How’s it going? I wanted to go a little off the beaten path today, so to speak, and tie it in.
Let’s get to it.
I was reviewing my journal today–basically a sorta dry, where/what/when of me and my day-to-day stuff that I try to write every day. Here I was flipping the pages, and I (re)learned that a month ago, on the 13th of December (well a little more than a month ago actually) it was a little over 60 degrees outside.
In December. In the Midwest.
It’s pretty amazing to think of that, when I can see snow outside my window right now, and that I’d seen the plow go by about 25 or so minutes ago.
Maybe that’s why I like to think of fictional universes in terms of their settings a lot. Although there have been times that weird weather is much weirder than any setting detail I’d come up with (like times in July that I’ve worn shorts, and the times I’ve worn coats).
What’s my point here?
Well, and I’ll probably say this a lot or I have already…
It helps to think of things from more than one angle–at least two, and four or more if possible. Just like having a warm December and a normal January. If that’s possible, what else is?
That’s why we as writers experiment so much with details in fiction, like characters, point of view, what character’s point of view we use (like remembering that bad guys have their own ideas, hopes, and dreams too), and what-have-ya.
Copywriters don’t come up with one idea for a subject line or headline for a sales letter and go with it–they come up with a bunch of them, and then test them or run them by other people they trust to get feedback before whittling down their choices and moving ahead.
As far as research in the age of the Internet, I’ve heard from a respected copywriter that more isn’t always better.
But for things like brainstorming you want to have a lot of ideas–a lot of different angles and details to emphasize–or decide whether to emphasize. Which also leads you to determining WHY something is important and needs to be included.
So the next time you’re stuck for a subject line, bullet, or what-have-ya–study your characters, and your prospects’ thoughts, needs, and more.
And then try to get more things to pick from–start big, and narrow down. Pick what to emphasize based on what will do the most for you and your story–to cover the most ground and suggest or imply the most in the fewest words.
This Friday is the prompt for Triple F. Be sure to stop by then if you don’t hear from me tomorrow.
Until next time,