In today’s digital age of “fluff, noise, and buy my book” it takes great effort to stand above the crowd and offer your readers something of value and substance they will appreciate and hold unto. Thanks to Hope Clark and our interview today for my global radio show, “Giving a Voice to Your Story,” from now on, I will appreciate and value one liners more than ever. They are the classic way to get your reader’s attention to your blog or book – either online or in-person. It’s a marketing skill every professional including writers need in today’s day and age.
A Powerful One-Liner
One-liners can be one word, a few words or an entire sentence. It’s something that sticks in your head. You don’t have to think about it. Take for example the powerful one-liner Hope brought up in our interview: “The greater the love, the greater the fear.”
How relatable is this? Doesn’t this define so many of us: the minute we’re close to success, we get cold feet. Or, when we’re close to meeting Mr. or Mrs. Right, we pull back. We’re afraid of being wildly successful beyond our biggest dreams.
Infuse your Fiction or Memoir with One-Liners
One-liners are perfect for characterization. The one-liner, “I don’t care to communicate with you,” tells your reader about that character, but without tag lines of “he said” and “she said” because we already know the characters.
If you’re writing a novel or short work of fiction, what’s a one-liner that defines your character? End your chapter with a one-liner for a satisfying ending and keep the reader interested in your story.
In my memoir, Accidental Soldier: What My Service in the Israel Defense Forces Taught Me about Faith, Courage and Love, I use the one-liner, “onwards” at the end of a chapter which falls right after a “a-ha” moment when I suddenly realized that I’ve come so far after overcoming my own “test” I’m put upon myself in terms of how well I am surviving as a new immigrant and soldier.
Other Marketing Uses
- If you have a Facebook Fan page, why not start with a one-liner?
- Use one-liners to introduce yourself and your book at a writer’s conference or during a pitch conference. This is a great way to get an agent interested and s/he might start firing questions at you.
- Tweet one-liners as a way to grab your reader. On our interview, Hope says she keeps her Twitter browser open so she can constantly “tweet” the one-liners that come pouring through at any given moment. She mentioned keeping a one-liner notebook simply for this purpose – a brilliant idea! (which I’m going to adapt.)
Infuse your blog posts with one-liners
Now if you’re a blogger, you MUST be using key-word driven one-liners in your heading that focuses on solving a problem. Your bolded headings and sub-headings need to be one-liners that pack a punch and keep the reader focused. You might lose readership if you’re just blogging a lot of fluff. One-liners are a great way then to keep you focused as a blogger.
- pithy, pack a punch, are juicy, sharp slice of life snippets
- get you to think
- get your reader interested and offer entertainment
- require serious thought and intention. Don’t expect to get rich by them, but expect them to enrich your life and the lives of others.
Are you packing a punch with your online presence?
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As Hope pointed out, we don’t stop long enough to be clever. One-liners require serious thought so they zing! Sometimes we need to let them marinate over time so we can start using them in our work.