This alluring Hollywood trick will instantly make you a better writer (and boost your sales)
Updated: Aug 13, 2021
“Step Into The Source Of Your Feminine Power.”
This was the title of my coaching business’ home page in 2017.
To me, it was perfectly obvious that a woman’s source of power lies in the connection with her Big She, a.k.a. her feminine soul.
But to everybody else reading this?
And what happens when the words on your website (or your sales page, emails, sleeve tattoo, or anywhere else you want to make a statement) are not clear and captivating?
Our eyes glaze over.
It bears repeating: you have only 8 seconds to captivate your reader’s attention before they click away.
How do you hook our attention?
Stories immediately pull us in. Our brains are wired for story.
It doesn’t have to be the 1000-page Middlemarch kind of behemoth.
A story can be one sentence long.
Anything containing a hint of drama or an event is a story.
The fashion brand Kate Spade does this perfectly--they even put tiny stories on the protective cases for their signature handbags:
“She Tucked Her Coral Lipstick Away And Floated Back To The Party.”
Not only is this a pretty story, but it also paints a compelling picture.
I’m imagining a sensual woman in the bathroom of NYC rooftop bar, feeling powerful and sexy.
This is the difference between showing a powerful woman and talking about a woman “stepping into her power.”
When you paint a scene using the five senses, you immediately transport the reader into your narrative.
The more you describe what your characters see, hear, smell, taste, or touch, the more vivid and your writing will become.
In Still Writing, memoirist Dani Shapiro suggests to “Write the words ‘The Five Senses’ on an index card and tack it to a bulletin board above your desk.”
This is to always remind us to paint images with our words.
Copywriter Laura Belgray calls this the Steven Spielberg test: if the director were to shoot a movie scene based on your words, would he know what the scene would look like?
If yes, you’re good. If not, you have more work to do.
Here’s another powerful example from Dani Shapiro’s above-mentioned book.
Dani Shapiro is talking now...
“A friend once told me about a walk she took through Washington Square Park in New York City on an early spring day. It was a route she took regularly, from her home to her office, but on this day she stopped dead in the middle of the park, overcome by a panic attack. What had happened? Why that moment? Her heart raced and she tried to catch her breath. It seemed the world was dissolving around her. When she was finally able to sit down on a park bench, she realized that the quality of the air and the sunlight were precisely the same as they had been a year before--a year to the day--when she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She had made a full recovery and until that moment she hadn’t remembered that it was the anniversary of her diagnosis. But her body remembered. The light, the air. The breeze against her skin. A street band playing in the distance. Her body brought her back to that place of terror, to a time that her mind resisted.”
Nadja picking up the pen again…
I feel like I am in Manhattan on a sunny spring day. I am feeling what this woman is feeling. I become her.
This is the power of narrative transportation.
(And it makes me miss New York City. Badly. But that’s another story...)
So, when 997 other people are talking about stepping into your feminine power, you paint a picture of how that would actually look like for your ideal customer.
This will make your message stick harder in your reader’s minds than 1001 platitudes ever will.
Now go write your story.
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