Embrace the cheese

Just finished Write To Sell by @Andy_Maslen. Am reminded of @mark_haddon's words to me at Arvon, 2007: Emma - just *embrace the cheese*...

I tweeted this earlier – and included Andy, so he would see it. But he was worried it meant I didn’t like the book. Argh! No, I loved it! Let me explain.

Cheese, in this – admittedly very personal – context, is a Good Thing.

Mark was trying to get me to use more descriptive language in my (rather bare) prose. What I saw as “cheesy”, flowery writing is actually a very useful tool. It’s appreciated by the reader.

Likewise, Andy’s book has emphasised that it’s OK to… well, *sell*, when you’re writing marketing copy. Use words like “free”, “easy” and “now”, because – guess what? They work.

Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? My goal should be to invoke an emotional response in a reader, not to make myself sound cool. Sometimes, I’ve just got to ignore my inner prejudices (Descriptive language? Ugh, I sound pretentious! A direct call to action? Ugh, I sound salesy!) and just write in the most appropriate way for my reader.

Mmm, cheese.

Comments 2

  • I’ve had to overcome this one – some of the things I’ve written have tipped over into cheese, but the client was happy and that’s the main thing!

  • Well, said Emma!

    You know, theres a deeper point in play here. One all good copywriters get.

    It’s only cheesy if your reader thinks it’s cheesy. It’s only pretentious, flowery or boring if your reader thinks it is.

    What you, me or any other writer thinks about their copy is navel-gazing.

    This is copy. Not fiction. Therefore it has but a single job. To produce a response. Everything else is irrelevant.

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