What’s on your readers’ minds?

Jerry Bellune

Jul 1, 2022


Have you ever thought about what your readers want and need to know?

Compelling writers think about this in everything they write.

It could be a news article, a feature story, an advertisement, a business proposal, a legal brief, a book, a sermon, a speech or simply a letter to Mom. You want your intended audience to read what you are writing to them. Mom’s going to read it anyway because it’s from you.

Your challenge in writing to others is tougher. It must be compelling. Not only what they want and need to know but in what order. That determines the structure of what you write to them: Inverted pyramid? Anecdotal opening? Scene setter? Question?
Whatever you choose, you have other choices to make. What should be included in this story that your readers need to know? What should you leave out that they don’t need to know?

What you omit is as important as what you decide to put in. The most important decision you must make is, “How does this affect my readers?” Will a crime threaten the safety of my readers? How will a government action affect their taxes? How will an administrative or school board decision affect their children’s education?
Such vital information taps their self-interest and guarantees readership.

Next: Embrace your readers.

Jerry Bellune is a writing coach and author of “The Art of Compelling Writing, Volume 1.” For a personally autographed copy, send your check to him at PO Box 1500, Lexington SC 29071-1500.