How to spot Talented Writing from Good Writing.

I love writing and the semantics of words. Choosing the right words to write helps us structure our thoughts, communicate our ideas and establish shared meaning. That’s why improving our writing is so important.

Below is an excellent excerpt discussing the difference between good and talented writing.

Though they have things in common, good writing and talented writing are not the same.

If you start with a confused, unclear, and badly written story, and apply the rules of good writing to it, you can probably turn it into a simple, logical, clearly written story. Though it will still not be a good one. The major fault of eighty-five to ninety-five percent of all fiction is that it is banal and dull.

Now old stories can always be told with new language. You can even add new characters to them; you can use them to dramatize new ideas. But eventually even the new language, characters, and ideas lose their ability to invigorate.

Either in content or in style, in subject matter or in rhetorical approach, fiction that is too much like other fiction is bad by definition. However paradoxical it sounds, good writing as a set of strictures (that is, when the writing is good and nothing more) produces most bad fiction. On one level or another, the realization of this is finally what turns most writers away from writing.

Whereas good writing is clear, talented writing is energetic. Good writing avoids errors. Talented writing makes things happen in the reader’s mind — vividly, forcefully — that good writing, which stops with clarity and logic, doesn’t.

Samuel Delany: About Writing: Seven Essays, Four Letters, and Five Interviews 

Happy Writing!

Storytelling in Advertising

Great ads tell great stories, most advertising people agree on this. Even in a digital world, a great idea still takes the audience on an interesting journey.

So, how do we write a great advertising storyline? There are a few overarching idea arcs that good ads have in common.

An overview of Advertising Storyline Structures

  1. Based on Human Insight: Where an idea captures a culturally relevant insight or trend (a category insight or a universal human insight) and links it to the brand in a relevant way. The tone of voice will vary across categories and brands (humour, camaraderie, joy, nostalgia or other emotions) but at their core, they connect with an underlying human truth.
  2. Creating a fictional world: This approach builds an intriguing fantasy world that helps demonstrate a brands proposition.
  3. Using Projection: Based on the human ego, this technique allows the audience to transfer or extend their hopes and desires onto the product or service being sold. This arc can also work in reverse, using fear or threat to warn the viewer of the potential dangers of making an incorrect decision. Either way, it’s about understanding the hopes and fears of the audience and then tying this up with the product in a relevant way.
  4. Product demonstration is when there is a stand out or new product feature that is best showcased with a stunning demonstration.

Here are some examples to make things clearer.

Human Insight Approach

IKEA are experts in simple, lighthearted ads that effortlessly communicate its proposition in witty and insightfully creative ways. The ad below is an example of instinctive / insightful communication built on a modern cultural truth about the way we live in a digital world.

IKEA BookBook

Creating a Fictional World

On the other hand, this campaign for Georgetown Optician is an imaginative story that tells the fictional story of a family obsessed with eyewear. It effectively communicates the point that Georgetown opticians are experts in glasses.

Georgetown Opticians

Using Projection

This campaign for NIKE, taps into peoples hopes and aspirations by empowering the audience to dream about the person they could become if they associate with NIKE.

NIKE Last

Product Demonstration

In this ad for Apple Watch, the product does all the talking

Screen Shot 2017-06-27 at 23.33.20.png

The greatest communications are the most orginal. For your next broef, try using one of these story arcs or even breaking the mould and trying something totally new.