In geometry class, angles likely whisked most writer-types into the infinitely more interesting land of Daydream, where we drove Ferraris, enjoyed popularity, or won full-ride scholarships. Outside of math class and in the world of writing, however, angles (not those in polygons) put pizzazz into our work. Without fresh angles, every story, essay, or 500 words of content would read exactly the same. How do we, website writers, create new angles on old news? Give these newfangled geometry tricks a whirl on your next writing project.
‘Acute’ Way to Find Your Angle
Begin a piece with an alluring object description, allowing readers to experience a reveal similar to that in film, moving from a small idea to the big picture. For example, “Dented, scoured, and rusting I’ve put my mixing bowl through a lot, but the sweet strawberry pie filling we whipped up yesterday was worth it.” This description puts an interesting angle on a classic food writing blog post. The technique applies to almost any writing including product reviews and descriptions, articles, stories, and even how-to pieces.
Go Ahead, Be Obtuse
Connect content to your audience by relating it to current events or public figures. Publishing written content as it becomes relevant to popular culture works too. Take a look through your archives each time a big news story comes out. Have an opinion piece about women in politics? Dust off the cobwebs and release it during Hilary Clinton’s next big run. Did you write a personal essay about difficulties during the holiday season last winter? Bring it out with the fruit cakes this year. An article is only an article until the writer gives it a place in history. In other words, culture will put your writing into context.
Apply Perpendicular Ideas
This technique works especially well when coming up with new angles for promotional writing. Write the opposite of what you want to say first to hook your readers. For example, when writing an advertisement for innovative insoles, a writer might go directly to the point describing how wonderfully like clouds the insoles are. The advertisement is more interestingly put, however, with the problem stated first and the solution following. “For eight hours every day, this woman walked on us, stomped on us, squeezed us into pumps, and still expected us to take her home while we ached, burned, and cramped. Now, each day is luxury with these insoles.” Perhaps Mary O’Neill described the beauty of perpendicular ideas best in her poetry collection Hailstones and Halibut Bones when she wrote, “Think of what starlight/And lamplight would lack/Diamonds and fireflies/If they couldn’t lean against Black…”
Take a moment next time you dive into a tired or familiar topic and consider it from a fresh perspective. With each new angle, your content will feel new to both you and your readers.
Jennifer G crunches numbers by day, but is a writer down to her soul, observing the world and its inhabitants from different perspectives continuously in search of the next inspiration.