- Books, Literature, and Writing
Hypnotic Writing: How To Write Irresistible Content
Most avid readers, and most writers for that matter, are always asking themselves the same question: “How is (insert amazing author here) so amazing?” Is it good character development, or maybe knowing when to use “big” words? What makes a certain book completely captivating to the point where taking a bathroom break seems like an eternity?
Though the very best writers do develop characters very well, and create those incredibly solid story lines, the true nature of creating downright irresistible content lies within the last sentence above: Captivating.
Captivating an audience isn't done by merely authoring a brilliant backstory, or inserting massive explosions and chaos described in great detail. No, the secret to captivation, to complete entrancement, is far more subtle, and far less obvious.
Why Do We Read?
To begin to understand the ways in which one can write utterly irresistible content, one must first understand why anybody these days reads books.
Seriously, it’s kind of amazing if you think about it. As a society, we’re invariably glued to anything that sends messages or has games on it, even more so when these gadgets are connected to the internet (which they all seem to be).
Therein exists a content overload: Video, audio, games, email, social networks, all which is entertaining to everyone in one way or another. Reading a book should logically have been a thing of the past by now, extinct, laughed upon as a relic of a time when most homes didn’t have phones and the very few televisions available had four channels, if you were lucky.
But, they haven’t. Even if the “e-book” didn’t exist, hardcover novels would still be around, and continue to be a thriving industry.
The human imagination. We still read because reading allows us to imagine what the characters look like, lets us determine how they speak, how they move, how the story unfolds.
And, exploiting the human imagination as it manifests itself through the body’s senses is the key to cracking the code.
Tapping Into The Unconscious
Inserting your words into a reader’s mind is one thing, but gaining complete control of their senses is the essence of creating enthralling text.
Such is the nature of entrancement; inducing a focus such as a sun’s ray through a magnifying class, one so intense that the reader becomes lost in the reading, unaware of the world around him.
Writers do this in many ways, nearly all of which are done without the reader actively knowing.
The first book on hypnotic writing. While it focuses mostly on writing sales letters and advertisements, it's also great for any other type of writing where you want to capture and lead the reader's imagination and have them do whatever you want - from vividly experiencing your writing, to buying your product.
Making The Reader Aware Of Unconscious Sensations
By making the reader aware of sensations that he or she may be currently experiencing, but isn't actively aware of, such as the weight of their body against the chair, or the feeling of the paper against the fingers when touching the pages of a book, you can place them in somewhat of a light trance.
If you can make about four such descriptions successively, you'll really deepen the trance enough to get them to open up completely.
By doing this, you’re also connecting them to the unconscious by way of your writing, therefore furthering their connection to the book or whatever it is that you wrote.
Giving The Reader A Direct Command
Now that you paved the way, you can give the reader a command of what you want them to do or feel.
You can give certain commands to your reader directly, like: "Before reading, please relax your muscles, take a deep breath and start with the first chapter".
But for most commands you'll need some sort of psychological device to get it in. One of such devices is described in this and the previous sections.
Although many times, and especially in sales writing, you can do it directly with the same effect, the great thing about writing is, when delivering your commands, you don't have to give them as a writer! You can have a character in the book go through exactly what you want your reader to experience.
Like we said in the previous section, making the reader aware of unconscious sensations puts them into a light trance. The more senses you can capture, the better the trance will be. So, to give your command a better chance of taking hold, there's a special general formula that works very effectively.
The general formula goes like this:
- Something they feel
- Something they see
- something they hear
- something they feel
An example of such writing could go something like this:
"As he was sitting behind his computer, he begun to 1feel the weight of his butt pressing against the chair, wondering if he ever thought about this sensation before. Then, while reading, he would notice the way the text on the screen almost 2looks like it's slightly raised from the white background and he would suddenly realize that 3the sounds in his surroundings that he was hearing until now were beginning to fade away. Now he begun to focus. For a slight moment his attention would go to the 4feeling of his chest expanding with his ever deeper breaths and then he would 5begin to feel more and more absorbed in the content on the screen, hanging on every word because deep inside it felt like this was finally something really interesting and useful. The writing went as follows:..."
Notice that usually for this effect, it's good to keep the sensations very general. This is different from descriptive writing technique we'll be talking about next because here you want to evoke the reader's own sensations, inducing an altered state in doing so.
Language patterns are word-for-word sentences that are designed to grab attention, suspend critical thinking and get the reader to do whatever you want.
Knowing how to write hypnotic language patterns is one of the most powerful skills to have as a writer.
When Reading A Good Book, Do You Ever Get Completely Caught Up In The Story?
Use Descriptive Language
You can get into a person’s physiology in other ways as well.
For example, if you were writing a spur of the moment, romantic type of scene, the goal should be for your audience to experience this scene. Using the right descriptive words, such as “tugging,” “pulsating,” and “ripping” heighten a reader’s pulse rate, thus connecting them physically with the words written on the page.
Describing bodily sensations also goes a long way.
Instead of writing simply: "He took out an object and put it on the table. She suddenly got very curious about what it was", you should rather consider writing something like this:
"He took out an object and put it on the table. All of the sudden her pupils widened, she straightened up and couldn't take her eyes of the strange alluring thing in front of her. What was it? She could feel her heart begin to beat faster and her breathing becoming deeper and slower. She felt a sudden rush in her chest and face and she could feel the shivers going down her spine as she imagined all the possible things this object could be"
Be a Tease
Using the aforementioned examples, simply adding these descriptive words and describing bodily sensations isn't good enough, the real trick is how to use them.
Start off slow, then begin to ramp up the language before cutting it off – then begin again by picking up where you left off.
In Hypnosis, this is called Fractionation, a process by which you engage in anchoring the reader to those feelings, in this case those feelings of romance, before essentially “pulling the rug out” from under them by adding a sudden knock at the door, or some other action which disengages the characters entirely for a brief moment.
Without knowing it, the reader is now dependent on the continuation of the scene and when it does continue, he or she will go into a slightly deeper feeling of the scene as before, allowing you to deepen it even further.
After a few such repetitions, they will be vividly experiencing your scene with all their senses!
Ah yes, the cliffhanger. It may seem like such an obvious way of keeping a reader’s intrigue alive, but it’s because of its obvious nature that makes it necessary to explain how to use it effectively.
Sometimes obvious is good in writing, but in cases where you as an author are trying to draw the reader in while keeping him unaware of this fact, “obvious” is not such a good thing.
When it comes to cliffhangers, my advice is to use one, and only one, obvious cliffhanger per novel.
The reader will see it coming, and you want that. However what you don’t want is to end every chapter with reader on the edge of his seat. This not only makes your writing predictable, but can actually exhaust the reader.
This, of course, is a bad thing. In order to keep both your writing and the reader fresh, use the cliffhanger in less traditional ways throughout the text, not just as a way to lead into the next chapter.
For instance, string a series of unresolved matters together, allowing them to get close to resolution, yet still keeping them at arm’s reach before finally resolving the conflicts.
Doing so within a chapter will induce the types of physical responses that have been discussed earlier, and doing this in an inconsistent manner, separated by four or five chapters at least, creates almost a feeling of withdrawal.
Yes that is correct, you are creating an addiction to your work, but a good kind of addiction, at least a less destructive form.
Though I mentioned earlier that a good backstory does not make a great novel, it still is an essential ingredient that needs to be created, and added, with care.
The most important thing not to do is describe a character’s background each time a new one is introduced. This not only creates the dreaded predictability of a novel, but also interrupts its flow entirely.
An individual character’s backstory should be introduced slowly, and not always from the viewpoint of the narrator. Again, subtlety is your best friend here. Allow the character’s to introduce themselves, and allow this to happen during a self-explaining event, so that a reader can put all of the clues and information together for themselves (trust me, they like this).
When it comes to the overarching backstory of the text, consisting of the theme and setting in which the story is played out, a good author rarely just lays it all out there in the first few pages.
One can lay the groundwork effectively by using certain keywords in the piece’s title or cover art, or by letting characters describe their surroundings in their own words. Again, the idea of subtleness and placement are crucial.
Writing As A Reader
Always keep the heading of this section in mind. Always. As a writer, you've undoubtedly read a lot as well, so you know what you enjoy about certain books, and equally what you do not enjoy.
One of the most useful techniques that I've employed over the years, along the ones listed above, is to put yourself in every character’s shoes; in other words, become every character that appears in your story, even the man pumping gas for half a paragraph who bears no significance to the story’s outcome whatsoever.
It’s a lot like acting in many ways, where an actor or actress will become the person whose role they are playing. You’ll find that by doing this you are better able to set the proper scene, write the proper lines, and construct a better flow, because you are experiencing them yourself!
Everything you’re writing about is yours; it is your world, your story, your creation. After all, can you truly expect a person to invest their time, money, and most of all their mind to something that you do not?
All of this is about emotion, so the more emotion you invest in your writing, the more that will be elicited from the reader, which in turn brings about everything we've been discussing, coming full circle, just like a great book.
Hypnotic Writing In Advertising And Selling
Everything you read above also applies to advertising and selling.
What do you think will most effectively sell your product?
It's your story.
Good stories, especially in salesmanship in print (like sales letters on your website or a full page ad in the magazine) outsell every other technique many times over.
There's a special "formula" you can use to accomplish this - it's called the A.I.D.A. - Attention, Interest, Desire, Action.
If you can spark interest in your readers and captivate them with your story, then instilling desire for your product and making them part with their hard-earned cash for it will be a breeze.
This book will teach you how to hypnotically write anything and make it sell. It could be ideas, products, value, or anything you can think of. These techniques and principles are proven effective, and work.
The ideas and techniques will also stick in your mind automatically because Westra writes in such a way that makes you learn what he is teaching as you read.
© 2014 hypnodoctor