How to Achieve Word Impact

How to Achieve Word Impact

(Another post among many which Suite101 has deleted from their content. I had linked to this on Creative Writing Inspiration and decided to save it on my own site when I found it among the carnage).

Nov 22, 2011  Karen Newcomb

Three word power secrets that add impact in communication
Writing too often simply sits on the printed page and does nothing. This is because there is a tremendous difference between the potential impact words have and the actual impact they create in a piece of writing.

How many times have you received something written from another person which you had trouble understanding and which you finally stopped reading because you just lost interest? In addition, how many times have you written a letter expecting immediate action and received almost no response. The fact is that written communication often falls flat. This applies to articles, books, query letters, right down to memos in an office. Think about how advertisers use this formula to grab your attention.

The basic word power formula consists of three things:

Keep it simple
Get your reader’s attention
Talk directly to your reader
Keep It Simple

This is a basic rule that should be applied at all times. One of the main problems is that people often use too many words to say what they’re trying to say, and the writing itself is too complicated.

You can greatly improve your writing if you look at everything you write and ask: Is this the simplest way I can say it and still include everything I want to say? If it isn’t, rewrite it.

Here are some examples of complicated sentences and how they can be made simple.

 

Complicated

We would be very happy if after thinking it over you would reply.

Simple

Please reply.

Complicated

I got the right address when my first letter was returned with another address which I see is correct.

Simple

I got the right address from the envelope when my first letter was returned.

Complicated

Your suggestions will indeed be discussed during the next Publications Committee meeting.

Simple

We will discuss your suggestions at the next Publications committee meeting.

Get Your Reader’s Attention

Much writing simply starts without giving the reader any reason to read on. As a result, the first couple of sentences get read then the writing is put down. You should always do something at the beginning of each piece of writing to attract attention. In the beginning, you can improve your writing tremendously if you remember that reader will always read on if you offer him some future promise. How? By changing the sentence around so the reader feels you are offering him something he can use.

Here are a couple of examples:

Poor Beginning

This summer at King Memorial Library we had a Creative Writer’s Workshop.

Attention Getting Beginning

Let me tell you about the Creative Writer’s Workshop we had at King Memorial Library.

Poor Beginning

Paris is lovely in the spring.

Attention Getting Beginning

I’d like to share Paris in the spring with you.

Poor Beginning

The high school carnival was a success and we got marvelous response in our call for donations and help for the Country Store…and a lot of people helped in phoning and in putting in a lot of long hours…thanks a lot.

Attention Getting Beginning

Thank you very much for helping to make our school carnival a tremendous success. This was due to…

Talk Directly to Your Reader
Of course not every type of writing will allow you to talk directly to your reader, but where you can, you’ll increase your written effectiveness 100 percent. In fiction writing you talk directly to your reader through viewpoint, in non-fiction and article writing you simply insert the word “you.”

Some examples:

Indirect

Special thanks to those people who helped us.

Talking to Your Reader

A special thank you for helping us.

Indirect

Those who use this method will find out how to lose five pounds easily.

Talking to Your Reader

Using this method you can easily lose five pounds.

Indirect

There are probably many people who would like girls chasing them.

Talking to Your Reader

Would you like girls chasing you?

There are many types of writing in which you can’t talk to your reader. But when you can it will improve both the communication and response many times.

Copyright Karen Newcomb. Contact the author to obtain permission for republication.
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