Look To Your Language
I'm not entirely certain I can explain this. But, as always, that never stopped me and I'll give it a go.
As I've mentioned before, I'm studying marketing, of the internet and other varieties. My new favorite expert in this field is Lisa Sasevich, and one of the things she talks about a lot is utilizing the language of your client to sell them stuff. She says it a lot more eloquently than that, but you get the drift. A lot of this has to do with figuring out the transformation that you have to offer and talking about it accordingly.
So, for instance, because I want to market myself to creative professionals who need a book to boost their careers, I needed to realize a crucial point: these potential buyers of my future products want to have written a book. They want the book in their hot little hands, all finished. They could give a rip about writing itself, as you, my loyal readers are interested in. So when I'm speaking to this market I need to speak differently (and I'm pretty sure I'm going to need a new blog/site to do it).
But you see what I'm saying, right?
And I've been thinking about how this also applies to creative writing. Because sometimes we carry a story around with us, and have things that we also think about it, but somehow those things we always think or say don't get out on the page. And that stuff is the stuff we want to pull up and put on the page. It is the way you always tell the story–whether to yourself or to a regular audience. That's where the power is.
Do you have a story you tell about, say, the first time you met the love of your life? And if so, do you have a standard line you begin it with? But do you use that line when you are actually putting words on paper? Or do you decide you need to get all formal and official and say things the correct way? To hell with that. Write it the way you say it.
I'm working with a client who is writing the story of her husband's brain tumor and his eventual death. She is the first to admit that she's not a writer. But the great thing about her is that she's written the entire story down, start to finish, and the way she has written it is exactly the way she has told me parts of the story.
This is how we get to voice, people. It is that thing deep within us that we edit out half the time.
Think about it. And comment about it, too.
By the way, Jessica wrote a post about creative English when trying to communicate in another language that made me think more about this topic. So hop on over there and read it.
0 thoughts on “Look To Your Language”
You’ve definitely got me thinking.
Each person uses language in their own unique way – influenced by culture, upbringing, favourite literature, available vocabulary, personality etc. That ‘voice’ is your trademark and what distinguishes you from everyone else. Sometimes we become embarrassed by our voice and want to be more like someone else. However, usually the quirkier the voice, the more memorable the work is.
Some of my favourite authors are known for their distinct writing voice: P.G. Wodehouse, Douglas Adams, Jasper Fforde. Even Shakespeare has his distinct voice. How many other writers at his time were using phrases like ‘paper bullets of the brain’?
So I totally agree. ‘Write the way you say it.’ That’s what makes it yours.
I forgot to mention, I think you’re right about needing a separate blog site for your clients. They are an audience with different needs.