Friday, March 28, 2014

How is Writing Like a Blind Date?

by Edie Melson

No the title isn't just a bad joke. There really are amazing similarities between these two things. Today I’m going to share the answer to the burning question, “How is writing like a blind date?”

You may think I’m nuts, but hang in here with me. There are a lot more similarities to these two circumstances than you might initially think. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the writer or the reader, unless you’ve met before neither one of you knows exactly what to expect.  So I’ve come up with some writing/dating Dos and Don’ts you might want to consider. 

  • First, DO put your best foot forward. Your buddies may know you’re a great guy, but if you show up for that first date in a t-shirt and cut-offs, you’re going to have a hard time convincing her of it. Conversely, if your date has told you it’s going to be a back yard cook-out and you pull out the stilettos and pearls there’s probably not going to be another date. The same is true of writing. It doesn’t matter what you’re writing, a blog post or the second novel in your award-wining series, you only get one chance to make a GOOD first impression. If you’re composing a blog post, keep the tone conversational and leave the buttoned-up world of formal writing at home.
  • Second, DON’T be misleading. Only a fool would rent a Porsche and pretend to be rich on a first date, thinking the initial wrong impression would be so impressive it would be forgiven later. The same is true when we promise our reader one thing with a title or opening paragraph and then deliver something entirely different. Lying is way too much trouble and it never ends well.
  • Third, DO give the other person a chance to get to know you. Nobody likes to be cornered by the insecure person who tells you her life story in an hours-long monologue. Information dumping, especially in fiction, comes across exactly like that. Make the reader curious and let them wonder about what’s to come. Leave a room for a little mystery and a bit of flirting. Trust me—it’s much more fun that way!
  • Finally, DON’T underestimate the intelligence of the one you’re with. None of us like to be talked down to—especially by someone we’ve just met. The same is true of readers. They often understand more than what we give them credit for.  We don’t have to beat them over the head with a point for them to get it. 

If you think about it, you'll see these guidelines make sense. With writing, like blind dates, the first impression counts. Your first line is your reader’s first impression and many times it determines whether or not he will go any further in the relationship.

So how good are you at this writing/dating game? What kind of writers have you dated? Have you noticed any of these in the things you’ve read/written?

Don’t forget to join the conversation!




  1. I love the analogy, Edie! You made your excellent points both concrete and memorable. Especially for a single girl like me!! :)

  2. Like the title and the comparisons, Edie.