Talking in voices – By @Holly_Georgious
Talking in voices
Emotion; writing it, feeling it, making others feel it when I’ve written it, has always been a strong point of mine. I guess that is because it’s acting, it’s all just acting. And acting is something I can do rather well.
Of course, it is not the emotion itself which is acting, but rather the process of creating it. The stepping into other people’s shoes, the talking their talks and the walking their walk. The immersion into their world, their views and their stories is everything you need to do when playing a character. To play that character convincingly though you need to feel them, unlock their inner emotions and be them.
After going to various drama schools for various years one would hope that this would be something I can do and more than that something I enjoy. And I can, I do in all areas of life. I like writing cards that make people laugh and performing pieces that make them cry. I like writing letters that make people feel warm and fuzzy with love and writing scripts that make them mad.
So why then, if I enjoy it, if I can do it, if I’m actually very good at it, do I not do it? Why do I not put it into ads, bring it into headlines, straplines, end lines? Why don’t I treat personas like character profiles, or think of copy as a monologue?
The truth is I never really thought about it. I knew they were connected…obviously, but I never really meshed them together in my head. In ads, I always thought of the audience like they were “general people” maybe they were a certain age, a different demographic perhaps, I’d obviously edit my words. But in terms of the involvement of emotion, I guess I thought of it as the copy’s emotion, not the emotion the audience will have when viewing it if that makes sense? And they are not the same. Similar but different. See the example below.
Take anger for example. The copy may be angry let’s say Homebase has a line “ We are sick of B&Q’s s***t” (I don’t know why that would be the case and obviously that would never run but let’s just imagine it is). The headline is obviously angry, but the reader may find it funny. If that’s the intended result then fine, but if I want my audience to feel angry then my headline has failed because although it is in itself angry it doesn’t make the reader feel angry, in fact, they feel the opposite.
Thinking about the emotion that I want to audience to have, is a different ball game and is probably the better game to play. So from now on, I’m bringing my two (apologies for the next word) passions together in all my work. Look forward to more tears, more laugher and more shouting. No I have not gone mad in the corner, I am just getting into character.