Monday, March 8, 2010

Connecting With Your Reader - Part One

Every writer wants to connect with her reader through the words on the paper or screen. And we’ve all felt the thrill that comes from a perfectly crafted sentence. You know the type – it’s made up with something that makes the reader feel something, think about your point and apply what you’ve just said.

When I started writing I referred to those rare instances as magic or inspiration. Now, with some experience behind me, I’m a bit more deliberate in crafting them. I want to share some of the tricks that will help you make your writing shine. These suggestions are specifically for non-fiction freelance writing, articles, devotions, etc. But they also translate well when writing fiction.

First, you want to find a specific point of connection with your reader. As I’ve said before, writing is all about relationships. There are several ways to connect with your reader.
  • Tell a story – you can use this to show common ground with the reader.
  • Ask a question – this can show that you understand what the reader is concerned about.
  • Tap into an emotion – it helps to engage the reader’s heart when you begin.
Second,  you need to establish credibility with your reader. What you want to do is invite the reader to walk down this path with you. You may be writing an article about weight loss and want them to consider your method. There are several ways of doing this as well.
  • Quote an expert – if you’re not a fitness expert and you’re writing that weight loss article, borrow the expertise of someone who is.
  • Use personal experience – maybe you’ve lost weight. This would be relevant to the reader.
  • Find an understandable statistic – statistics are good to use IF they are quantifiable. In other words, 3 out of 4 people, not 15.5 percent of the population under age 30.
Word of Warning – don’t lecture, preach or point your finger at anyone.

We’ll explore more tips next week. In the meantime, share how you connect with your reader.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!

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