Thursday, August 9, 2012

They Say, I Say

They Say, I Say
A guide to developing good content

They say, I say -- huh? Who says what, I say what? That's almost as confusing as the whole "who's on first" bit from Abbot & Costello!

This book title was a bit confusing to me at first, too. But after about two pages it made perfect sense. This is a book about the infamous "they" and all the things they say that always seem ambiguous, are usually anonymous, and typically as absurd as any arguments get.

You know...

THEY say it's likely going to rain...this week.
THEY say there's a good chance the Reds will win the pennant this season.
THEY say the economy is getting stronger.

What's the point?

Glad you asked. This book is based on making use of templates for arguing or creating dialogue in one's writing. Rather than expecting authors to just sit down and pull great topics from their mind (though I contend many can) accompanied with techniques for supporting the claim of your premise or thesis, this book gives numerous options for creating meaningful, engaging content while not relegating you to that of a writer only capable of creating ten or twenty new topics.

For example

The first exercise I encountered was this:
"If ever there was an idea custom-made for a Jay Leno monologue, this was it: (__________). Isn’t that like (__________)?

Whatever happened to (__________).

I happen to sympathize with (__________), perhaps (__________).

My response:

If ever there was an idea custom-made for a Jay Leno monologue, this was it: Congress can spend America out of its debt. Isn’t that like telling yourself "I make less than what I spend, and I owe more than what I'm worth, but by taking on more credit cards I'll eventually become debt free!"

Whatever happened to living within our means and not our egregious desires?

I happen to sympathize with politicians though, perhaps because I too might be tempted to promise everything to everybody if I were about to lose my job.

Think about it. How would you fill-in the blanks? Let me know.

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