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Have You Ever Been Green

I was green-really green!

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Dr. A. L. Emrick

Not in face, feature, or ecology, but as a writer. After selling six articles recently, I feel like a reformed smoker who wants to share their exciting and helpful tips. The tips have been proven since Gutenberg, but they may offer a light bulb refresher against the published author’s complacency, simple rehashing tips for the professional or useful to another new green writer. It is ”Writing 101” packaged in brief concision. So let’s begin.

The tips apply to general writing, public speaking and copywriting. What do these three have in common? Curiosity! They must get and hold attention.

Observe the following selling strategies.

Speakers sell persuasion. A renowned minister, with 40 years experience, captivates his audiences with a hook every three to four minutes. Here are some examples:

  • Now let me tell you what happened next.
  • Do you know why they did it?
  • Could you?
  • Ever happen in your family?
  • Let’s examine their real motive.
  • How do you feel about it?
  • Here’s a situation I’ll never forget.

Copywriters sell ideas. An example would be: “Ever wondered how to get more free time in your busy life? Gizzo-Speed-A-Meter can deliver this.”

How do writers sell?

Writers sell emotions, imagination, and information. They sell emotions with which readers can identify, and then continue the flow of emotions and vivid imaginations.  We market information, inspiration, imagination and entertainment. We need marketing strategy within the text itself. People buy persuasion, ideas or emotions that kindle the curiosity, whether from a speaker, marketer or writer. Because of the NASCAR-speed lifestyle of the American public today, it is essential for the first line of the article/book to have an alluring hook. That hook must reoccur often and grab the reader. Every paragraph or every other paragraph needs the force of a “what’s next” hook.

To put the basic outline in one swoop, remember the next tips.

Good material needs to be “alive.” Without life, the body text would be as dull as watching paint dry. An article or book needs a captivating title, an ensnaring first sentence “hook,” continuous grabbers throughout the text, and a thought-provoking ending. Consider the next two books. How many people have read the dictionary from start to finish or been riveted by the BBQ grill assembly manual? These books are useful, informative and dull.  Have you bought one for pleasure reading?  I haven’t.  However, if a book kept my finger on the tongue for moisture to turn the pages quickly, I’d find my wallet.

Biblical material is full of life and can jump off the paper alluring the reader with eager interest. (“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”-John 15:11) Would you be interested in hearing more?

People are curious about numbers. Numbers hook! There are four great grabbers in all writing. Ever wonder what they are? (The four grabbers were made up to show a point.) Were y22ou waiting to hear what there were?

Critique this article. Study the catchy title, first hook in italics, and bold hooks in a continuous flow throughout the material. Notice the variety of hooks at the first, middle, and end of the paragraphs. Did they grab a little?

Three things generate a successful business: location, location, location. Three things generate a successful writer: curiosity, curiosity, curiosity.

Finally, is the ending significant?

The importance of the ending is vital. The ending is not the end because the ending must make the reader continue to think; to remember your name, the title, the story and the emotions. With that in mind, the ending should have a clincher summary, irony, valuable take-away, or just leave them wanting more.

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