Persuasive words

I got “an opportunity” in my snail mail the other day from the car dealership where I took my new-to-me car for an extra coded key and a remote.  We bought a 2003 Ford Crown Victoria a couple of months ago and it only came with one key and no remote.  I’m spoiled; I wanted a remote.  I’m also absent minded, so I figured another key would be a must sooner or later as well.  The car has a coded key that works in concert with the car’s security system.  If I ever lost the key, which has happened before, I would have to have the car towed to a dealership so they could plug it into a computer and program a new key.

Back to the point.  The letter said they would like to offer me an extended warranty on my used car and assured me it would be a good idea.  All I had to do was call their Fulfillment Department.  Say what?  I cracked up.  Sounded like a department you might find in Saint Nick’s workshop, not a car dealership.  I suspect the reason behind this renaming of the financial or billing department is because it works; it persuades people to buy the extended warranty.  Who doesn’t want their wishes fulfilled?

There aren’t many people who know the impact of words on an unsuspecting public like admen do.  It’s in their job description- it’s what they get paid for.  Hey!  That’s what I want, too!  I don’t write for the money, I write because I love it and because I just have to.  If there was no way to make money at it, I’d do it anyway.  Heck, so far that’s what I am doing.

Fact is, I want to be so good people want to read my words – lots of people – people who spend money to do it, preferably, like I do to read the words of others.   I’m not content to be the writer-darling of my extended family and friends.  I love them dearly and am always flattered by their opinions, but I have to suspect them of bias, so it’s not enough.  Call me a validation hound, but there it is.

In order for this to happen, my words have to be persuasive and plentiful.   The admen are restricted by the brevity inherent in thirty-second to one-minute ads audio or video ads, magazine pages and advertizing letters.  To date my pieces run the gamut of one hundred words to fifty thousand words.  In all those words, my goal has been to persuade readers to feel what my characters are feeling, anticipate or fear for what might happen next and be so wrapped up in the words that they weep, chew their bottom lip or laugh aloud.

So, when you read or hear something that moves or compels you, whether it’s from admen or novelists, pick apart how they did that and see how it might relate to your craft.  The world is truly an education.  The lessons are everywhere; avail yourselves then tell me what you learn.


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