10 writing tricks and treats for Halloween
Improve your copywriting with these literature-inspired tricks and treats
Halloween is here, a time for creepy tales, crafty tricks and terrific treats. To celebrate this spooky season, we are sharing 10 top tricks and treats commonly used by writers to keep readers on the edge of their seats… How many of these can you apply to your own marketing content?
TRICK OR TREAT?
#1 TRICK: Use a dramatic disguise
Writers love nothing more than trying out different personas and famous novelists have been using pseudonyms for centuries. Keep your readers guessing by creating your own pseudonym and tying it in to your brand. At Love Letters, we like the idea of the Ghost of Content Past.
#2 TREAT: Inject spine-tingling suspense
Nothing engages a reader more than an injection of spine-tingling suspense. So if you can get your readers biting their nails with suspense while they’re reading your blog post, you’ve found a sure-fire way to hold their interest.
#3 TRICK: Resurrect the past
Another current writing trend that is gaining momentum is the resurrection of past writing franchises for modern-day reinvention. Anthony Horowitz’s Sherlock Holmes novel is one example. So, find time to look through your content archives. You will surely find an old article or blog post that you could raise from the dead.
#4 TREAT: It’s all about atmosphere
If you want to keep your audience engaged, it pays to spend time setting the scene. In other words, think carefully about the language and tone that you use. Do you want to excite your reader or send chills down their spine? Ramp up the atmosphere and keep your readers enthralled.
#5 TRICK: Bring in blood-curdling shocks or terrific twists
Boo! Startling shocks or unexpected surprises are staples of the writer’s craft. Writers love a good twist for a reason; twists are a tried-and-tested writing trick that keeps the audience on its toes.
#6 TREAT: Stay shrouded in mystery
Social media may be great for connecting with your audience but it is also important to keep them guessing. Tease and tempt them with your content, by all means, but you also need to cultivate an aura of mystery and avoid giving too much away.
#7 TRICK: Get in a ghostwriter
Some writers are not all they appear to be. Pick up any number of novels or so-called ‘celebrity’ autobiographies and the chances are they may actually have been written by a ghostwriter.
The same goes for blogs.
#8 TREAT: Flesh out your characters
It’s not enough for writers to share only the bare bones of the plot. No amount of suspense or shocks will compensate if their characters are one-dimensional and lacking in personality. Bear that in mind with your own writing. When you add flesh to the bones, you give your readers the meaty treat they deserve.
#9 TRICK: Build up a body of work
Sequels mean big business. Crime writers have been doing it for decades, but now other writers are waking up to the trick of writing a series of books rather than a stand-alone novel. A back catalogue of content is one of the most powerful marketing tools that you could ever have.
#10 TREAT: Find the skeletons in the closet
Research is a crucial part of writing and many writers have turned detective and dug up some juicy secrets from the past to give their writing the edge. An example is Kate Summerscale who reinvestigated a real-life Victorian murder mystery in her novel ‘The Suspicions of Mr Whicher’.
If you think of the skeletons in the closet as being your own unique insight on a certain topic, you will know how to give your readers a thrill.
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