Monday, January 26, 2015

Ask every sentence a question.

Photo by Tim Hamilton
One of my co-workers turned me onto the Tiny Sense of Accomplishment podcast hosted by Sherman Alexie and Jess Walter, and I've burned through all of them up until the present. I admit to not really having been that familiar with either author* on the podcast, though once I learned Alexie wrote Smoke Signals I realize I at least heard of something one of them has done, but the conversations they have about writing are great.

While I think they toss out a lot of great little nuggets, the one that hit me the hardest was Alexie's admission that when he finishes a first draft he goes back and asks a question of every single sentence, forcing it to prove its worth. That's a hell of a pressure test. And I admit I do not think I have the ability to bring that much rigor to, nor do I really think I would want to, my prose.**

However I think it's great advice for marketing copy! I write a lot about healthcare and in that instance I think its incredibly helpful to question every single line, and make it prove its worth, as well as make certain its balanced out by appropriate explanation and information. In fact I think that when I'm mentoring younger writers in my industry that is exactly the sort of golden nugget that can help move someone fem writing copy that misses its mark to writing copy that shines and does exactly what it needs to do with great efficiency.

Tip of the day—learn it, live it!

*I know, I know, What?!
**Which is probably what will forever mark me as a really good, but never a great writer of fiction? I guess time will tell.

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