession with reading altogether, because it is easier to digest in the current climate of burnout, too much information, and screen blindness. But, in all truth – nothing beats reading and all the benefits that come with it, to people of all ages. Reading is not only fantastic for kidsbut the elderly as well, for the reasons we are about to list below:


The Health Benefits of Reading


Life of a senior can indeed be stressful. Health problems and family worries wear a person out. And at an advanced age, stress can be costly. To the rescue comes the book, which is a real treasure during difficult times. A good novel can take you to different places and different times and distract you from your worries. It helps you to take a deep breath and face problems calmly.


Many studies have shown a connection between reading and mental health. Reading as an everyday activity can reduce memory decline by 30%. The scientists have also discovered that brain stimulation provided by learning or solving puzzles minimizes the probability of having Alzheimer’s disease. Another excellent benefit of reading is that it improves the quality of sleep. Anxiety, pain, and side effects of medications can make falling and staying asleep very difficult. Reading before bedtime is a perfect way to help your brain slow down and tell your body that it’s time for its well-deserved rest.


Reading as a Sparkle That Boosts Your Spirit


Besides influencing your health positively, reading can enrich your life. It’s a great way to spend free time. It’s a perfect pastime for retired people, making their day more exciting and amusing. A person is never too old to learn new things, and there’s no better way to do it than scrutinizing scientific breakthroughs, art catalogs, or encyclopedias. Additionally, books improve a person’s vocabulary which, then, increases self-esteem.


When it comes to choosing your literature, reading anything is better than reading nothing, but we recommend classics. Everybody loves a good story, and the world’s most celebrated novels are the best stories ever told. They will stir up your imagination, help you develop empathy, and broaden your perspective on life.




Modern Tools That Enhance the Reading Experience


Reading can be a challenge for senior citizens who have vision issues or find it hard to stay in a sitting position continuously. Luckily, audiobooks have come to the rescue. A lot of them can download from the internet but also found on YouTube. Podcasts are another great way to entertain your brain and give it something to do. E-books are useful as well because the size of letters and the screen brightness can be adjusted.


No Matter What, Reading Should Be a Habit


Reading is a high activity that helps usfeel better physically, but also mentally. A good book is especially beneficial for senior citizens because it entertains the brain and helps it work properly. At the same time, reading makes life more cheerful and opens new horizons. So, please do yourself a favor and grab that book right away!


Check out Progressive Risingfor more information on the best books, the importance of reading, and everything else in between.

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How Is Secretive Social Media Helping Teenagers Keep It Real?

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Being constantly exposed to social media can be very stressful and exhausting. It applies to teenagers in particular, since social media is a huge part of their lives, ever since they can remember. Exchanging photos, chatting with friends, posting different stuff sure is fun, but can become difficult to handle. Why? The answer is easy: people judge you based on your online activities. Therefore, you have to put a lot of effort to maintain that image of yourself, the one you want everybody to see. That, unfortunately, means a lot of faking. Saying what you don’t mean, following people you don’t care about, taking hundreds of selfies before finally choosing that one which deserves to be uploaded (i.e., is likely to have most likes,) forming an opinion of yourself based on how others view you on social media. While, the most parents dream of encouraging their children to read booksinstead of social media comments, the reality is different.


Teenagers Are Getting Tired of the Expectations


Today’s kids feel pressured by social networks. Since they can’t quit and delete their Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other apps (because to them that would equal being dead), they have found new ways to express how they feel. Hint: no, it’s not therapy, and no – it’s not quitting social media altogether. It’s the opposite: installing more apps and more social networks but those that “allow” them to be themselves. Anonymous platformshave become increasingly popular, giving people, mostly teenagers, the opportunity to say what they mean and share their feelings without being exposed. Other ways of keeping secrets safe have also appeared. Kids have found ways to secretly interact amongst themselves online, without the involvement of parents, teachers, bullies, or snitches.


Using Fake Tools to Be More Real


One handy app that helps teenagers hide pictures, videos and other files from people who like to look through their phones is Calculator%. At first glance, it seems like a regular calculator app. Its primary use is to password-protect files. To unlock secret folders that exist nowhere else on the phone, you have to type a code. The app is available on both app store and play store and has recently raised some adult’s eyebrows. It also has been removed from someapp stores.


Another way of sharing files with only chosen people is fake Instagram profiles, a so-called Finstagram, or Finsta. Mostly, girls are those who have these profiles created, and they use them for sharing ugly selfies, private jokes, pictures of outfits they are not feeling so confident about, and similar stuff. The Finsta owner alerts those who she wishes to share her secrets with by following them from a Finsta account and then accepting them when they follow back.


A bunch of anonymous chat apps is becoming popular among young adults as well, one of the best known so far being Yik Yak. Based on your location, the app shows you short status posts from more recent to oldest. You can post, downvote or upvote existing anonymous posts, or read comments and comment yourself, anonymously. The trouble had started when posts about bomb threats led to canceling classes in schools or putting entire buildings under lockdown. As a result, some campuses have entirely banned Yik Yak.


All in All, Online Presence Seems Inevitable


In the end, your online presence will cost you. Teenagers are particularly vulnerable since they care about other people’s opinions more than the grownups do – hence, a more anonymous approach to expressing themselves on social media. While quitting social networks might be the best solution, it seems that hidden networks will have to do instead. If you are looking to bring a set of healthier solutions to your family every day, try Progressive Rising Phoenix– we’ve got some great ideas!

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Scary Holiday Books Turned Into Movies


Is there anything better than curling up in warm blankets and reading a good book? If you are a horror fan, then you can follow the same recipe and enjoy a good movie on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Many horror movies based on famous horror novels, so if you want to experience the same plot through written and visual formats, keep your eyes peeled on our list of top scary holiday books below.

Stephen King Movies

Stephen King has a collection of novels that are grim, and almost all of them found their way to the movie screens. He is the master of the horror genre, after all. Stephen King has sold more than 350 million copies of his horror and supernatural books, and to this day, he published 58 novels.

Some of Stephen King’s novels had lived to see second movie adaptations, like ‘It.’This movie was iconic in 1990, and it ran as a miniseries, with 3 hours’ worth of video material. The movie follows the story of seven children in Derry, Maine, who are terrorized by Pennywise, a horrifically demonic clown.

The newest adaptation released in 2017 and it grossed more than 700 million dollars.Other favorite Stephen King novels that turned into hit movies are Carrie, Children of the Corn, Cujo, the Mist, and many more.

Let Me In or Let the Right One In

Based on a Swedish novel “Let the Right One In” that published in 2004, we have two movies ready to put us into the vampiric Halloween mood. This horror story written byJohn Ajvide Lindqvist follows a lonely young boy who gets bullied in school. When a new neighbor moves in next door, a girl his age becomes his friend. The only problem – she’s a vampire.

Later, in 2008, the first movie adaptation came out in Sweden, and it won several awards, including the ones for best non-American film, Empire Award for the best horror movie, several awards for the screenplay, and many more. In 2010, the American version was released, with a stellar performance of Chloe Moretz and Kodi Smit-McPhee.

The Ring

It isn’t My Precious and only one, but this ring binds many characters in darkness. Written by Koji Suzuki in 1991, the American movie remake was released in 2002 and won the favor of the audience. The Ring is still one of the highest-grossing horrors. Due to such an incredible audience reaction, the sequel soon followed in 2005. The latest Ring installment released in 2017 (Rings).

The plotline revolves around the VHS tape, and whoever watches it dies in seven days. Mysterious and bizarre deaths kept occurring when one grieving mother prompted her sister, the journalist, to uncover the mystery.

With Halloween approaching, there’s nothing better than a good horror book to keep you in suspense and put you in the right All Hollows Eve mood. Browse through our Progressive Risingwebsite to select the best horror and thriller books. The blankets and hot cocoa – are not included.

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Halloween Safety Tips 2018


Number one rule is not to eat all the candy the same day if you want to avoid a sugar rush, food coma, and a tummy ache. Joking aside, Halloween is a holiday where streets are swamped with pedestrians, most of whom are children. Take special precautions and follow our Halloween safety tips, and – happy Trick-or-Treating!

How to Cross the Streets

Children are more likely to be hit by a car on a Halloween than on any other day. Luckily, you can take extra precautions to keep them safe. Children should always be under adult supervision. For those who are mature enough, they can stick to larger groups of friends. Everybody should pay extra attention to cars, maintaining eye contact with the driver when crossing, and generally using crosswalksand traffic lights instead of running across the street.

Children should stay on the sidewalks and map the route in advance. Nobody wants to get lost in an unfamiliar neighborhood at night. It’s best not to run around, especially on the lawns where kids can easily trip on Halloween decorations. If your child has food allergies, it would be best to wait with sampling candy until you reach home.

Make Costumes Safe

Wearing costumes with face masks can diminish a child’s vision. It’s always better to turn to face paint and makeup where it’s applicable so that they can pay attention to crossings and obstacles. Add some glamour to the costume with LED lights or reflective tape so that they can be seen from a distance. You can always add flashlights as part of the Halloween accessory.

Make sure that children can have a full range of motion with their costumes. They need to be able to move freely without obstructions; otherwise, they might be in danger. It is especially true for selecting the right size. Costumes that are too big for kids, like capes or long dresses, can easily cause tripping and falling. Same goes for heels – make sure you select comfortable shoes.

Be careful about the props so that children can’t hurt others with their accessories. Also, avoid flame-hazard materialsand materials that can cause burn marks. Make sure that it’s easy to get out of the costume for bathroom breaks.

Safety Tips for Drivers

Children will be flooding the streets anywhere from 5 to 10 pm, so all drivers should pay attention and drive slower on Halloween. When you add candy in the mix, children are pretty excited, so they might run on the street, be distracted, not look on the crossings, etc.

Concentrate on the driving, and take more time to make sure it’s safe to make a turn. It is especially true if you are parking or backing up your vehicle. Keep your eyes peeled and be alert on Halloween. If you are driving and wearing a mask, make sure your vision is clear and that nothing is blocking it.

When the trick-or-treating is finally done, it will be hard to put the kids to sleep after all that excitement.  Wind down with a good book – you can find many favorite headlines on our Progressive Risingwebsite.

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4 Book Marketing Tips You’ll Find Useful

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These days, everything’s online – including books. And, even if they’re not online per se, you need to market them online for the hard copies to get purchased at all. If you’ve been in the game for a while, you know how tough, challenging and time-consuming book marketing can be, don’t you? Ah, we all do. And, if you are new and enthusiastic – you’ll soon find out.

So, how are you going to market your book? Here are four ideas.

  1. Create a Compelling Brand Identity

Long gone are days when there were only a few authors to publish in a year. In the 21st century, the century of blogs and opinions, everyone’s a potential author and – if you want your book to sell – you need to stand out.

The truth is, writers are no longer just writers – they are walking and talking brands who need to market themselves if they want to be remembered. So, brand yourself in a way that resonates with your target audience and tells a story of who you are as a person and a writer. For instance, if you describe yourself as A Cab Driver Who Writes Books, or The Mother of Three – Criminal, Judge, and Writer – that’ll certainly attract people who either find your description (brand) exciting or see a little bit of themselves in it.


  1. Don’t Try to Sell – Try to Market Your Book

Selling is not marketing, especially not on social media! Forget the phrases like ‘Check out my book,’ ‘Buy my book,’ and ‘My book is free today’ because they’ll make you look, well, pathetic. Instead, interact to get known, post intelligent comments, be witty, be memorable, be worth reading.

  1. Blog Often But Don’t Spam

Newsflash: writing a book isn’t enough. With the competition as strong as it is and so many amazing authors to follow on social media, you need to keep reminding people of yourself and the work you do. So, make sure you blog as often as possible about your book to catch the reader’s interest. You can also write posts thematically related to your book, and then cleverly include it in the post.

For instance, if you wrote a book titled: My Childhood: How I Escaped from a Cult? And you are writing a post about, say, the elements of occultism, include a sentence like “In my book My Childhood: How I Escaped from a Cult? I talk extensively about reactions of the human psyche in the circumstances that…” etc. The point is: keep (subtly) reminding the readers of your book. Plus, writing about your book will get social media attention and make you discoverable on Google.

  1. Be Resourceful With Your Profiles

Set up accounts on Goodreads, AuthorDen, Shelfari or other social media sites related to books. Even places like Google+, Stumbleupon, Pinterest, and Facebook can work. Get notified through Google Alert every time your name lists on a new search engine entry. Since you are marketing yourself as an author, write an original bio for these sites – give your potential readers the reason to find out more about you.

For all the new authors, here’s a closing word of caution: gear up and get ready to face up a lot of arduous self-promotion and hard work before you get anywhere. But, do pair up with Progressive Rising Phoenix if you want to get the best independent publisher for your work, and get to the finish line quicker than you thought possible!

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Seasonal Books – When to Start Marketing

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A lot of people write books to market them specifically at certain times of year such as Valentine’s Day, Christmas time, Easter, Summer holidays, Anniversaries (e.g., WWII), etc. Seasonal publishing can do you more good than damage, especially if you’ve got a solid strategy. With the right seasonal marketing spin, you can turn yourself in the hit author of your targeted season.

What is Seasonal Marketing?

Seasonal marketing is a type of marketing focused on creating campaigns that align with annual events. There are three types of annual events linked to seasonal marketing:

Official holidays:

  • Christmas
  • Thanksgiving
  • New Year’s Day
  • Labor Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Father’s Day
  • Mother’s Day
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Halloween
  • Independence Day
  • Easter
  • Saint Patrick’s Day

Non-traditional holidays:

  • Black Friday
  • Earth Day
  • Star Wars Day
  • International Women’s Day

Annual cultural events:

  • Spring Break
  • Summer Vacation
  • Back-to-School

Apart from the official holidays which are the most celebrated holidays in a year, others aren’t officially acknowledged but do have a following and tend to vary in dates. However, they tend to happen at around the same time each year.

When to Start Marketing Your Seasonal Book?

Well, this is one of the crucial moments of your publishing campaign and career as an author. If you are targeting any of the unofficial groups, it’s best to keep track of those events (when they’ll be celebrated) and start marketing a few months before the actual event. First, create a buzz about your book a year before your publication date and then, as you get closer to the exact publishing date, get more aggressive with your campaign.

For instance, if you want to publish a romance novel, create a buzz at least six months before Valentine’s Day, and then release on Valentine’s or around that date. Looking to publish a children’s book? Build hype a few months before they go back to school! Got a sci-fi book? The next Star Wars movie is perfect timing to publish! Want to publish a self-help book targeting the broken hearted? Surprise the singletons during summer time – they’ll have something useful to read in the sun as they decompress and recharge. If you wrote a memoir on your grandfather’s WWII experiences, publish it on the anniversary of the D-Day. You get the gist.

Grab a Window

Unfortunately, not all events are predictable nor can you always follow a plan. In the 21st century, things seem to happen out of nowhere and create the biggest buzz ever. If you are drawn to this type of writing, you need to be quick to publish. The most important thing is to grab your window of opportunity, master your art of writing fast and launch it while the topic’s still hot. Otherwise, you’ll be old news. Remember when Prince died how many books there were published about his life within weeks of his death? Well, that’s what we mean by “being quick to publish.”

A thorough marketing strategy for your book release won’t play a massive role in situations like these. These are hot topics, they are trending today and are no longer a thing a week from now. Unless you are working with the best marketing team in the country, chances are – you’ll have to work fast and get yourself out there quickly.

If you are looking to publish in your favorite season, Progressive Rising Phoenix is willing to help you get the best tips to keep you on track.

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How to Hook Readers on the First Few Sentences or Paragraph

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Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself, wrote Virginia Wolf. Leo Tolstoy observed that Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Margaret Atwood made it clear that Time is not a line but a dimension, like the dimensions of space while Charles Dickens wondered Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. Brilliant.

So, what do these lines have in common except that we’re quoting (and remembering) them decades after they were written? They were (and still are) extraordinary novel openers we cannot get over. And that’s precisely what you want to accomplish, too.

But, how does a writer in the 21st century go about writing catchy openers and pieces that stick when, these days, virtually every content is chewed, digested, and spat out quicker than it was written?

In a climate that encourages everyone to speak their minds and share their content, you need to make sure your stuff is powerful enough to become worth remembering.

Apart from mastering these Must-Read Books That Will Make You a Better Writer, here’s how to hook readers:

Begin at a Pivotal Moment

In a novel – intrigue is everything. The reader is more likely to want to continue to read if you start your piece with a critical moment in the story.

“I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975.” Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

Make Your Readers Wonder

There’s something mind-bending about a plot you can’t understand straight away. When you put a question in your readers’ minds, you’ve done the most important thing – got their attention and made them want to read more. What’s going to happen? What do those first lines mean? You’ll keep them reading the more you make them wonder.

“Those old cows knew trouble was coming before we did.” – Jeannette Walls, Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel

Start in Medias Res

When you begin with something happening, you immediately catch the reader’s attention and make them wonder what next is going to happen, who the characters are, what’s the background, etc. and you successfully build suspense without even getting to the plot.

“You better not never tell nobody but God.” Alice Walker, The Color Purple

Introduce an Intriguing Character

The reader will, no doubt, be much more interested in a story if there’s a character they find fascinating. Draw your readers into a story’s narrative by starting it with a captivating plotline and an out of the ordinary character.

“I was born twice: first as a baby girl on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974.” Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex

Begin with a Compelling Narrative Voice

Make your first words effective by opening the story with the voice of a narrator. The moment your readers identify with the narrator, that’s when you get their undivided attention. It’s best to start with the first person:

“I am ninety. Or ninety-three. One or the other.”  Sara Gruen, Water for Elephants


Great opening lines are fantastic tools to pull the writers in; however, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. If your few first lines are spectacular and most of your content weak, they won’t continue reading. Keep your content strong at all times. Visit Progressive Rising Phoenix to learn how.

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