Writing Journal 25: Fiction is Feelings

Writing Journal 25: Fiction is Feelings

My writing journal for Saturday, September 6, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Up early, and back to my usual routine of writing fiction and nonfiction before I do anything else.

I managed 1,800 words of fiction, and 2,000 words of nonfiction. The fiction flowed well, but it took a little time to get back into the feelings of the characters.

Fiction: stay with it

That’s the big danger with fiction: if you take too much time away from it, it’s very hard to get back into it. You need to be able to feel what the characters feel. If you can’t, your fiction is dead, because it’s an emotional experience for readers. If you can’t feel it, your readers won’t either. :-)

I know this, of course, but I still make excuses for myself, and give myself days off from fiction. I’ve decided that if I know that I’ll be “too busy” to write fiction on a particular day, I’ll get up earlier to make sure that it’s done.

When you take time off from fiction, not only is it hard to get back into it, you end up second-guessing yourself.

A tip: here’s what works for my students when they take too many days off from a piece of fiction. I ask them to go back a couple of scenes, and copy them. No copy and paste however. I ask them to type the scenes again, because that gets them feeling the characters’ feelings again.

Yes, typing is a hassle, but if you can’t FEEL your characters, you’ll start procrastinating. Then you’ll give up on your story.

Another tip: always go with FEELINGS when you’re not sure what to write next.

(More on scenes, and emotion, on my Just Write a Book blog.)

I fed Honey, then had my own breakfast, while checking over the schedule for next week. I remind myself that I MUST walk today. No excuses.

Next, email. Feedback for students, and quotes for clients. Julia can deal with most of it.

It’s Saturday, so I need to run some errands. Since I’ll be out most of the day, I need to get to the “must do” tasks right now. I’ve got a couple of coaching calls later on tonight, so I set myself an alarm to remember to prepare for them.

Draft blog posts, and writing workshops

Firstly, I need to complete several blog posts for clients, and schedule them for publication. Next, I need to do more research on the rush product-launch website content.

OK. Time for my walk.

And back… Lovely morning. It takes a couple of hours to finish up blog posts, and write a page for our new “Leap Into” writing workshops.

Enrollments are open for the first workshop, a three-week copywriting workshop.

I need to work on the NaNoWriMo workshop we have coming up; watch for that one if you’re writing a novel in November.

With that done, it’s time for Saturday’s commitments.

Phone coaching sessions

I’m back. The daily review is done, and so is the word count.

Now it’s time to prepare for a couple of phone coaching sessions. I always enjoy these. After this week’s tech aggravations, I’m glad that the connection’s fine, so we can Skype away.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

3 Essential Copywriting Secrets for Today’s World

3 Essential Copywriting Secrets for Today’s World

Copywriting – writing to sell – is in many ways much easier than it used to be, it’s also harder, in today’s busy world. Back in day, you could write catalogue copy, or a brochure, and call it done. Today, both your catalogue copy and brochure-like websites need to be tagged with meta data, and supported with social media marketing.

Let’s look at three essential copywriting secrets for today’s busy and fragmented audiences.

1. Emotion First – THEN Make Them Think.

Arouse emotion in your audience first, THEN make them think. The old copywriting formula, AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) is based on emotion. Emotion not only grabs attention, but it also inspires action. AIDA is useless without emotion.

The easiest way to arouse an emotion is via visuals. A recent post on visual content on the Buffer blog made this point:

The brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than it does text. We are wired to take in visual content faster and more effectively than we are words. Ninety percent of the information sent to our brains is visual; we’ve been trained to consume visual content as quickly as we can.

Bigger is better with visuals – viz print magazines and social media – for two reasons: emotion, and memory.

I’m a writer, so I’m heavily focused on words, but visuals allow you to arouse emotions faster in your audience, and get them to remember more. Here’s an interesting PDF from hp on the power of visual communication.

Copywriting is persuasion, and there’s no persuasion without emotion.

2. What’s the Big Idea?

Every copywriting project depends on the power of a big idea, such as the idea (and the emotion) behind David Ogilvy’s classic Rolls Royce ad.

Your big idea is the message. You’ll leverage your message with content, so the more you consider your message, and its implications, the easier it will be to leverage.

Politicians know the persuasive power of repetition. They stay on message. You may repeat words in your copy, however, beyond words, focus on the emotion, and your big idea.

3. Leverage Your Message With Content.

Copywriting isn’t just advertising in today’s world.

From The art of adverts: How social media is changing the way companies speak to consumers:

“The guys get together in the morning and say, ‘what’s happening, what’s in the news and in the online space’,” he says. “It might be something relevant to one of our brands and we need to come up with an idea and get it out there in a short space of time.”

Today, your copy needs to be leveraged with content, in any way you can manage it.

You’re running a small business; you don’t have an advertising agency to do your social media for you. Indeed, social media can seem like a nuisance. At best, it’s an afterthought.

What if you switched that around, and made social media the focus of your advertising? Start paying more attention to social media. You may find that social media not only enhances what you spend on advertising, but helps you to spend less.

As John Wanamaker said: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

In summary, consider emotion first, then focus on your big idea, and leverage it with content. These copywriting secrets are essential today.

Want to set up your own copywriting services business? Get started today. 

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.