Entries by Denise

The inverted case study: starting with the results

You only have to read the two-page prologue to Donna Tartt’s The Secret History to find out that Bunny Corcoran was killed by his student friends. The rest of the novel explores the circumstances leading up to Bunny’s death, and the lasting effects it has on the group of students of which he was a […]

Imitation — the sincerest form of consistency?

When Sebastian Faulks was asked to write a James Bond novel to mark the 100th anniversary of Ian Fleming’s birth, he was lucky enough to have a copy of Fleming’s article How to Write a Thriller to hand. This helped Faulks follow Fleming’s journalistic style of writing, and even copy his routine of producing 2,000 […]

Cut, to keep your content relevant

When the Guardian asked a number of authors for their top ten rules for writing fiction, the responses were intriguingly varied. Many of them mentioned the importance of reading widely (although a few disagreed). Many focused on the discipline needed to stick at the task, perhaps by writing an allotted number of words a day […]

What are the most common copywriting sins?

Well, five pop into my mind instantly. All of which can be easily avoided: Don’t be selfish: Your audience have a choice. And if they sense that your content is all about you (‘me-oriented’ copy), not them, their choice will be to go somewhere else. So don’t focus on the ‘I’, ‘we’, or ‘us’. Instead, […]

How to keep your reader’s attention

There are two issues with attention: grabbing it and then holding it…certainly holding it long enough to impart your message in a convincing way. There are multiple techniques already out there to keep the reader’s attention. Here are a few of my favourites: 1. What’s in it for me? The best way to keep your […]