On why copywriting isn't like writing a book

πŸ’Ž On the Theory of Omission (why copywriting isn’t like writing a book)

A book may take months to write.

Thats okay because people can take weeks to read it, savouring each word.

Copywriting isn’t like that.

Copy has to compete for attention.

We can’t assume that every word will be pored over, like a book.

That’s what made Ernest Hemingway different as a writer.

Hemingway trained as journalist.

Before he became a novelist, he worked on the Kansas City Star.

He learned the paper’s style, it became his guide to writing:

‘Use short sentence. Use short paragraphs. Use vigorous English.’

He learned to get the most from the least, to prune language.

Later in life Hemingway would call this style ‘The Iceberg Theory’.

By stating the bar minimum, you let the reader’s imagination add the part unsaid, the part below the surface.

In writing classes at universities it’s now known as ‘The Theory of Omission’.

Excerpt from:Β One Plus One Equals Three: A Masterclass in Creative Thinking by Dave Trott

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