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Ernest Hemingway On Writing [Part II]

Ernest Hemingway On Writing

In my last post, I mentioned that I’m reading a book titled Ernest Hemingway On Writing…

(if you haven’t read it, you can find it HERE).

And I promised to share some of the quotes and insights from the book that most resonate with me while sharing how they can be applied to copywriting.

Let’s jump right in.

The Quote:

“Remember to get the weather in your g-d damned book – weather is very important.”

The Application:

I’ve often said that one of the secrets to writing great sales copy is the small details.

The “little things,” like your spokesperson sharing a weird quirk they have or a bullheaded opinion…

Or telling you a few seemingly “insignificant” details about a major event or moment in their life.

[For example: ​On the day they reached their breaking point and needed to begin searching for a solution – aka your product – they were wearing those red shoes with rhinestones on the toes.

Those are the spokesperson’s favorite, and normally they help them to feel so happy whenever they put them on.

​​But not even the shoes could save them from feeling devastated the day that __________happened.]

So to me, the application here isn’t that you need to talk about the weather in all of your sales letters (though you could)….

Rather, it’s about the attention to detail and sharing these sorts of “small” things that will make the experience realer for your prospect as they engage with your copy.

The Quote:

“All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you; the good, the bad, the ecstasy and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was.”

The Application:

The reason I’m sharing this excerpt is because it captures the idea of immersion.

To me, good copywriting almost always involves good storytelling. And the best stories are the ones that, as the prospect is listening/watching, makes them feel as though they are an active part of the journey.

Your prospect should be able to relate to every part of your copy…

And to feel as though the experiences that are being shared, the struggles that are being described, the victories that are being achieved (with the help of the product) are all happening to them.

That’s one of the biggest keys to producing writing that is effective and impactful…

​​And not coincidentally – one of the best ways to make your copy more immersive is through sharing tiny details.



​​Here’s one more passage from Hemingway On Writing that really encapsulates both of the above points beautifully.

“Watch what happens today. If we get into a fish see exactly what it is that everyone does. If you get a kick out of it while he is jumping remember back until you see exactly what the action was that gave you the emotion. Whether it was the rising of the line from the water and the way it tightened like a fiddle string until drops started from it, or the way he smashed and thew water when he jumped. Remember what the noises were and what was said. Find what gave you the emotion; what the action was that gave you the excitement. Then write it down making it clear so the reader will see it too and have the same feeling that you had. That’s a five finger exercise.”

P.S.2 This post originally came from an email I sent to my private list. If you want to see more stuff like this from me, you can apply to join my list using this link

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