Relating to Readers

Emile_Friant_Autoportrait_1885

Remember the relief you felt that day on the playground?

Some kid started talking about a TV show you’d actually seen. Suddenly you weren’t strangers. You knew what they were talking about, and you could join in.

There’s a principle here for writers. Readers like to think about things they already know about. It’s less work and more fun, and it helps the reader feel he already has something valuable to contribute.

Readers light up when you talk about things they already know. What topics do your readers relate to? Where is the crossover between what you love and what they love? Writers need to think about this. It’s part of being a good host. By choosing relatable topics and anecdotes we help the reader get past the inertia and get into the content.

I did a brainstorm for topics I have in common with many of my own readers. The exercise was valuable in itself, and I may end up using the results.

Here’s what I came up with:

Relatable Evergreen Topics:
Family Life
Friendship
How To Do Something
Humor
Leadership
Life Purpose
Productivity

Relatable Music:
The Beatles
Johnny Cash
Elvis

Relatable Shows:
The Cosby Show
Frazier
The Simpsons
The X-files
Top Chef

Relatable Stories:
Disney movies
Fables
Fairy tales
Legends

Relatable Founding Fathers:
Locke
Paine
Franklin
Washington
Jefferson
Adams

Relatable Christians:
Augustine
Luther
Calvin
Wesley
Edwards
Whitefield
C.S. Lewis
Billy Graham

Relatable Bible People:
Adam and Eve
Noah
Abraham
Jacob
Pharaoh
Moses
Joshua
Samson
Gideon
Ruth
Samuel
Saul
David
Solomon
Elijah
Jonah
Job
Daniel
Esther
John the Baptist
Jesus Christ
Peter
Mary
Judas
Pharisees
Paul
John

 

 

 

 

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  1. Pingback: Wednesday Workshop: Relating to Readers | Reason In View

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