Every writer wants to be read…and remembered. So, when you’re about to go down the same old boring, forgettable rabbit hole, think about Aristotle.
It was Aristotle, Plato and other ancient Greeks who began to understand that readers need to sense the reality of a thing in order to better believe it. Medieval poets and dramatists picked up on this literary device and eventually named it — verisimilitude…or, literally from the Latin, likeness to truth.
Example? I find I often reach for a dose of verisimilitude when I’m writing or editing a case history or a lawyer’s summary of an engagement. Instead of merely saying, “A landowner had a problem with nearby hillside construction,” I might write, a prominent landowner, or a major landowner, or a long-time landowner.
Despite what we have learned from Strunk and White about simplification, these modifiers make the story more real and less abstract. More tangible.
And, the more tangible, the better.
When you get push-back (lawyer: “How’s that relevant?!?”), tell them about verisimilitude. And, that it was good enough for Aristotle.
PS: Here, in case you were wondering, is Writing Tip #1.