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How to Avoid Tattle-Tale Copywriting
When he stepped on the scale, a warning message appeared that read, “One at a time, please!” So a local community joke goes back to my childhood days. And he definitely makes those, “Your mom is so fat…” jokes. At least, in my book. Why? Because the word is a “show” and not a “word”. You get the ‘fat’ joke because I didn’t just tell you he was fat, but show you instead. And those “your mama’s so fat” jokes at the beginning provide the punch line. But this idea of ”show and don’t tell” isn’t just about jokes—or showing a joke—it’s one of the basic “rules” of fiction writing that you should apply to your writing as well.
Writing is always more emotionally powerful and engaging when you give specific details about the emotions you felt, rather than just listing them. When you give details, you allow readers to form their own mental images that are more interesting than what you can say. Since we are talking about marking, then some examples should help here: Words: I felt mentally and physically. Show: My legs could barely support my body as I moved to the sofa. I tried to hold myself to sleep but the tears came without sleep. In the narrative example, you have a mental understanding of my situation but you cannot share my feelings. In the case of the show, you become part of the scene because you are invited to feel what I feel. You are drawn into the action which makes writing more interesting and compelling. Demonstration involves using actions, speech and thoughts to dramatize or express what you are feeling or doing. This involves more than using all kinds of adjectives and describing every detail whether these details are useful or not. You don’t want to overwhelm your readers with mountains of details but pick out only those important features. Consider the following example:
Case 1 : I will never forget when I made my first online sale. I was happy! Here I am just telling you how I felt without making you feel the same way I felt. This in turn makes the story fall on its face.
Case 2 : If I live to see Methuselah, I will never forget how happy I was after I made my first online sale. I was so happy I thought my heart would explode. I told my wife, my friends and anyone within earshot. I have added some additional details that have only expanded the narrative without giving you any reason to feel my joy and happiness. You don’t learn anything new and I’ve taken you through a longer route which is punishing to the reader.
Case 3 : It was 2:30 in the morning and an odd time to check my email. But there it was—information for my first online sale. I ran all the way upstairs and alerted my wife. “I did it! I did it!” She warned me that the noise would wake up the children in the next room if I didn’t shut up. But as far as I’m concerned, no one in the family should be sleeping at such a time. I was now an official internet marketer. This time I don’t need to tell you that I was thrilled to make my first online sale because the specific details I shared show the depth of my passion. By the way, here’s how I started that sales letter that I made this first sale from…
dear friend, I think I stopped breathing for a second! I felt a rush of adrenaline. You will be very similar to striking gold. I’ve been looking at my web stats page for about 5 minutes. Adil Couldn’t believe what they revealed. There had to be some mistake But no… this turned out to be one of the best taken The secrets of traffic on the Internet. I was passing FREE traffic do absolutely nothing! Yes, my stats never lied to me!
(And that letter changed by 15%!) Another way to express it more is to use verbs after “he said”, “replied” such as: “she said bitterly”; “He replied angrily.” You should let the dialogue itself reflect the manner or state of the speaker. Also, be careful to supplement your conversations with descriptive verbs: “he corrected,” “she blessed.” It is often said that rules are made to be broken and in no other discipline is this more true than in writing. Copywriters hate any writing rules, and if they know any they will deliberately break them just to annoy the grammarians.
Ahhh! I just told you something that I have to show. But this illustrates a point – there are exceptions to the “show, don’t tell” rule. The whole point is that it helps your scene to be more dramatic and if you do this consistently then something will stand out. It would be like highlighting every word in a letter. Narration can be used as a shortcut to the real meat of the story. Also, if you’ve already given details, you don’t want to repeat the same “show” over and over again when describing the scene. Also, introductions require more words and can make your sales letter unnecessarily long.
So the less important elements of your story can be told and the more important elements shown. Basically, don’t overdo the marking. Sometimes words are the best way to go. view: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the heavens earth”. – Bible I couldn’t think of a stronger way to open the most popular non-fiction book in the world. When I read the sales letters of the old writing masters, I can immediately see how they used the “show, don’t tell” rule. You should too.
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