One of the wonders of writing for an audience is that each member of your target group is usually unaware of how many other people are reading the same piece. In fact the mark of good/great writing is that wonderfully direct link between the words on the page and the message unfolding inside your reader’s mind.
Only when they are actually read by a person do your words come to life.
So when you write anything, anything at all, remember that the engine powering your message is your reader’s imagination.
This makes your writing at least a two-stage process:
your words = reader reaction
Or, if you’re trying to write persuasively, this becomes a three stage process:
your words = reader reaction = reader response
I find this terribly liberating.
It means you don’t have to be literal. You can suggest, imply, infer, tease…in fact you can be anything you like, as long as you’re focused on provoking the desired reaction.
And on the same theme, don’t treat your readers as stupid:
“I am pleased to enclose your latest product catalogue”
…but explicitly accept that they are at least as intelligent as you:
“I hope you’re as intrigued with the Special Offers on page 12 as I am.”
So there you have it. The key elements in written communication are :
1) The Message, and
2) The Reader
You, the author, are merely the tool that dynamically connects the two…
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