Wednesday, 10 November 2010


NLP: GP training - Albert Mehrabian's theory

Writing is communication. 
Written communication is about the response it creates in the reader.
Like all the best lectures on communication say, you have to build a rapport between you and the reader. This is tricky, what with the reader not being there with you. You cannot rely on dazzling them with charm, glossy hair, direct eye contact, a tailored suit or your tippy-tappy, shiny shoes: that makeover make-up is lost on the one with the book in their hands (although it might help to get it there.)
You need to build a rapport between your character and the reader. Using the mirror and matching techniques you can get the reader's eyes up from the number at the bottom of the page and onto the words.
The hook must help the reader relate to the character. There has to be an element of mirroring: showing the reader something about the character they can see in themselves. There also has to be matching. The character must respond in a way that is believable, likely and except in rare cases, physically possible.
The setting is less important than the character and how the reader responds to it.
All communication is about much more than the words. Writers have to show readers so they can absorb the non-verbal queues too – as anyone who ever went to school knows: it is never about what people say: it is always how or why they spoke.
Language is a hot topic at the moment.  My view is language is too fluid to limit your work with current jargon at the expense of storytelling: a light dusting should flavour the work, nicely. When writing, authors are targeting towards a particular audience so the important thing is to avoid alienating the reader with exclusive concepts, or references, while not stripping the language down to a cvc vocabulary ( consonant-vowel-consonant/three letter words  ;) )

And finally, the writerly thought for the day: writing is successful not by what is written on the page but by how the words are received by the reader.

Is that an original thought? I think, in this context, it is... like adapted from somewhere else... but, like, nearly original. I need to go lie down ;) 
What has been wearing you out lately? :)


  1. This is really helpful! I think building a rapport with your reader is what will keep them coming back for more of your work. Well done post!

  2. Hi T Anne
    It is the rapport between each reader and character that makes them care.

  3. I agree there has to be a connection for the reader to keep them interested. They need to relate to the characters and story.

    Whats wearing me out? Mmm trying to edit a little bit each day, I had no idea how exhausting revisions could be, but I'm soldiering on! I want to finish it. ;)

  4. Hi Talei
    Good luck with you revisions. I spent this evening on a thorough edit. Long, long evening. ;)

  5. Loved the "original thought" :)

    That connection between reader and characters is very important I think. It can be the hardest thing to write also.


  6. I've just installed iStripper, and now I enjoy having the sexiest virtual strippers on my desktop.