Pecking "The Da Vinci Code" to Death
19. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.
20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.
21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.
22. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.
23. The ballerina rose gracefully en pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.
24. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.
25. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.
26. Her eyes were like limpid pools, only they had forgotten to put in any pH cleanser.
27. She walked into my office like a centipede with 98 missing legs.
28. It hurt the way your tongue hurts after you accidentally staple it to the wall.
Takeaway Points to Consider
* Whether you are writing a letter, memo, white paper, special report, article or full-length book, get a book on direct response copy and do what the top copywriters do.
* The first thing a writer must do is grab immediate attention. Book club colleague Bob Scott once suggested that you upset a bucket of gore in the reader's lap at the start and not let up. For example, here is Dan Brown's opening for "The Da Vinci Code":
LOUVRE MUSEUM, PARIS
Renowned curator Jacques Saunière staggered through the vaulted archway of the museum's Grand Gallery. He lunged for the nearest painting he could see, a Carravagio. Grabbing the gilded frame, the seventy-three-year-old man heaved the masterpiece toward himself until it tore from the wall and Saunière collapsed backward in a heap beneath the canvas.
- Audrey Tatou
- Da Vinci
- Daniel Fienberg
- Daniel Henninger
- David Edelstein
- David Faraci
- Edward Dougless
- Erik Childress
- Gregory J. Sullivan
- Ian McKellen
- Jack Maxson
- Jay Gosselin
- Jonathan Gibbs
- Merissa Marr
- Michael Elliott
- Nancy Kerrigan
- Ron Howard
- Suzy Ridenour
- Terrible Prose Ed Zuckerman
- The News
- Todd McCarthy
- Tom Hanks
- Variety Dan Brown