The Writer's Journey – Three ways to craft your future

Last week I wrote about The Writer's Journey - Five exercises to get you started. This week, I want to offer three ways to help you craft your future.

As you start to explore writing with more confidence, you start to get passionate about the craft of writing. Just as an artist spends months and months learning to sketch a hand, or a sculptor making hundreds of woodcarvings, this practice grounds us. Write every day. It gives us a baseline, a foundation, a sense of security.

1. Tear into it

In her book, Practical Tips for Writing Popular Fiction (Writers Digest), novelist Robyn Carr suggests you study fiction to become a better writer. This is great advice. Read a book once as a dreamer, a second time as detective. Start looking at how other authors are doing it. How do they structure their sentences? How much dialogue do they use? What are the main plot points? Don’t just do it on good books but on those that disappointed you. Try to find the knocks in the engine.

Picasso said to copy others was necessary but to copy yourself is pathetic. That’s a good point. I’m not suggesting you copy or steal other stories – but to look at the structure behind the stories of others. You then start to use this to build your own stories.

Tip: Type out the first page or chapter of a novel you’ve read. You’ll be so close to the work, you’ll see the structure emerge first hand.

2. It’s in the detail

When learning our craft, we learn to pay careful attention to detail. We start to see how important it is to paint our words with the right colour, shape and size. The right detail makes your writing come to life, and helps us build a believable story world.  Sometimes we forget that what we see in our minds as writers isn’t available to the reader – we have to make sure it’s on the page. We learn to gather and organise these so they draw the reader in.

Tip: Visit a coffee shop. Write down all the fascinating and mundane descriptive details. Fill a page or ten pages.  Find the ones that give a mental picture of the place. Choose just five sentences from your pages that give the best ‘snapshot’.

3. Take off the training wheels

Reading and studying about the craft of writing can teach us a lot – and writing is about learning and improving all the time. But ‘studying’ can also turn into a form or procrastination. We don’t get back to our stories and put (perfect) theory into (sometimes-clumsy) practice. 

We all have our own approaches to writing. No one can tell you how writing will work in your life and your career. This is something you have for figure out for yourself.  But as they say: ‘Learn the rules before you break them.’

Tip: Have a Journalist Day. Find the one event in your day – or even a friend’s day – and write a 300-word article, poem or mini-story about it. Give yourself a 5pm deadline. Keep it. Get in the habit to writing to a deadline. 

Making up stories is easy. Finding the language, structure and focus to shape your imagination into a novel, screenplay or short story is a lot of hard work.

If you enjoyed this post, read:

 by Anthony Ehlers

Anthony Ehlers is a reluctant blogger. A child of the 70s, he’s a late converter to the (sometimes scary) world of social media. As a creative writing facilitator, he loves sharing ideas around storytelling and the blog post is another way to reach out to fellow writers no matter their stage of the journey. He always encourages delegates with energy, humour and his insights into novels, short stories and scriptwriting. He sometimes lurks on Facebook and flits on to a branch of Twitter  when his Inbox is empty (which isn’t a lot these days).

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

Writers Write - Write to communicate

Four ways to remove padding words

Modifiers and qualifiers are padding words that add little to your writing, but they sneak in anyway. Take note of the words: a bit, a lot of, almost, every, nearly, quite, and very. Also, consider your use of adverbs and adjectives in general.

Look at what happens when we use them.

Example 1: 

Jane was a bit nervous. This was her first night. The bar was very full. It was half-price drink night. 
“Waitress, get your sexy little ass over here,” the very hairy man called loudly. He hit the table quite viciously with his fist.   
Jane was very annoyed, but walked quickly to get to his table. 
“About bloody time,” he said, looking at her rudely. 
The tray nearly tipped and she almost spilled the drinks all over the man. He ducked a bit avoiding the tray, but she luckily managed to right it before it fell. It was a bit noisy and she had to speak up, “I’m sorry.” She smiled and placed the drinks on the table. Hoping he wouldn’t complain to the manger. 
She nodded and was just about to turn when he put his fat hairy hand on her butt and squeezed.  She was quite offended. 
Then he said, “Thanks babe, no need to apologise. I’ll duck under you any time.” 
Her smile remained very firmly in place as she leaned back over the table. He looked very excited. 
She moved a little closer, pushed his chin up with her finger, forcing him to look at her. 
“Like you said - no need to apologise.” She took his beer and poured it all over his lap. She walked very slowly back to the counter.


Look at what happens when we remove them.

Example 2:

Jane clung to the black plastic tray. Her first night, half-price drink night. The place was teeming, a mass of semi-pissed humanity. 
“Waitress, get your sexy little ass over here,” the hairy ogre bellowed and slammed his fist on the table. More than semi-pissed already.
Biting back a retort, she strode to him. 
“About bloody time,” he said, casting his beady red eye over her. 
The tray tipped, the glasses teetered on the brink, but she saved them in time. He ducked, avoiding the tray. Pity. 
The music thumped, she raised her voice, “I’m sorry.” She smiled, arranging the drinks on the table. Hoping he wouldn’t complain to the manger. 
She nodded and turned to leave. His hand snaked around her, his thick fingers sinking into her butt. He squeezed harder. 
“Thanks babe, no need to apologise. I’ll duck under you any time.” 
Fury blossom, but her smile remained in place as she leaned back over the table.
He licked his pink, fish lips in anticipation, his eyes glued to her chest.
She moved closer, tilted his head up with her finger, forcing him to look at her. 
“Like you said - no need to apologise.” She tipped his beer into his lap and strolled back to the counter. 

Regardless of Jane’s career prospects (I believe the manager was cheering her on from behind the bar) we can tell more about the story in the second example than we can in the first. It is also simpler, stronger and easier to read.

Try the following:

  1. Remove modifiers and qualifiers. Most of them are supporting weak nouns and verbs.
  2. Use strong nouns instead of adjectives. Be specific.
  3. Use strong verbs instead of adverbs of manner. Be specific. 
  4. Show. Don’t tell. Always. 
The more you practise, the easier it will get. 

Happy writing. 

 by Mia Botha

If you enjoyed this post, you will love:

  1. Three Steps To Help You Write Brilliant Descriptions
  2. Active vs Passive
  3. Five Incredibly Simple Ways To Help Writers Show And Not Tell 
  4. This Theme Thing
  5. Why you need strong verbs when you write

Mia Botha facilitates for Writers Write. She is also a novelist, a ghost writer, and the winner of the Mills&Boon Voice of Africa Competition. When she isn’t writing, she is the mother of two children and the wife of a very lucky man. Follow Mia on Pinterest and Facebook and  Tumblr and  Twitter.

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    Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

    Writers Write - Write to communicate

    Six Simple Ways To Handle Viewpoint Changes

    What is viewpoint?

    Our viewpoint (point of view) characters are the filters through which we tell the reader the story. Once we have decided on a character, we need to choose a viewpoint for him or her. We have three choices: first person, second person, and third person.

    It is important to know which viewpoint you are going to choose when you tell your story. Most authors prefer third and first person. It is unusual to use second person, but it can be effective.

    How do we know which viewpoint to use? Read 10 Ways to Tell a Story

    Using third person is the usual way of writing a novel. Readers, agents and editors like this format because it is flexible, accepted and easy to use. It is used in most genres and it is good for action-packed plots, particularly in the crime, family saga, fantasy, and science fiction genres. Multiple viewpoint characters in third person offer the author many plotting options and this technique has been used in countless best-sellers.

    However, I become irritated when I do not know which filter the author is using. This usually happens when the characters are too similar, or when the author head-hops (switches viewpoint) in one scene, or when the author has not made the change in viewpoint clear. All of these problems show an author’s inexperience. How do we prevent this from happening?

    Six Simple Ways To Ensure That Viewpoint Changes Work
    1. Limit the number of viewpoint characters in a book. As a rule, you should have three or four viewpoint characters in an 80 000-word novel. There is nothing that annoys a busy reader more than having to get used to 15 viewpoint characters who are not vital for the telling of the story.
    2. Rotate the viewpoint characters regularly. The most important characters get the largest number of scenes; the minor characters get the others. Make sure that you do not leave a viewpoint character out of the book for so long that we wonder who it is when he or she reappears. 
    3. Introduce your viewpoint characters in the first chapters of your novel. I will abandon a novel if a new viewpoint character is introduced more than a quarter of the way through the book. I have spent time getting to know everyone and I am emotionally invested in the story. Then the author throws an amateurish curve ball into the mix. Do not do it.
    4. Show viewpoint changes by a chapter break or a scene break. Give your reader a chance to breathe and adjust to the change. The start of a new scene or chapter will do the trick. There is little chance of confusion if you stick to this.
    5. Show which viewpoint character it is within the first few sentences after a break. You can do this by naming the character or having someone name him or her. If you are writing in multiple first person viewpoints, you can simply put the character’s name at the start of the chapter or scene.
    6. Make sure that each character is unique. I want each viewpoint character to act as a unique filter for your story. If they are too similar, I will become confused. As a reader and writing teacher, I will wonder why you have not bothered to make this clear. Try to imagine the story from each character’s perspective through their five senses, their backgrounds, their motivations and their goals.

    Once you have covered these six points, you should not have problems with changes in viewpoint.

    If you enjoyed this post, read:

     by Amanda Patterson. Amanda is the founder of Writers Write. Follow her on  Pinterest,  Facebook,  Google+,  Tumblr  and Twitter. 

    © Amanda Patterson

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    Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

    Writers Write - Write to communicate

    Why you can't postpone investing in social media

    The Internet brings Writers Write more than 90% of its business. Almost every query we have for a course, a consultation, or a service originates through social media channels and our blog. Placing content in print media, on the radio or billboards would be a waste of time and money for us. 

    If you look at the statistics below, we know we're not the only ones. South Africans spend more time on the Internet than Americans and Europeans. 

    Last year, social media users increased from 2 billion to 3 billion users. It is mind-boggling, but it cannot be ignored. 

    The graphs from this report includes statistics for more than 240 countries, and it profiles 30 of the world’s biggest economies, including South Africa.

    The average internet user spends 4 hours and 25 minutes using the net each day. South Africans average more than 5 hours of use per day:

    Source for Image: wearesocial.net

    The average social media user spends 2 hours and 25 minutes per day using social networks and microblogs. South Africans spend 3 hours and 12 minutes every day on social media.

    Source for Image: wearesocial.net

    Simply having a social media presence will not bring you business. Mindlessly tweeting and posting special offers on Facebook will not work. Social media without a blog will not work. You have to learn how to use it so that you can turn it into a reward for your business. 

    If you want to find out more about how social media works, join us for The Social Brand, our social media workshop

    ~~~~

    If you enjoyed this post read:

    1. Social Media Explained
    2. The Seven Points You Need To Build A Story For Your Business
    3. Social networks need a ‘constant gardener’ to grow and sustain them
    4. The Most Important Lesson for Building a Social Media Following - Being There
    5. Three Top Tips for Writing for Social Media

    News Alert: Writers Write has been announced as one of the Top 50 Writing Blogs of 2015. We were also named one of the 13 Great Facebook Pages for Writers

     by Amanda Patterson. Her signature courses are Writers Write,  The Plain Language Programme, and  The Social Brand. Follow her on  Pinterest,  Facebook,  Google+,  Tumblr  and  Twitter.  

    ~~~~~

    Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

    Writers Write - Write to communicate

    March 2015 - In Writing


    Courses in March 2015

    Writers Write

    How to Write a Book

    9-12 March

    Writers Write

    How to write a Book

    7,14,21,28 March

    The Plain Language Programme

    Advanced Business Writing

    17-18 March

    Kids etc.

    How to write Children’s Books

    1 March

    If you want more details on any of these, please email news@writerswrite.co.za

    ~~~~~

    Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

    Writers Write - Write to communicate

    The Opposite Habits of Famous Writers

    Mike Hanski has created this wonderful Infographic detailing the habits and preferences of famous writers across the centuries. You can read his full post here.

    Source for Infographic: Bid 4 Papers

    If you enjoyed this post, you will love:

    1. Writers of Substance (Abuse) - Famous Writers and their Addictions
    2. 50 Iconic Writers Who Were Repeatedly Rejected 
    3. The Fascinating Writing Habits of 31 Famous Authors
    4. 17 Authors Being Honest

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    Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

    Writers Write - Write to communicate

    The Writer's Journey - Five exercises to get you started


    A different way of being in the world

    This morning, when I woke up to write this blog, I had a headache. I didn’t feel like a writer. I didn’t feel like a human being. I poured a mug of hot, sugarless coffee. I liked the bitter aftertaste; it made me feel better. I still didn’t feel like a writer. It took me a half an hour to write these fifty words.

    If you’re just starting out as a writer, it can sometimes be hard to feel like you’re a writer inside, even harder to tell others. If you’re at a party and you’re asked what you do, it’s hard to say ‘I’m a writer’ – and not feel foolish.

    A secret life

    To be a writer, requires a different way of being in the world. What do I mean by that? Every writer’s journey is different. Some start writing early, as children even, while others find their way to writing later on. But all of us felt a sense of displacement – whether we were outsiders, underdogs, rebels or just shy, there was this niggly desire inside. We had a secret. We wanted to make up stories. We wanted to tell our story. We wanted to be a writer.

    Taking notes

    As writers, our job is not to get words on a page. That may shock you and maybe I should say – it’s not your only job. The best advice I got as a young writer was to pay attention to the world around me. Turn the lights and the music off, and listen to the rain. Try to find out why you’re fascinated with someone’s eye colour or the patterns on your bedcovers. Listen more than you talk when you’re at that party. Normal people have scrapbooks or photo albums on their phones.
    Writers don’t. Writers have notebooks in the shrewd back corners of our minds. We’re recording everything we see – and that may feel like a betrayal of the world around you or, at least, a childish fantasy.


    Call to action

    When you get a sentence or a description on paper that captures – in words ­ what you saw, felt, heard or had long forgotten – you realise writing’s power. Writing suddenly makes sense. It becomes addictive. You start to see a purpose in it. If this hasn’t happened to you yet, trust me, it will. You just have to come to the world as a stranger, a visitor, an angel with no agenda. And perhaps that’s the scary part – is putting pen to paper or opening your laptop and start turning the vague shapes in your imagination into hard, clear letters.

    My headache has cleared now. I still don’t feel like a writer. I didn’t say what I really wanted to say to writers starting out their journey. Let me say this – writing is lonely. It’s the kind of loneliness that you’ll learn to love and to keep to yourself. 

    My best advice is this: Find time to be alone, not to write but simply to be alone and be present in a moment.

    Five exercises to get you started on your writing journey:

    1. Go to a library or a public park, look a books and statues ­– don’t take notes, just wander and observe.
    2. Write about your favourite table as a child – who is around it? What smells do you remember? Colours?
    3. Try to describe the sound of a voice on the page – it could be your lover’s, your best friend’s, a teacher’s from years ago.
    4. Tape record your own voice when you wake up and then late at night. Listen to it again. How has your voice changed?
    5. Write a letter to your favourite book. Tell it why you love it so much. Don’t address it to the author but the book itself.

    If you enjoyed this post, read:

     by Anthony Ehlers

    Anthony Ehlers is a reluctant blogger. A child of the 70s, he’s a late converter to the (sometimes scary) world of social media. As a creative writing facilitator, he loves sharing ideas around storytelling and the blog post is another way to reach out to fellow writers no matter their stage of the journey. He always encourages delegates with energy, humour and his insights into novels, short stories and scriptwriting. He sometimes lurks on Facebook and flits on to a branch of Twitter  when his Inbox is empty (which isn’t a lot these days).

    ~~~~~

    Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

    Writers Write - Write to communicate

    Active vs Passive

    Have you ever wondered why you can stay up all night reading a novel, but when it comes to a textbook, you are asleep in one point two paragraphs? I can almost guarantee you that it has something to do with active voice versus passive voice.

    Remember: SUBJECT – VERB – OBJECT is active. OBJECT – VERB – SUBJECT is passive. In the active voice, the performer of an action is emphasised. In the passive voice, the receiver of the action is emphasised. 
    Active: The boy kicked the ball.
    Passive: The ball was kicked by the boy.
    For a more detailed explanation, please look at this post.

    Consider these examples and see what happens when I change from passive to active: 

    Passive example

    The contract was cancelled by the studio managers. Hidden behind their stoic lawyers the messages were passed down. Words like 'iron clad' and 'final notice' were thrust into their faces. Voices were raised. Emotions were not kept in check. Fury rose unbridled. Tears were making black rivulets down red cheeks. A Union-rep was called. False hopes and empty promises were doled out to hysterical actors. Hands were flying; papers flew even further. Exasperation and desperation were etched on their expressive faces. No acting was required. Unemployment cheques did not promise a merry Christmas. 

    It has a passive content of 61%. You got through the paragraph, but you sort had to keep your wits about you, because the subject (the performer) was unclear at times. It is ok for a few lines, but not for a whole book. Yawn. In the next example, I only changed from passive to active. 


    Active example 1

    The studio managers cancelled the contract. They hid behind their stoic lawyers who passed the message down. The lawyers used words like 'iron clad' and 'final notice'. The actors raised their voices and struggled to keep their emotions in check. Their fury rose unbridled. They cried black tears over red cheeks. They called their union reps who gave them false hopes and made empty promises. They threw their hands and the papers in the air. They were exasperated and desperate. They didn’t need to act this out. They knew unemployment cheques did not promise a merry Christmas. 

    It has a passive content of 0% and I am sure it was easier to get through. It is still far from an action scene though. Consider the last example, which also has a 0% passive score. 

    Active example 2

    The actors seethed as the stoic lawyers kept their pose. 
    “Iron clad; I’m afraid.” The lawyers said, shaking their heads in mock sympathy. 
    “Consider this your final notice.” The other one said. 
    “This is the only notice, how can it be final?” They cried; fists raised in impotent rage.  They flung the papers back at the lawyers. Dramatic, unrehearsed.
    A group huddled in the corner. The union-rep on speakerphone. 
    “I’ll have to look at the contract. Maybe we can get an extension.” The voice scratched over the line. Heads bowed; they nodded. Swiping away black tears. 
    One tug and the tinsel came loose. Red and green in a shiny pile on the floor. Christmas was going to suck.

    You can obtain the percentages by using the tools Word has available.

    There are times when the passive voice is acceptable, for example:
    1. When you want to place emphasis on the object instead of the subject
    2. When you deliberately want to distance yourself from the reader
    3. When you want to maintain an objective viewpoint, e.g. research paper
    In fiction you want to get as close to your readers as you can, you want to convince them of your character's point of view, motives and objectives, however whacked that character may be. You want to influence their thinking. Try to stay in the active voice as much as you can.

    Happy writing.

     by Mia Botha

    If you enjoyed this post, you will love:

    1. Three Steps To Help You Write Brilliant Descriptions
    2. This Theme Thing
    3. How To Own Your Story
    4. Why you need strong verbs when you write

    Mia Botha facilitates for Writers Write. She is also a novelist, a ghost writer, and the winner of the Mills&Boon Voice of Africa Competition. When she isn’t writing, she is the mother of two children and the wife of a very lucky man. Follow Mia on Pinterest and Facebook and  Tumblr and  Twitter.

    ~~~~~

      Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

      Writers Write - Write to communicate


      13 Ways To Start A Story

      If you want an audience's attention, you have to get them interested - you have to get them to care about what has happened to someone. If you don't, they will move on to the next, more exciting story.

      The beginning of your story must be vivid and important enough to create empathy in readers. They want riveting stories with negative beginnings, complicated (not boring) middles, and generally positive endings.

      Here are 13 ways to start your stories in ways that will catch a reader's attention:

      1. A bolt from the blue – An otherworldly, seemingly ‘magical’ event, challenge or revelation makes carrying on with your life as it is seem impossible. Examples: Life after Life by Kate Atkinson, Harry Potter by JK Rowling, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by CS Lewis, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, The Magician by Raymond E. Feist
      2. Be careful what you wish for… You are given the opportunity to do what you’ve always wanted to do. Examples: The Firm by John Grisham, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
      3. Everything is not as it seems – A fact about your past or who you really are changes your life. Examples: The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy, Night Film by Marisha Pessl
      4. Exposed – Your darkest secret or deepest fear has been exposed. Examples: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt, The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles
      5. Help me! Someone who is worthy of assistance needs your help. Examples: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Erin Brokovich, The Fault in our Stars by John Green
      6. How much do you want it? – You have to face a challenge to get what you want. You may have to battle your own demons or win a battle of wits with an opponent. Examples: Candide by Voltaire, The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris, The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway
      7. By invitation only - You try to join an exclusive group, institution, service, club that embodies your dreams and aspirations. What will you have to do? ExamplesThe Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger, The Circle by Dave Eggers
      8. Opportunity knocks – An opportunity in the middle of a life-changing event offers you a way out. Examples: Time and Time Again by Ben Elton. Hugh, a grieving widower is giving the opportunity to go back in time to change history. The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick
      9. Rescued – You are saved but what you face afterwards may be as difficult as the situation you found yourself in. Examples: Room by Emma Donoghue, The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
      10. Soul mates - You meet someone who could change your life, but there may be many problems standing in the way, including existing relationships, distance, class barriers. Examples: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Mister God, This Is Anna by Fynn, Fried Green Tomatoes at The Whistle-Stop Café by Fannie Flagg, Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx
      11. Standing up for what’s right – Something happens to someone you love, or to you, in your workplace, educational institution, medical institution that makes life unbearable. You have to take action. Examples: Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Animal Farm by George Orwell
      12. Under attack – Something or someone threatens you or your loved ones. ExamplesGone Girl by Gillian Flynn, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton, The Count of Monte Christo
      13. Stripping your identity – Removing, or threatening to remove, whatever your sense of worth, safety or well-being is based on. This could be a job, a relationship, a friendship, a sporting ability, a musical talent. Examples: White Oleander by Janet Fitch, A Man in Full by Tom Wolfe, Anybody Out There? By Marian Keyes, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

      If you enjoyed this post, read:

       by Amanda Patterson. Amanda is the founder of Writers Write. Her signature courses are Writers Write,  The Plain Language Programme, and  The Social Brand. Follow her on  Pinterest,  Facebook,  Google+,  Tumblr  and Twitter. 

      © Amanda Patterson

      ~~~~~

      Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

      Writers Write - Write to communicate

      Five Simple Ways to See Your Brand Through Your Customers' Eyes

      Source for cartoon: Tom Fishburne

      Writing for your business in emails, on your blog, or through social media is all about engaging your audience and showing your personality. It is an effective way to talk about what you do. 

      You may think you have your image under control, but how do you think your customers perceive your brand?

      Here are five exercises that will allow you to see your brand differently. Remember that: 

      1. Your brand has opinions. You can see this by the way it describes other people. Use another brand to show the prejudices or loves of your brand by comparing it to that entity. Try writing this comparison, as if you were the brand, in first person present tense.
      2. Your brand’s past reflects its personality. List the five most traumatic things your brand has survived. Emotionally, take a tour through a brand’s emotions, hang-ups, psychological scars. Physically, take a tour through a brand’s reception area, restrooms and canteen. What books, artwork and magazines does it have on display? Do you think the past has been dealt with?
      3. Your brand moves. The way a brand moves reveals its personality. This includes the way it talks, the way it engages socially and the way it treats people. Does it have a charity or a foundation? Who does it support politically?
      4. Your brand has habits. List the 10 most important things on your company’s calendar in order of importance. Consider how these reveal its routine, its habits, and its prejudices and fears. What would your customers think of these events? Who benefits?
      5. Your brand is motivated. List the 10 most important things your brand accomplished in the past six months. What were the motivations being these achievements? To make your brand credible, logical, and believable, customers want to understand why it believes its actions are justified. 

      If you want to improve your business writing skills, join us for The Plain Language Programme. If you want to learn how to write for social media, join us for The Social Brand. Email news@writerswrite.co.za  for details.

      ~~~~~

      If you enjoyed this post read:

      1. Social Media Explained
      2. The Seven Points You Need To Build A Story For Your Business
      3. Social networks need a ‘constant gardener’ to grow and sustain them
      4. The Most Important Lesson for Building a Social Media Following - Being There
      5. Three Top Tips for Writing for Social Media

      News Alert: Writers Write has been announced as one of the Top 50 Writing Blogs of 2015. We were also named one of the 13 Great Facebook Pages for Writers

       by Amanda Patterson. Amanda is the founder of Writers Write. Her signature courses are Writers Write,  The Plain Language Programme, and The Social Brand. Follow her on PinterestFacebook,  Google+,  Tumblr  and Twitter.  


      ~~~~~

      Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

      Writers Write - Write to communicate