What Sons of Liberty Can Teach You About Short Fiction And Copy

How was your weekend? Mine was all right. No comics in the paper though (boo!) And I tried to download a video yesterday, only to realize I had to click the link, get that to my phone, and then click another link. Ha. So I had no video to watch.

Well, anyway.

Let’s get to it, today.

I enjoy history. A lot. It was one of my favorite subjects in school. So I was totally jazzed when I realized the History Channel was doing a miniseries called Sons of Liberty, about the Revolutionary War (here in North America).

So I had my eyeballs glued to the tube until 10:00 last night (and boy, was it difficult getting them pried off and reattached).

What’s my point with this (apart from painful eyeballs)?


I’ve posted on this before. But think of it this way. This miniseries (starting with Sam Adams in debt over his eyebrows and nearly arrested) ends tonight.

Three episodes. Six hours. All to cover an area of history that’s about 8 years long.

Some things are gonna have to be left out.

Same with fiction and copy. You have to know your main character grew his Cognizant Eye a day after he turned five, but is that relevant to your story right now? It may impact things later, but do readers need to know to keep them reading, or to get them more immersed in your world?

With copy/persuasive writing, it’s a bit different. If you have other benefits or stories, depending on how long you (or your client) wants the email series to be, you can always slip another story or network of benefits into a different email.

Some things have to stay, and some have to go. But you always have to start with a bang, to break your readers or prospects out of their day-to-day and get them to take that break, with you.

There are more thrilling things out there, but unfortunately, 99% of the time, as writers and marketers, we have to pick what goes where, for this piece, today.

Frustrating, and fun, all at once.

When you’re overwhelmed by a big project, think short, punchy pieces, and see if that doesn’t help you move forward.

Until next time,



About Ty Mall

Thanks for stopping by. I've almost always been interested in writing, among other things. Along with discovering pop culture, I've uncovered a lot about the craft over the past 10 years. And whether you're a fiction writer or email copywriter, I'm here to pass on what I've found out. And have a ton of fun in the process.
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2 Responses to What Sons of Liberty Can Teach You About Short Fiction And Copy

  1. Carole Mertz says:

    Short punchy pieces. I think that’s good advice, Ty. Especially if you enjoy doing them, as I do. You do have to set priorities, but anything that moves you forward as a writer seems good to me. (There may come a time when I’ll learn to be more disciplined, and expect myself to stick to the hard stuff only. In the meantime, I’m having a bit of fun.) I suspect you are, too.

    • Ty Mall says:

      I do like shorter pieces, Carole. The time I did an 8,000 word fiction piece was an experience to say the least :-). And priorities is right. Didn’t get to much fiction writing this week, sad to say. I need to work better on carving out/making time for that. I find that switching off between easy and hard stuff whenever you’re stuck works well, or free-writing. Of course, that also depends on what your “easy” and “hard” tasks are. And I’m no bastion of self-discipline, by any stretch. Thanks for swinging by. As an edit for Sons of Liberty, the series actually ended right after the Declaration of Independence. Still a great show, though, and made history (what most people consider boring) really matter. Thanks for stopping by.

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