Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Minds thinking alike

Direct-mail legend Denny Hatch is right on target with his musing today: "What authors can learn from the great copywriters." He takes several newspaper columnists to task for sloppy prose, with scathing examples.

In his little diatribe, he echoes the technique I described in my Friday post about the best writing advice I'd ever received:

Journalists and authors, please take note of the dictum by freelance direct response copywriter Pat Friesen: “Normally, the best lead paragraph is buried somewhere in the middle of your first draft copy.”

Anyway, it's worth reading the whole thing--Denny says it much better than I could summarize it. While you're at his site, I highly recommend signing up for his free "Business Common Sense" email newsletter, too. I don't always agree with him, particularly when he injects politics, but he always makes me think.


  1. I keep seeing commercials for Dan Brown's new book, and desperately want to tell everyone within earshot that the man should sell his excellent plot lines to a decent writer. He's got ideas that shine, but he writes fiction that's so bland, two-dimensional and stereotyped it's gawd-awfully painful to read.

    He's also a multi-millionaire, so what do I know.

  2. Reminds me of what my mom always used to say when I was being a wiseass: "You're so smart...why aren't you rich?"

    As far as Dan Brown goes, I read both of the "famous" books, couldn't tell you the difference between 'em, and won't be reading any more. That's a pretty funny solution you propose!