It’s important to paint a picture in the reader’s mind. This is similar to when you’re watching a movie or reading a book and feeling like you’re part of the storyline. By doing this you keep the readers engaged and wanting to keep reading.
Here is an example from a military media website I managed a few years back. One of my staff writers wrote an article about a headlamp. I mean, how exciting can an article about a headlamp be? Check out his intro. His choice of words and phrases paints a picture of the situation in your mind. The phrase – shivering uncontrollably – puts me, the reader, into the writer’s shoes. I can picture myself being cold as hell after reading that first sentence.
I was shivering uncontrollably. My thin warm weather rip-stop Crye multicams did little to ward off the December chill in Northeastern Washington. It was 2030 hours, well past civil twilight this far north and it had been dark for four hours by this point. We’d been evading by moon and starlight and had settled into our third location for the night. Freezing rain occasionally rifted over us in sheets. We huddled into a defilade to make comms via our PRC-112 emergency radio. We received a text message data burst for our next set of coordinates.
However the backlight on our radio was not working. “Jones, turn on your headlamp” I nodded while my teeth chattered nearly uncontrollably and when I hit the button on the top of my headlamp to turn it on, nothing happened. Hissed threats against the headlamp followed as I tried fixing it. However she’d given up the ghost after three days in the field – the plastic frame had cracked from the temperature deviation between the day and the night and water had gotten into it. The headlamp was dead and it was the only light we were allowed. Our operation became much more difficult because of that equipment failure.
After writing a killer introduction, he went on to talk about the specific headlamp he was reviewing.