Surprise your potential buyers. Give them chocolate frosting!
After we entered school we had a lot to learn. We left the sand box, the nap, and the all day playing with our imagination. No wonder we have lost touch with our original, playful, creativity. Now in the information age we expect to read short, concise pieces. Yet, we can, if we play a little, add more of our original ideas to our books if we use metaphor.
Metaphor means wedding a word to an image, sound or feeling. Metaphor is a fusing of dissimilar entities into one new image. Metaphor asserts a likeness between two unrelated things. Images are word pictures that give language power and richness by incorporating our senses in the experience. When you wed an image or feeling to something totally unexpected, you produce a new pattern – a metaphor that creates a powerful picture and reader enjoyment.
The purpose of metaphor is to intensify your awareness of the images around you. Clichés are worn out metaphors. Avoid platitudes because your reader will be bored with them and not read on. Write naturally and avoid pompous words like "utilize."
Metaphors create tension and excitation by producing new connections. Here, they reveal a truth about the world we previously did not recognize. The power of metaphor is to surprise us …. Marilyn Ferguson, author of The Aquarian Conspiracy, says, "Metaphor builds a bridge between the hemispheres, symbolically carrying knowledge from the mute right brain so it can be recognized by the left as being like something already
When your potential customers glance (about 12-15 seconds) at your front cover and back cover, and see originality there through metaphor, they will gain insight that sheds new light on a familiar concept, idea, event or feeling. Your metaphors hook and seduce them. Now, they will hand you their check or credit card feeling good about themselves for the decision.
To Enhance your Writing Practice This Fieldwork:
1. Start a Metaphor List. Keep it filed where you can find it easily and add to it. Every time you hear a good one, write it down. Use other people's metaphors as a springboard for you own.
2. Play with these exercises:
Practice: Writing is … as painful as a tooth being dropped … riding a roller coaster … a self-revelation. Now try your book's title or part of your "tell and sell" (unique selling proposal which includes benefits), and back cover copy. Self-care is … a bubble bath in the middle of a workday … breathing in the mountain air … lighting a candle near my workstation.
3. Complete these metaphor starters: Remember to use concrete words – of image, sound and feeling. Forgo all clichés.
I'm as silly as
I'm as frazzled as
I'm as happy as (no clams, please)
I'm as frayed as
I'm as dizzy as
I'm as low as
I'm as powerful as a
I'm as sleepy as
I'm as tired as
I'm as cold / hot as
I'm as energetic as
I'm as spiritual as
I'm as comfortable as
I'm as loose as
Expand the list using the subjects of your book. Think and picture your audience as you create more powerful writing.
4. Re-define all general benefits in your introduction, "tell and sell," or sales letter. Instead of saying, "Read my book and live life well," make your benefit more specific such as "Read my book and your life will look like …." Or, "Read my book and your life will feel like .. .. "
5. Finish These Statements to Warm Up:
-Stress is …
-Authentic is …
-Health is …
-Spiritual is …
-Marketing is …
-Promotion is …
-Profits are …
-More life is …
-Better Communication is …
-More money is …
Let your potential buyer know how they will see or feel themselves after they read and use your book's ideas and
suggestions. When they can see or feel it for themselves, they are more comfortable buying. They need to see the results (benefits) and feel themselves better for using your product.
6. Just for fun:
"I was as dizzy as a dervish, as weak as a worn-out washer, as
low as a badger's belly, as timid as a titmouse, and as unilaterally to
succeeded as a ballet dancer with a wooden leg. "
Each of you has the powerful potential for making connections
and seeing relationships in your own unique way. Metaphor
making is a highly personal and richly creative experience. Play
with metaphors and use them in all of your writing – even your sales materials.
Judy Cullins © 2004 All Rights Reserved