Read your shit out loud.

Writing tip #2.

Writers spend too much time in our own heads. It’s important to get your thoughts, ideas, lines, and dialogue out of your own skull and into the world, because like quantum physics, they become different under observation.

That smart, snappy line can suddenly sound completely cringeworthy once you say it out loud. Those two words that totally clicked in your brain now feel like they’re on an awkward first date and one of them is eating all the chips with the meat on the loaded nachos despite the restaurant having a loaded nachos policy that says everyone should get an equal amount. That 30 second script suddenly becomes a 43 once you allow for pauses and beats and performance. And while client side legal departments might get paid to turn 30 second scripts in 43s, we don’t. (If anything, write your 30s and 25s.)

Writing isn’t just ‘writing and then reading what you wrote in your head’. It’s breathing. It’s dancing. It’s alive. It’s stand up. It’s film, it’s stage, it’s slam poetry. It’s a performance. And you have to know how, and if, your writing can be performed by actors, voice artists, and even animators.

Go find a quiet space where you won’t feel like a dickhead and PERFORM them. Act them out, be the talent, do stupid voices, find the places where pauses add drama or comedy. Remove words that don’t add anything and let the idea breathe. Most ads are brands wall-to-wall yelling at people, so it’s actually the ones that don’t that end up cutting through.

Find a second or two and replace the words not with new ones, but with brevity and restraint. Sacrifice that one joke too many that you’ve probably gotten carried away and written in. Reduce. Cull. Kill your babies.

They say ‘something isn’t real until you say it out loud’, and nothing could be truer with what we do.

Writing tip #1


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