Mar 21, 2008

Stephen King likes to resonate with readers

If this doesn’t work for freelance magazine writers, novelists, poets, and journalists, I don’t know what does.

Writing quotation: In On Writing Stephen King says, “What I want most is resonance, something that will linger for a little while in Constant Reader’s mind (and heart) after he or she has closed the book and put it up on the shelf.”
Later in the same paragraph, King says, “I’ll also want to delete stuff that goes in other directions.” (this actually goes in a different direction, and I shouldn't have included it here).

Writing tip: Resonance in my magazine articles means finding something that readers can talk about later, at cocktail parties or on first dates or in the lobby after church. That's one reason I love writing about scientific research – such as the discovery that yawning cools the brain. I want my readers to remember the information I gave them, and talk about it later.

Resonance for you as a writer could be emotional, spiritual, or intellectual. Resonance is the “take-away.” What image, thought, or opinion does the reader hold after reading your stuff?
And then (and this is the stuff that goes in another direction that I shouldn't have included here -- but it's a "teachable moment") get rid of all the fluff. The more focused you are, the more captivated readers will be. If you're juggling different ideas and scenarios, readers may get confused and distracted. Weed out the extra words.

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