I hope you enjoyed my tips for connecting with your readers. In the second part of my series about effective writing I'm going to talk about deeper and hidden meanings within a text. For centuries authors have been hiding and disguising their true intentions and literary scholars have loved to pour over what these underlying agendas might have been. Almost every piece of writing from a classic like Catcher in the Rye to a simple children's book like Goodnight Moon has gone under the microscope.
The key to weaving a hidden meaning into your writing is subtlety. You might be talking about the need for political action but you write it in the form of a fairy tale. You might be writing about how you hate your neighbor Tom and you disguise it in some other form. The literary classic Animal Farm is one of the most obvious examples as it very keenly tells the story of the Russian revolution.
As a writer you don't need to come right out and say, "My neighbor Tom is a slimeball." Instead, you skillfully knit the information in. Some great works don't necessarily push an agenda with what they say, but simply allude to important aspects of the story or characters. The novel The Lovely Bones does this extensively. Author Alice Sebold isn't necessarily concerned with telling the world how much of a pompous windbag her neighbor Tom is. Instead she is uses objects and actions within the story and gives them a greater value than what initially see.
Just because you may not have a neighbor named Tom who is seemingly going out of his way to piss you off on a daily basis, it doesn't mean that you can't find a worthwhile cause to hide deep within your story. The meanings may sometimes only be relevant to us. Our protagonists may have characteristics of those we love. Our antagonists may have characteristics of the rude, jerk-faced, dope who lives next door to you. For argument's sake let's call him Tom.
So remember, if you're looking to add another level to your piece of writing, look around and get inspiration from the things that you are passionate about and begin to shape your world that way. And if your blockhead of a neighbor insists on being the biggest ass-wipe that has ever walked the planet on a daily basis for no good reason whatsoever, then you brush it aside and show that you are the bigger man.
-Nick Tory is the author of the Johnny Book series. Visit http://www.johnnybooks.com or follow him on Facebook or on Twitter
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