I’ve read two books in the last few weeks and both have been absolutely amazing, phenomenal, beautiful pieces of writing – But only one of them actually made me truly upset – and it wasn’t the one I was expecting.
So I set about thinking why this could be?
And I believe it’s all about the connections you make with your audience.
The book ‘One Day’ by David Nicholls is an everyday sort of tale about a couple who never quite get it together and it revisits their life over 20 years on the same day. A unique concept, beautifully described, starting off as they met on their last day of college. It’s ‘what could/should have been’ throughout the book.
The second Book is a far weightier subject matter and is ‘The Book Thief’ by Markus Zusak. A story narrated by the character who is ‘Death himself’ and telling the tale of a young girl struggling with life and literature through the war torn German city of Molching during the Second World War.
Both are beautifully written. Both paint great big expansive pictures in the way they describe the scenes and both are worth every moment you will invest in reading them.
But I only connected with ‘One Day’. maybe I’m shallow and divorced from the realities of Nazi Germany, but I never quite connected with the characters, despite being captivated by the story.
So, when I write for brands now I’m trying to think about it from their viewpoint. How can I create connections, get inside their minds and think what they’re thinking. If we can do that, we can create amazing brands.
I thought a lot about ‘The Book Thief’ last night and another layer of the writing drifted into my thoughts. I guess it is the first time I have seen or read a story like this from the victims point of view. We are taught a lot about The War in school and standard British history and my visit to the Holocaust Museum in LA was still one of the most traumatic experiences of my life, but this book paints the picture of deprivation and fear for the everyday german souls. Those that would normally get forgotten for being on the ‘losing’ side. It makes me wonder whether we are actually winning any form of war on terror, or just beating the normal people to death, when we should be waging war on their governments.