KEEP THE BEST FOR LAST: Backloading Technique by Rayne Hall


Here is a nifty technique to give your writing style more impact: Structure your sentences so the most powerful word comes at the end. The last word touches the reader’s psyche more than any other, so make it count.

Short, evocative nouns, adjectives and verbs are best. Here’s a list for your inspiration: RayneHall - Fantasy Horror Author - Portrait by Fawnheartdeath, dead, kiss, lust, treachery, blood, fear, die, kill, deep, cold, heat, dark, boil, pull, grave, grip, grasp, hope, sear, scream, thrill, scar, bone, flesh, skull, wound, pray, pain, soul, child, flee, trap, teeth, curse, escape, safe, love.

These words, on the other hand, have no particular effect: it, then, them, across, through, there, somehow, around,  under, of, off, for, that, be, others, his, her.

Often, restructuring the sentence is all it takes, or perhaps adding, deleting or replacing one word.


She knew she had to kill it.


She knew she had to kill.


She had a painful headache.


Pain pounded in her skull.


He felt the pain then.


Then he felt the pain.


A child was in there.


In there was a child.

I recommend backloading the last sentence of most paragraphs – but only if it suits the contents. If possible, backload the last sentence of every scene, because that’s where the impact is greatest.

Try it with some sentences in your manuscript, and post the “before” and “after” versions as a comment.

To read about Rayne Hall, and view her publications, click here.

If you would enjoy more writing tips from Rayne Hall, visit her author’s page with book listings and prices.

14 thoughts on “KEEP THE BEST FOR LAST: Backloading Technique by Rayne Hall

  1. Great tip! I checked through my manuscript and realized this is something I often do without realizing.
    Eg. I had changed
    It clattered as it hit the shelves behind it.
    It hit the shelves behind it with a fierce clatter.
    I agree, so much better. I shall now look to do that consciously as I edit my work.
    Thank you.

    • Our pleasure Su Halfwerk. 🙂 Rayne does a great job with her reminders. It’s the simple things that we tend to over think or forget. 🙂 She has some books out for purchase if you’re interested in them. They are at the link at the bottom of the page.

      • Oh, I have her books from Smashwords (Writing Scary Scenes, 13 British Horror Stories, and the first volume of Six Scary Tales.) Whenever you share these links, her name reminds me of the joys of reading her work.

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