Use A Book Of Analogies

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"Become a writing wizard! Turn your words into spells no mortal can resist!"

Those two lines were inspired by a brief glance into another book you need on your shelf: The Analogy Book of Related Words by Selma Glasser.

The book is billed as Your Secret Shortcut to Power Writing. I'm not sure if that's true, but the book can certainly tickle your mind into creating juicy new phrases. Glasser's book is a word-storming partner. Just open it to one of the several lists, all sorted by categories, and let your mind connect the words listed with the ideas you're trying to get across.

I was thinking of advertising this book when I opened her book to the category called Myth and Legend. I saw the word wizard and the word spell and I was suddenly inspired to write the line that began this section.

Here's a demonstration of how the book works:

Let's say I want to add spice to my client's book on networking. I open Glasser's book to any category. It falls open to Baseball and now I let my eyes roam the lists of related words. There's a bag, ball, club, error, all-star, fastball and a bunch more words.

And then it happens! Lightning strikes and—aha!—my mind makes a new connection!

"Don't strike out! Become a business all-star with these fastball concepts!"

See how it works?

Here's one more quick example: I'm thinking of how I can describe this book as I open Glasser's book to the category Chess. There's over a hundred words listed. Without more than a glance at the list I immediately have a new line:

"The strategies in this book will teach you how to checkmate the competition!"

I could go on and on. Use The Analogy Book to alter mediocre lines into sentences that tap dance and sing. You don't want to change every line into a new phrase, but doing it now and then adds incredible color to your writing.

Try it!


Let us resolve to be masters, not the victims, of our history, controlling our own destiny without giving way to blind suspicions and emotions.

What does that quote have to do with Hypnotic Writing? Nothing. But it sure looks good on the page, doesn't it?

That's the first reason to use quotes: They are visually appealing. Readers want to see quotation marks in your writing. They want dialogue because dialogue is alive. Using quotes is one way to get dialogue (or what looks like dialogue) into your writing.

Considering all the books of quotations I see at the bookstores, I know that people love quotes. They are short, usually wise, often witty, and usually said by someone we all know (like Kennedy). The goal for you and me is to find quotes that add to our writing. Here's an example:

When I was working on my Thoughtline sales letter, I kept thumbing through books of quotations. One of my favorites is called The Wit and Wisdome of Mark Twain. As I was flipping through its pages, my eyes caught sight of this quote:

"A man's intellect is stored powder; it cannot touch itself off; the fire must come from the outside."

A light bulb flashed over my head (my wife saw it) and I knew that was the quote to include in my sales letter. So I used Twain's quote, added a line to make it even more relevant to my readers, and put it all into a box to make it stand out. The result was this:

Mark Twain wrote, "A man's intellect is stored powder; it cannot touch itself off; the fire must come from the outside." Thoughtline is the "fire" you need to make your mind explode!

Catches your eye, doesn't it?

Quotes add spice to your writing. Glance at any letter and if there's a quote, your eyes will spot it instantly. Quotes add alive -ness, too, because they are perceived as living. Again, that's because people associate anything in quotations with dialogue, and dialogue is considered to be happening in real time (here and now). It's difficult to pass up anything with quotations in it.

Your quotes can't be very long, of course. Even quotation marks won't save you if your quote is several lines long. Again, you want to be short and sweet. Mark Twain's quote has a couple of breaks in it, but it is essentially only one line.

Your goal in selecting quotes is to find on that is

• Made by someone most of your readers will recognize (a celebrity or authority, like Twain or Kennedy).

Ivan Pavlov, the Russian scientist, said, "Men are apt to be much more influenced by words than by the actual facts of the surrounding reality."

Words have power. Words in a good quote can be powerful enough to alter the world. Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword wasn't lying.

There are many good books of quotations available in the reference section of your favorite bookstore to help you in locating golden one-liners. Buy several and put them on the shelf along with your thesaurus and book of similes. They are all strong tools to help you create irresistible writing.

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  • Maggie
    What us the analogy for. a book is kept in?
    4 years ago

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