Whatever you?re writing you might well think there?s no room for misunderstanding. You know what you?re saying so surely everyone reading it will feel the same.
If you do you?ll be sadly wrong.
Everyone has their own way of interpreting what they read. It depends on the amount of information you choose to give them of course. And that will depend on what it is you?re writing.
If you?re writing fiction you want readers to follow your plot not their own. If they?re not connecting with the one you?ve given them that?s what they?ll do. Or give up reading it completely. But the last thing you want to do is to spell out everything in minute detail.
The way to engage a reader in your story is to keep them guessing right up until the end. On the other hand, you can?t assume they?ll know what the story?s about without giving them some clues. You can see now why writing?s not the doddle some people might think.
Writing fiction is all about using your imagination. But you shouldn?t forget the readers have their own. One of the oldest tricks of the trade is the use of the good old red herring. They?re used as a subtle way to make readers think you?re giving them a vital clue. Their imaginations will start working out where the plot is going. But of course you?re leading them off somewhere else entirely. After all you can?t make it too easy for them to work out.
With copy you have to think differently. You?ll be writing fact not fiction and it?s essential you don?t confuse the two. The amount of information you give will depend on the product of course. But suffice to say it has to be relevant and to the point. False trails and misleading hints have no place here.
With copy you have to provide exactly what the customer is looking for. In a way that means everything they need to know is there in front of them. It also has a limited word count so you have to choose each one carefully.
Whether it?s potential customers or fiction readers you?re trying to appeal to, it?s up to you to provide the right amount of information. Getting the balance right is part of the writer?s job.