Types of Leads from

The opening paragraph should grab the reader's interest and drag him/her quickly into the story. The calculated use of lead technique will distinguish any student story simply because the story begins in a dramatic and effective fashion.

Here are some effective lead techniques:

Open with action:
The bus swerved bumping up against the curb as Mr. Rollston clutched his chest and slumped against the steering wheel.
Open with a question:
Have you ever thought you were going to die?
Open with an announcement:
I just learned that the most dangerous part of any kid's day is getting on to the school bus.
Open with a bold statement:
I nearly got killed on the way to school today. Let me tell you about it.
Open with dialog:
"Get your hands back in the bus you jokers!" Mr. Rollston yelled. We just laughed at him. Then suddenly he went all stiff in his seat. "Aaahg! My heart!" Mr. Rollston moaned as he grabbed his chest and fell from his seat at the front of the bus.
Open with a puzzle or riddle:
What's black and yellow and doesn't get to school on time?
Open with a description of emotion or personal feeling:
My hands clamped up. My stomach twisted in a knot. Everything happened in slow motion. The bus just seemed to drift towards the oncoming traffic as Mr. Rollston tumbled out of his seat.

A Lead from Beverly Cleary's Ramona Forever

"Guess what?" Ramona Quimby asked one Friday evening when her Aunt Beatrice dropped by to show off her new ski clothes and to stay for supper. Ramona's mother, father, and big sister Beezus, whose real name was Beatrice, paid no attention and went on eating. Picky-picky the cat, meowed through the basement door, asking to share dinner.

A Lead from Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach

Until he was four years old, James Henry Trotter had had a happy life. He lived peacefully with his mother and father in a beautiful house beside the sea. There were always plenty of other children for him to play with, and there was the sandy beach for him to run about on, and the ocean to paddle in. It was a perfect life for a small boy.

Then, one day, James's mother and father went to London to do some shopping, and there a terrible thing happened. Both of them suddenly got eaten up (in full daylight, mind you, and on a crowded street) by an enormous angry rhinoceros which had escaped from the London Zoo.

A Lead from Patricia Polacco's When Lightning Comes in a Jar

Today is my family reunion! I can hardly wait. My dad's side of the family will come soon. It's been ages since I've seen them all. Before our reunions were always at my gramma's house, but this year it is going to be at mine! I'm so anxious to see my cousins- especially Lydia and Sandy! They will be wearing the same clothes that we always wear at family reunions. They wore them at our last reunion!

How I remember that day! Gramma and I stood in her front window waiting for my relatives to come.