Business writing includes memos, reports, proposals, emails, and a variety of other business-related written materials. It usually gets pretty bad press among both readers and writers. It is seen as boring and tedious, making for dreary reading – and even worse writing! This guest post by Shaheryar Sadiq contradicts the stereotype by explaining how fiction can actually inspire business writing… and no, he’s not talking about dodgy statistics and fake news.
Shaheryar provides ghostwriting and copywriting services. His educational background in the technical field and business studies helps him in tackling topics ranging from career and business productivity to web development and digital marketing. He occasionally writes articles for Carpet Cleaning Hertfordshire.
How Fiction Can Inspire Great Business Writing
There is a huge misconception about fiction and business writing and that they both cannot go together very well. But that’s not true at all! You can use fiction in storytelling to better explain business concepts.
Humans love stories and often find them relatable. Fiction has been used in business articles creatively to engage the audience. The Wall Street Journal published an article titled “two young men,” in which they wrote a fictional experience of two young men who joined the same company at the same age; however, one ended up as a manager while the other became the president.
In the article, the author highlighted the difference in attitude, ambitions, and talent of the two individuals. The article turned out a great motivational piece and has been used for the past 3 decades to teach and inspire young business professionals. This shows how fiction can be a great way to inspire business writings and inspire people through storytelling.
Fiction and Business Writing
Fiction can help a business writer learn how to keep the reader interested.
Although there is no single pattern to follow in your business articles, a few tips that writers often use for writing fiction can improve business writing. The following tips highlight how you can use fiction and take inspiration for business writing:
Business writing can get pretty boring. To gain your reader’s attention, you need to be creative and use your words carefully. Too often, people can relate to stories and incidents mentioned in articles. Giving creative examples to explain business trends, behaviors, and theories can make the business piece an interesting read for the reader.
Moreover, it is important to keep the reader engaged in your article, so you need to play with the reader’s curiosity and engage them in a way that they want to keep on reading. Fiction keeps the reader motivated and curious about the next step.
You should also keep your tone conversational and easy so that the reader can relate to it and develop an interest in the article. If your tone gets monotonous and boring, most likely, people won’t make it till the end.
There are several road blockers in gaining your reader’s attention. These include a monotonous tone, repetitive information, or information overload, which is why you need to keep your writing concise and relatable. Here are three points that you can use to get your reader’s attention:
- Make them understand the underlying message
- Use emotions
- Make the story relatable and personal
2. Practice Storytelling
People love stories, no matter what age and gender they belong to. That’s why you need to take advantage of storytelling and use it in your articles. Don’t just write something and forget about it; rather, read it out loud. To improve your storytelling skills, practice telling your story out loud to those around you.
By telling your story yourself, you identify which areas need to be improved and how you can make them better by adding and subtracting details. Moreover, feedback can also improve your writing style.
For example, read out your article to a coworker and focus on the parts where there is constant repetition or add detail where it looks missing. You can also focus on the aspects which need to pay more details. So:
- Read the article out loud to yourself
- Read it to someone
- Ask your coworkers to proofread it
3. Don’t Mislead
Take inspiration from fiction but don’t misguide your audience by telling them something that’s not true. Your stories should never be made up – businesses have to be honest with their stakeholders at all costs. Use the fiction-inspired writing style to grab and hold your reader’s attention, but don’t tell any lies!
The Wall Street Journal article mentioned above created a fictional situation to convey a useful message. However, it did not give false information about a specific company. Use the fiction-esque style to liven up your blog posts, sales letters, and other business articles, but don’t use falsehoods to embellish them.
- Stay focused on the purpose
- If using a fictional character, make it clear that you are using a fictional character to avoid misleading readers
- Make sure your example is relatable
4. Having A Purpose
All business writings have a purpose – whether it is to inform your shareholders of the company’s performance or it is an internal memo to your employees. Therefore, you must keep the purpose clear even when you take inspiration from fiction. Including stories in your writing is only great as long as it is relevant and has a purpose. Unnecessary details and pointless ramblings will only confuse the reader.
For example, suppose you are writing an internal newsletter for your cleaning company. The purpose of the memo is to motivate employees to perform better in the coming year by appreciating their efforts, highlighting the high-achievers, and so on. You may include a fiction-style piece about a guy who started at Carpet Cleaning Hertfordshire (just like me) and became a branch manager through his ambition and dedication. With this short story, you won’t only convey your message, but also keep the reader’s attention.
Business writings usually include boring details such as stats and figures, which is enough to make anyone yawn. However, by borrowing a few tips from fictional writing, you can spice up your business communication.
The best kind of business writing is the one that your audience stays hooked, which is why you need to be creative with your writing style and focus on the right events. The tips mentioned above are a few ways to engage your audience in your business writings.