What Isn’t Said Can Mean More Than What Is…

Last post, I talked about virtual gold and freelancing. I’d like to continue that thread–especially since someone talked about another piece of this in yet another post in the copywriter’s Facebook group I’m in about clients, getting them/not getting them, and following directions.

The original post had asked for bullet point examples because the client wanted to hire someone to write bullets for a video sales letter script (VSL). After he put that out, he put another post into the group saying that he got a lot of responses that didn’t have what he asked for, or were a link to a website that he had to hunt through. Not what he’d requested, and he said folks who followed directions were 80% more likely to get hired for gigs if they gave clients what they asked for, how they asked for it.

Someone else commented on the post to say that if you took a look at the guy’s word choices, they indicated that he’d be a pain the neck to have as a client. He followed up to clarify that the guy’s post “lacked charm.” The original poster admitted he had been sharp, and was only trying to help out others who were hunting for gigs on the board.

My point?

You can tell a lot about someone from what they don’t say that from what they do say. This works great in fiction. Let’s say Dick and Jane have a fight. If they’re facing each other afterward, and Dick asks “Will you forgive me?” and Jane doesn’t say anything, doesn’t that tell us a lot about what Jane may be thinking? Exactly. Unless her mind wandered while Dick was speaking, it would be clear that Jane wasn’t too keen on giving Dick forgiveness this second.

In copywriting, there are a lot of different ways to imply things, and get people thinking–even with the above post as an example. The guy who commented on the rant post about the lack of following directions also said none of his best business interactions ever started with the flair of a boss/employee relationship, but instead as an equal partnership–meaning that if you started out as boss/employee you’d be more likely to have an unequal partnership, or a situation that wasn’t win-win. He also mentioned that the original poster had “attitude and posturing” in his post that may have kept good writers away from his original offer.

And another person commented that a lot of people could have stayed away because they thought “your best bullets across several niches” meant “I’m going to string together a hodge-podge of other peoples’ work for free and not pay them a dime.”

And that’s just what other people thought–as writers, we try to do our best to see things from a lot of different angles–even what people may be thinking based on body language or something else.

And reading other writers as they debate something is a great way to get ideas about how that works.

So if you’re stuck for an email subject line, character sketch piece, or a bullet in an email (ha), try implying something instead of blurting it out–it’s the old “show don’t tell” all over again. Different types of writing do it differently, but in the end, it’s pretty much the same road.

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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