Sharpen Your Writing with Psychology of Change

Whatever you write, change will give your writing dynamism, vividness and grip your reader.

In business writing, we want to hear how problems get solved, how businesses grow and how changes in the context our business operates in, may affect it.

In fiction or screenwriting we want to experience our characters changing both through their own decisions and forces in the environment acting against them or causing them surprises…

One of my favorite writers on change is William Bridges, who describes three stages to what he calls transition:

  1. The transition starts

    with a loss or an ending of some description: job, profit, bereavement maybe. Something or someone is taken away…

  2. As the change accelerates and depending on its profundity, our priorities, values, and beliefs may feel under siege… we are dazed, confused and may experience a sense of hiatus and wondering in the wilderness. ( Don’t wish to alarm you but it’s possible to stay in this stage for some time..). Sometimes we may take rash decisions, just to ease the discomfort of the uncertainty, rather than basing how we make up our minds on what is best at what time for us. Order takes precedent over best course of action.
  3. The transition ends with a new beginning. Out of the wilderness we can see clear ground ahead, opportunity and a prospect of moving forward. We have hope and the sun rising…

When writing is bland and stodgy, it’s often because the drama of change has not been sufficiently addressed. Our overall intention may be to uplift or entertain people and we don’t think putting dark stuff in our writing will help that. But it is the dark stuff…the loss, the resentment, the queasy response to yet more turbulence which as readers we identify with.

So to sharpen your writing ask yourself frequently: what is the most dramatic scenario I can possibly create here in this story/ case history/ example and is it focused and believable?

See you on the dark side.

And to counteract this…it may be the thought of Spring nearly here, but the links I’ve got for you this month are exceptionally practical ones:

Tips on getting in new freelance clients 

How to write a strong query letter

Two content marketing case histories on fiction and non-fiction  This is terrifically useful for those of us who like planning!