Need help creating content? Think like a fiction writer

Your blog doesn’t elicit any comments? Employees don’t read your newsletter? Take a cue from fiction writers to better engage readers.

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I caught my college professor friend, Susan, watching one of “The Real Housewives” shows.

I wanted to call her on it but, before I knew it, I was sucked in. My head ached from the quick-cut editing and crazy camera movements.

Ah, the guilty pleasure of reality television shows. They can be a fun diversion, and we know they don’t require our full attention.

Wait. Stop.

Don’t require our full attention? When did that become a good thing?

While some may argue that manipulative editing works well on reality shows, I argue this type of entertainment makes us lazy. It’s like eating the stale, day-old doughnut on the counter because we’re too lazy to walk around the corner for a yogurt.

As consumers, it is up to us to choose our mental stimulation. But as content creators, we have a job to do. That job is to engage our audience members, not manipulate them.

I tell my students that a good story is like a conversation in which the reader should participate. But to do this, we have to give the reader words that will engage his or her mind in a more full way.

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