Brilliant formula for romancing your readers
“Words trigger pictures, which trigger emotions and feelings.”
One of my first mentors taught me this. I don’t know where he learned it, or if he simply worked it out for himself. But I have used this simple, beautiful insight as a faithful guide to write or edit more than 300 books, and I have taught it to every writer I’ve worked with. It has colored or influenced all my writing and communications, so I want to share it with you in this blog. Here’s how and why it works:
WORDS > PICTURES > FEELINGS
The next time you sit down to write, remember that we humans are “teleological” in nature. There are several definitions for teleological, but the one I’m referring to is “picture-oriented.” In other words, we humans love to think, dream, plan and communicate in pictures or mental images—and those images elicit our emotions. (It has always been this way. Picture if you can, if you will, the stunning 30,000-year-old cave art in Spain and France.)
When you’re writing or speaking, of course, you won’t always have the option of including actual pictures with your ideas, but you can always create them with your words. That’s the simple formula. Just remember that words are tools. If you pick and use them carefully, your words will trigger pictures for your readers—and those inner pictures will trigger emotions or feelings. Sentences that trigger vivid pictures and feelings—that’s the formula for romancing your readers and riveting their continuing attention.