They say you catch more flies with honey than vinegar and to always start with a joke but communicating for the web is such an expansive topic how do you know if you’re reaching your audience properly? With a history that reaches back thousands of year’s storytelling is at the heart of human communication. A good story teller can catch and captivate his audience, lock them in with a compelling and informative story and leave them wanting more and asking questions. To be a great story telling you need to be able to modify your writing style, change your tone and always remain engaging.
Simply enter ‘writing for the web’ in your favourite internet search engine and the number of tips and articles you’ll find that claim to share the secret is daunting. Every audience, every topic and every day brings new demands for those writing for the web. But, if story telling hasn’t changed in centuries there must be a few transferable skills which still apply today? Inspired Mag once offered “27 Ways to Write Better” and lead off with many of the same things mentioned above; know your audience, catch their attention, be compelling, get the details out of the way early, make them think, etc. But, what stands out most is where the article continues.
More thought provoking suggestions come out later in the article challenging you to think about your writing. Such as number 15: Substitute Short for Long, a suggestion that the author, or story teller, should avoid long winded phrases when a single word will do. I wonder, if someone had asked Shakespeare to do such a thing, would our language have as much depth as it does today? Either way, there isn’t much Shakespeare being willingly read by teens, so perhaps this point makes itself.
But why am I choosing to share the thoughts of someone else, this doesn’t really seem like great story telling does it? From hieroglyphics, to Shakespeare and even J.K. Rowlings there are lessons about writing for your audience everywhere. What’s your style or your favourite tip? Personally, I love my version of the KISS principle, keep it short and simple.