Get rid of the extras to get readers to click and read, just like trying to focus on a tree in a busy Florida landscape.
By Shelley Widhalm
Writing can get a message across, but there can be a lot of fluff, or something to skip over and move on.
The idea is to get attention—with the first sentence of a story, the headline to a blog or article, or the top item of a list. Don’t let them scroll or scan on to the next paragraph or item, but keep them locked within the body or the story. Get them to #clickandstay.
But don’t stop there. Get them to take action either by getting lost in the storytelling and not leaving the book or wanting what you have to sell, offer, promote or persuade. What you’re doing is engaging them in the moment and leaving an impression. They remember what they read instead of letting it sift out like all the clutter in a house or office.
Cutting out writing clutter results in a clear, concise and compelling style that has spark. But how do you add spark to your writing?
You can practice and put in the time, so that writing moves from desire to a #writinghabit. It’s not a one-day thing to achieving that place of great, high-quality writing. It’s a matter of discipline, motivation and inspiration.
Or, you can find someone who loves writing to do the work for you. Make sure they know the key aspects of your message, or what you want to say and hope your readers will learn, get inspired by or do.
To get that spark in writing and storytelling:
- Lead in with something new, interesting, different or compelling.
- Keep to the topic on hand without veering off into tangents.
- Add enough detail and description but don’t overdo it. Keep adverbs, those words ending in –ly, to a minimum.
- Describe things using two or more senses, like sight, sound and taste.
- Establish all of the elements of telling a story, such as setting, character, plot and dialog. This works even when talking about your business—where and when were you founded, who are the staff, what stories do they and you as the owner have to tell, and what are your favorite quotes about what you have to offer?
For action-taking, once readers and customers know you, they will be intrigued. Once they realize you can help them with their pain points, or what takes away from their own time, energy and resources, they’ll look to you as problem-solver. They’ll see you as story crafter creating The End, or I’m Sold!