Welcome to the blog of author Tricia Goyer!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Thursday Tip...Put yourself in someone else's shoes

The following is an excerpt from a resource called “Writing to Serve Others”, which I found at this blog, the Blog Poet's Society. Elizabeth Krohn put this together based off of some ideas from the book Writing with Style: Conversations on the Art of Writing by John R. Trimble. You can see the first excerpt here.

I thought this applied to everything we write, from novels, to essays, to simple blog posts!

Put Yourself in Your Reader’s Shoes

Ask yourself the kind of questions that will help you extend your awareness to your reader.

  1. What wins you over?
  2. How and why do you respond?
  3. What makes you feel well served?

Be an attentive reader, asking yourself questions such as

  1. Is this style too complex to be readable? Too plain? Just right—and why?
  2. What is the writer’s tone and how does he achieve it? Do I like it or don’t I?
  3. Do I like this two-sentence paragraph? Why does he use a semicolon here instead of a period?

Reading attentively will not only improve your effectiveness, but your attitude toward your writing as well. You will see the challenge in serving your reader before yourself. Your reader’s needs, not your own, will dominate your thinking.

You will start asking yourself questions such as

  1. How can I identify with my readers?
  2. How can I empathize with them?
  3. What are their needs?
  4. What is convenient for them?
  5. How can my writing help them know and love God more?

As you become more effective in your writing, you will develop a sense of joy, as you give God glory by serving and loving other people.

“To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” (Mk 12:33)


Jen's Journey said...

Great tips. Now for me to get back on track. Vacation coming soon and will be spending it at home. Think I will typeset what I have already written to get me back in the ambiance of the story.

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