Q&A-Thinking Like a Writer

Interview with writer and storyteller, Kyle Kesses. The original post is in Writer’s BLOG.

KK: Would you be able to share with us some of the basic strategies of business writing?

VHP: I’m happy to share an effective structure for writing a book about one’s business or any type of nonfiction. It comes down to creating three basic structural elements: a preface; a table of contents (TOC); and an introduction. The preface clarifies the reasons for writing the book. The table of contents is simply a list of intended topics. The introduction is a detailed overview of the content included in the table of contents. Drafting these sections provides a solid foundation for writing the main content.

KK: Is it a challenge to work with business people who’re spread across many industries (finance, restaurants, gymnastics, education)?

VHP: Not in terms of helping them write books about their businesses. Addressing the three structural elements mentioned (preface, TOC, and intro) will benefit organizing and writing a book about any industry.

KK: Did the “Disruptive Woman” indicate an intention or what she was seeking?

VHP: Nothing clear beyond wanting to be listened to.

KK: Regarding “Everyone who speaks wants to be heard,” what is it that causes the listener to take interest in the speaker’s words?

VHP: I think this is largely situational. In holding writing circles, my belief in the value of this work causes me to “take interest in the speaker’s words.” There are listeners and there are talkers. I suspect that listeners are often thinkers as well–filtering thoughts requires one type of listening. And I believe thinkers rely on a variety of external stimuli–such as “speaker’s words”–in order perpetuate the process of thinking. Writers benefit greatly from being excellent listeners because it is an excellent way to heighten awareness of the kinds of details that make all the difference in the world when it comes to storytelling.

KK: Have you thought any further about that question: “Was there a precise moment when adjectives and adverbs took over?”

VHP: I haven’t, but I will now. It probably happened when I was just starting to write. Perhaps I looked at objects or various settings and wondered how I would describe them if they were part of a story. This feels likely.

KK: Explain what you mean by, “The thought, ‘I’m writing a story dematerialized.”

VHP: In the original post, I was comparing this phenomenon to learning to think in another language. Something happens subliminally as the result of accepting the command, “Stop translating the words–instead, think in the language.” Making this leap can transform speaking to communication, and writing to storytelling.