The One Great Writing Technique You Have To Master

    great writing technique - man at sunset

    Do you have a great writing technique? Maybe you work on specific strategies, like building anticipation, or perhaps you focus more on packing your content full of emotion. Plenty of different techniques can improve your writing. Trying each out only makes you a better writer.

    One writing technique spans all forms of writing, though, from persuasive copy that sells to advertisements that incite to stories that entertain.

    It’s storytelling, and it’s a technique that works.

    It Was a Dark, Stormy Night

    You may not see the relation between a good story and your latest copy on a miracle cream or a sales pitch for a new gadget – but I do. A story worth telling captures interest right away.

    One single sentence can set the mood in an instant. Make your opening statement pack a wallop. Grip a person from the moment he or she reads that opening sentence, and you’ll turn that individual into a reader, or even a customer.

    Eyes are the Windows of the Soul

    See deeper than words. Let readers look right into the soul of your writing – even if it’s boring ad copy. Every piece of content you write needs to have some sort of emotional impact that creates a bond between your words and your readers.

    Pain. Suffering. Hurt. Challenges. Obstacles. In a novel, the suffering of characters creates a bond between them and the readers. In copywriting, conveying to people that the company knows and cares goes a long way.

    Oh, No! What’ll They Do Now?

    Building anticipation is crucial. Novelists need a page-turner, and copywriters need conversion. As you unwind your story of emotional trials, tribulations and obstacles, work on building anticipation to near-epic proportions.

    Readers reach the pinnacle, the peak of the story or the crux of the copy. As a writer, you can tip them over the ledge (gently, of course). When you present the story’s climax or the problem’s solution, you’ll have readers eating out of the palm of your hand.

    A Soft Place to Land

    Let-down counts. Give readers that afterglow effect that lowers them from the peak of your writing into a state of fulfillment. That doesn’t mean leaving them with happiness – many a great novel and many a page of web content leaves readers with another emotion completely.

    But it does leave them with the feeling that they got what they wanted. Their need for a solution, for a good story, for a great gadget or for entertainment was fulfilled. They are confident. They are complete.

    And they’ll come back for more.


    About the author

      James Chartrand

      James Chartrand is a Top Ten blogger and an advocate for stress-free writing that gets results. Learn how to write content that really works, build rapport with readers, and fill your magical hat with money with the Damn Fine Words writing course for business owners. It's Write to Done approved!

    • J.D. Meier says:

      Win the heart the mind follows. Stories make us feel.

    • Thanks for the great writing tips. I will try to implement them on my Blog. although I write on Interior Design an use alot of pictures, I will try out some of your points.

    • Hey, everyone, thanks! I really enjoyed writing this post, and it was fun to meet Mary’s challenge, too: Write a post that hits every type of writer from fiction to sales copywriter.

      Mmmhm. Can do, Mary. And done.

      @ Zoe – Yes indeed. It’s much more interesting to work a good story in than to just try to find power words for the moment.

      @ Scott – On the more business side of writing, I find that much of my clients LOVE the work that uses storytelling – and so do their clients. It’s an important technique for our line of work, I think.

      @ Metro – Thanks! And thanks to Mary, I will be!

      @ Dave – You have, and I find myself more interested in your posts. Your increasing readership shows it too… not that you were anything less but great before, that is!

      @ Bamboo – Nah. Don’t read other people’s stories. You have plenty of your own to tell, don’t you? Those are the ones I want to hear.

      @ Mary – I love that analogy. You go! (and thank you for having my post on your blog!)

      @ Writer Dad – Dude! I can’t believe you wrote that, lol. Too funny.

      @ Ultimate – Thank you for that, appreciated.

      @ Allison – Yup. A favorite author who uses the right tricks (and as you say, no matter what type of writing he’s penning) makes me want to come back for more.

      Cheers, everyone!

    • Zoe says:

      Not only does this make the writing more interesting for readers, but it makes it more fun to write as well. This is a great post — I’d be interested to see an example of your story-telling ad copy!

    • Scott McIntyre says:

      This is a very useful way to think about how a writer creates content, James.

      For any reader, the journey is the best part of the experience. I know myself that, even in sales copy, if I’m hooked by the first paragraph, then I’m compelled to read on.

      Each sentence should whet the appetite for more, each paragraph ought to carry us along.

      The ‘art of storytelling’ is a great skill to master, and definitely one to practice.

      Thank you for describing it so clearly.

    • Metroknow says:

      Men with Pens is definitely one of my favorite writing resources. Glad to see James spreading the love on another favorite blog of mine! Thanks James – Keep it coming.

    • I’m using this technique more now that I’ve been hanging with you, James. Thanks for the tips.

    • Story telling is an important element to sound blog writing, indeed.

      I intend to improve my skills in this department. One way to do so, and perhaps the most effective – is to read good stories. Take the techniques you find there and put it in your own writing.

    • Hi James!
      This is great stuff. I’ll immediately re-write the article I’m writing at the moment. It’s about what it’s like beginning something. I’ll ad a story.

      The story is about how I was recently learning to kitesurf and how the instructor said I had talent, “…because even when you are dumped into the sea and are being dragged backwards under water, you are still trying to control your kite.”

    • writer dad says:

      People want to feel alive, and suspense tickles our nervous system. When it’s over, we should feel like cuddling or snoring; either way, we should be satisfied.

    • Great article! I’m going to stumble this for sure.

    • This is a great point, James. Whether it be ad copy, blog posts, or a fictional book, the best ones are always the ones that make the reader feel something. Those end up being the blogs, or authors, or even sometimes brands that I keep coming back to.

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