One of my colleagues, who also happened to be my college-mate, was seemingly frustrated. She was leading the content writing department of one of the major consulting companies in Delhi. Her angst with social media was quite visible, apparently, she was unable to create the desired level of interest for the articles she published for her organization. She already had her culprit identified, ‘It is the Social Media’.
“Attention span of people is decreasing and they are more interested in catchy headlines than actual content,” She said and continued here criticism of the social media. I was carefully listening to her and after a while, I asked her “what is stopping you from doing that”?
Well, apparently she had multiple answers to my question and its major conclusion, she does not believe in sensationalizing her content. This was a rather interesting observation. While many publishers do sensationalize their content. Many just make it interesting. There comes the role of creative writing. Then came my little helping hand to her, I shared with her some of the tricks of building creative writing skills or as I also call it effective writing skills. As I was expecting the results did not take much time to show up. After three months she had over 300% more shares and more than 250% viewers for her content. And even better was the fact that it was gradually increasing every month.
The question is, would you be interested in knowing the secrets of effective writing or I would call them creative writing that I shared with her? Now if you really are invested in this journey toward building your creative writing skills. I urge you to follow along.
LET US FIRST UNDERSTAND WHAT IS CREATIVE OR EFFECTIVE WRITING?
This one quote makes it very clear!
“Well, look at it another way: why shouldn’t there be cats in a zoo?” I said.
“They’re animals, too, right?”
“Cats and dogs are your run-of-the-mill-type animals. Nobody’s going to pay money to see them, just look around you-they’re everywhere. Same thing with people.”
― Haruki Murakami,
My dear colleague was trying to put a cat in the zoo. The fact is nobody is going to jump with surprise after seeing a cat, they have already seen it.
I don’t believe in the literal definition. However for those interested, this is the definition I got from Wikipedia link, Creative writing is any writing that goes outside the bounds of normal professional, journalistic, academic, or technical forms of literature, typically identified by an emphasis on narrative craft, character development, and the use of literary tropes or with various traditions of poetry and poetics.
If you ask me, Creative Writing is a form of writing that instantly grabs reader’s attention, creates interest, maintain the level of interest and leads to a positive action that you want from your reader. Now that action could be to like, share or subscribe or for that matter anything else that meets your objective.
No matter what definition you follow, to build creative writing skills your content headline or subject must have the following characteristics.
WHAT MAKES THE HEADLINE OR SUBJECT OF YOUR CREATIVE WRITING ENGAGING AND POWERFUL
There are 4 major characteristics that makes your effective writing headline or subject really great and grabs reader’s attention instantly
Just be honest about it, nobody is going to spend any time on something which is not useful or which the person does not perceive to be useful for self. You need to give your audience a reason to consume your content, it will compel them to keep on reading.
“Tastes So Good, Cats Ask for It by Name”
10 Time-Saving Blogging Tools to Keep You Organized – It’s a list post so this immediately tells you how many tools you’ll read about, and it’s specifically for bloggers.
How to Grow Your Audience (And Keep It) – This is a how-to post, which tells a reader they will learn exactly how to do something. For this blog title, it’s specific to growing and keeping your blog audience, something every blogger craves.
If you are also into writing proposals as a profession, I recommend reading how to write a winning proposal.
HOW TO WRITE EFFECTIVELY TO ENGAGE THE TARGET AUDIENCE- AIDA FORMULA
Maybe you would not have clicked the link to this post if the headline said: “Learn Effective Writing”. You can create attention in two stages. The first one is your headline or subject. The second one the how you open the first few sentences of your writing to capture the attention of the reader. There are three ways to open a presentation and is as well applicable in case of writing. I strongly recommend reading 3 powerful ways to open a presentation. It is in the context of presentation but works equally well in creative writing.
- Begin by asking a question
- Begin by stating a shocking fact
- Start by telling a story (apparently this is what I did)
After you have captured the attention of your audience, it is very important that you maintain their interest throughout the writing. This can be done in multiple ways.
- Showing you recognize your readers struggle and understand their problem
- Discuss a problem your reader never want to face
- State the promise of a solution that the reader may be looking for
According to Oxford Dictionary, a desire is
A strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen
Having the passion to help people should come out in your writing. Use this emotion to create the desire in your readers. Make them crave every word you write, waiting excitedly for your next creative writing assignment to come along.
Each of your creative writing should direct a reader to take some action. This is known as a call-to-action. Everything has a purpose and there is definitely an objective you want to achieve through your creative writing.
This can also be a lead magnet at the end of your effective writing if it was so desired or just a simple question in your conclusion. Your call-to-action is also a great way to spark engagement. Ask a question to get your readers talking and participating in your discussion.
WRAPPING IT UP
Don’t ever think you won’t get noticed when you add a few effective writing elements to whatever you write. People will start to realize just how better and effective writing is.
So, if you’re looking to add a little persuasiveness to your copy, try these tips and watch your audience appreciate every bit of text you write.