The core of resonating with readers is writing in a way that evokes a response, either sensory or emotional. This kind of writing triggers readers’ mirror neurons—and mirror neurons are part of what neuropsychologists call the “resonance circuit.”
The Hero’s Journey isn’t just for screenwriters and novelists. Learn how you can use this timeless structure to create resonant nonfiction.
How do we find compassion for people who cause harm? It’s a trick question. We can have compassion without agreeing with them or liking them. We can have compassion for them and dislike their actions. And most importantly, we can have compassion for people whose perspectives are directly opposed (from ours and from each others).
Woo comes from a desire to paint the vision of the world as entirely peace, love and unicorns, with nary a dark thought or fart in sight. But that’s not the world we live in, and—more importantly—that’s not the world your readers live in.
First-person POV has considerable limitations. However, there are ways to work around it, to create a richer, more engaging reading experience.
POV stands for “point of view,” also known as perspective. POV keeps the reader oriented. It’s a framework that helps the reader interpret what’s being revealed and by whom.
By weaving together magic and logic, you can engage readers’ hearts as well as their minds—not just one or the other. If you do it well, you can engage their minds in service to their hearts.
The Latin-based languages comprise 26 symbols that, arranged in a mind-boggling array of variation, somehow connect us with one another. It’s pretty awesome, when you think about it. Yet it has limitations. Not only do most words have multiple meanings (like...
Every young writer is taught that the essence of story is conflict. But “conflict” is a loaded word. Most people see it as negative, confrontational and even violent. But it isn’t, inherently.
Story includes challenge and conflict and setbacks and triumphs and more setbacks…and eventually, a change. Or many changes. Story is all the drops of water that shape a rock.
The essence of story is change. In fiction, this usually means that something changes in the protagonist’s circumstances and/or awareness or personality. Think of your favorite novel: If nothing changes, if the protagonist doesn’t transform in one way or another, there’s no story.
The other day, I saw the above photo in my Facebook feed (photo © Kerry Dixon). “Transformation” is a nebulous word, kind of like “sustainability” was a decade ago. Few people identify their primary field as “transformation.” Rather, it crosses multiple sectors, from...
Transformative storytelling is as much about the syntax, the language, the word choice, structure and energy underneath the words as it is about the subject. It also has to do with the state in which writing happens. In transformative writing, all the elements work together to evoke an experience in the reader.
“What is precious inside us does not care to be known by the mind in ways that diminish its presence.” – David Whyte Language is a paradox. Words are symbols that can never capture the essence of what they point to, yet at this point in our evolution, words are the...
I love music—who doesn’t?—yet it had never occurred to me that music itself could be a teaching, that it could bring people to the place, the experience, that spiritual teachers’ words point to, the transcendence that’s sometimes found in meditation (and often isn’t)....