Using words to create a vivid picture in the reader’s mind is important, especially when blogging and having a limited word count! One has to capture the reader or risk losing their interest and not having your precious viewpoint heard.
I recently read an article “The Last Stop” (Brian Cable, 2002) which definitely accomplished this difficult task. It was an article based around such a touchy and sensitive topic which was the industry of funerals.
The writer, Brian Cable, did an amazing job at keeping me in tune with following his adventurous curiosity. He says early in his article, “The death of a loved one can be very painful, partly because of the sense of loss, but also because someone else’s mortality reminds us all too vividly of our own.” (Cable, 2002)
Once I read this I knew that he realized his reader might not want to dive too deeply in such a subject. Knowing that he was aware of my sensitivity I felt I could trust him enough to continue reading. This statement was generally applicable to majority of readers as almost everyone has encountered a loss, either a family member, friend, or family pet.
His description of the funeral director, ” Indeed, he looked like death on two legs.” (Cable, 2002) came at a perfect time in his tour of the funeral home. It really is a twisted form of humour, after all he was hanging out in a building dedicated to dead people and there was one walking, talking and conducting business! Truth be told I was beginning to feel uncomfortable up to that point. It was unexpected and made me chuckle. That little burst of dark humour was what I needed to keep reading. It eased the tension I could feel mounting in myself and I really could picture death on two legs!
It is a statement most of us have used to describe ourselves, such as “I look like death warmed over.” His reference to the living dead came at a perfect moment and solidified my commitment to finish reading his story.
To be able to capture one’s attention willingly in such a topic takes great guidance and assurance the reader will enjoy your piece. Brian Cable definitely accomplished this twice for myself at least. It just seemed like he knew when I was about to chicken out, and he just went and brought me back in.
Cable, B. (2002). The Last Stop. In R. B. Axelrod, & C. R. Cooper, The Concise Guide to Writing (3rd ed., pp. 57-60). New York, NY: Bedford/St. Martin’s.