PWG Online Meeting on 23rd April 2020
Venue: Zoom and Skype
John Goodwin Bob Barker Jennie Rook Nikki Burrows David Greensmith
Apologies from Richard Powell, Caroline Harman-Smith and Dee Leigh but all sent homework in to be read to the group.
As always, we hope that you and your closest are healthy and safe.
This week’s online meeting took a while to get started, as Zoom was playing up so we switched to Skype for the length of the meeting.
This week’s page banner is courtesy of Nikki Burrows. Read the book titles from top left to bottom right for the poem. Thank you Nikki. If there are any other poems/images or ditties which would be appreciated by the group, please send them to John or Jennie by email.
I have put more detail in this week's minutes as I am aware some of you are missing our face-to-face meetings.
John: Based on last week’s homework: A Child of my time – a lovely descriptive, reminiscent baby-boomer story.
Nikki: Based on last week’s homework: Do exactly as you are told – a clever, witty parenting story.
Jennie read for Caroline (who submitted her work by email): Based on last week’s homework: Miff and other poem – a nice parenting story.
Bob read for Rick (who submitted his work by email): Based on last week’s homework: Gina – a heartfelt family memory.
Rick had also sent a chapter for feedback from the group. As Rick couldn’t make the meeting here are the thoughts:
Bob wanted a few captions under the images. John suggested that when working with images and text, you must finalise the text first and then add the images. The text must be perfectly formatted and edited first.
Overall thoughts were that it is an interesting read and enjoyable.
Jennie: Based on last week’s homework: Experience – a real sense of adventure story.
Nikki read for Dee: Thunderclap – based on a previous week’s homework – very Dee!
Bob: Chapter 9 of ‘A Killing Place in the Sun’ – his new book to be launched in a few days. Bob, having read his work aloud, found some errors himself and can go back to edit his work for the e-book.
Bob also mentioned he was doing an online course about profiting from Amazon Ads. See here for details: https://bryancohen.lpages.co/amazon-ad-profit-challenge-landing-april-2020/
The challenge is put up each year so if you are interested you can follow Bryan and see when his next challenge is online.
Jennie read for David: Lockdown Boogie – an amusing song/poem about the Lockdown. David also wrote a short story ‘Kidnapped’. It will be read next week to the group.
John: Read from his author profile on Facebook: ‘Covic-19 Is not the End of the World, that comes next’ – a very thought-provoking piece which led to a discussion about Inferno, the movie, and how John’s premise has similarities, although he’d not seen the film. Go here to read it:
Jennie told the group about a poem she had read by Vivienne R Reich and is sharing here with the group:
For those interested and want to know more about Zoom, please go here for details: https://zoom.us/meetings
For those interested in joining our PWG Online Skype group, please send us your skype name to add you to the group.
Coffee break: Throughout the meeting
Write your ‘most important’ word last.
Using the following prompt: “What’s that noise?” For the majority of the story or poem, put your most important word last, in each sentence.
For those not in the meeting, here is the explanation of the exercise:
Ever notice how people remember the last thing you said?
We all tend to focus on the start and the end of any message. We’re more likely to forget the middle, when our minds tend to wander.
Why else would people want to get “the last word” in an argument?!
You can use this natural tendency to strengthen any type of writing, in any format. This technique works for sales copy just as well as for content.
So, to give any sentence more clout, rearrange it to put your most important word last.
Take these examples:
We have a problem, Houston. vs Houston, we have a problem.
Mistakes were made. vs We made mistakes.
The truth is something you can’t handle vs You can’t handle the truth.
B2B content is a booming market vs The market for B2B content is booming.
In some cases, putting the most important word at the end of a sentence changes it from passive to active.
Try it: Write 2 or 3 sentences, making sure to bury the most important word in the middle. Now rewrite each one, moving the most important word to the end.
See how your second version sounds much stronger and clearer? How it’s got so much more clout?
You can use this technique for just about every sentence you write.
The same thing applies to a list of bullets.
The natural way to format any list is to start from the most important item, and move down to the least important. This is fine for setting priorities. But it isn’t the best for getting your message across.
We know this from scientific research called eye tracking, which analyzes how long people’s eyes rest on certain items on the screen.
We now know that people spend some time looking at the first couple bullets in a list, then they quickly scan the middle bullets down to the end. Then they spend some time looking at the final bullet.
So when it comes to formatting a list of bullets, don’t let it trail off into insignificance.
Start with your most important couple of points, but move your third most important to the very end of your list. Go out with a bang!
For those attending the call, please upload your piece to the PWG Zoom Group (when you receive the invitation), or any other you would like feedback on.
Next meeting will be on: Thursday 30 April on Zoom.
Thanks to all who attended. Stay healthy, safe and happy writing.