Invite your reader in by opening the door, rather than demanding they enter!
Things to avoid when writing your business book—Part Four
The narrative position is such a simple factor in your authoring, yet so many new and self-published authors fail to realise how important it is. The position involves that of the reader and where they feel they are in relation to the narrative.
Are they in the story—a character fully immersed in your narrative? Are they sitting beside you in some unknown place faraway? Or are they at their desk on their lunch break, reading your book whilst scoffing a sandwich?
The narrative position that is ignored will achieve one result… the reader may read your book, but will never be touched by it, moved by it, transformed by it. This could be called the Report position, because it amounts to simply reporting information to your reader.
The narrative position of you as a disembodied narrator will have the reader come to you, but they will never be sure of their bearings, unless you make these very clear.
The reason this is the most popular form of narrative position is not because it is the most effective, it is down to how much we use it. People are so accustomed to reading in this style—it is so acceptable and safe—that it has become the default.
More than sufficient for blog posts, articles, reports and other everyday forms of media, the Narrator-Out-There position will suit many needs. However, when it comes to writing your book, this same position will create a finished book that promotes your bland, not your brand.
The Story Narrative position, grabs your reader and pulls them in, not by shouting at them to be a part of the story, but through inviting them into the excitement, drama and thrills that exist within the world.
Storytelling—or in the case of business books, storyselling—is the most powerful form of narrative. It will enthral, enchant and literally transform your reader’s life, through the emotions they feel and the relationship you share together.
Yet, this approach does meet with resistance on both sides… new authors find storyselling very challenging to write, because there is a lot to learn if you are going to get it right!
Readers find it easy to escape the story and just go for the bullet points… because the author has not fully committed to their narrative position. Even confident writers are known to play it safe with a get-out clause! This sends a message to the reader… There is a really good story here, but if you do not have the time/inclination to read it, here is a summary…
The Story position builds a world, opens the door and invites your audience in. The summary is a signpost outside that describes what is inside. So, not only is there no need for the reader to enter the world, they have also destroyed any mystery or value for them.
When a storyseller gets it right; the audience not only immerse themselves in the world, they never want to leave! This is where they are transformed by your expertise, their lives changed for the better and you gain an army of loyal, fervent advocates.
The Kara Sutra is the Author’s Way of using the written word as a powerful tool (from the Sanskrit Kara, author/creator, and Sutra, law). A tool that impacts the reader and transforms their lives in some way.
In this series of blogs, author and ghost writer, Martyn Pentecost, explores the foundations of authoring through a series of Author Laws… The Kara Sutra.