How to frame a narrative

Ever feel unsure what to include when you’re writing about something? There’s a simple answer – find out more about who you’re talking to.

That way, you’ll know:
Whether it matters to them and how much (is it a paragraph worth of caring or two pages worth of caring?)

  • If they do care, why? (for personal reasons, because of professional need, because it’s linked to something else they care about?)
  • If they don’t care, what’s the problem? How can you frame the narrative to help them see things differently?
  • How much they already know about the issue (if you’re assuming they know the basics, they might not have a clue what you’re talking about)
  • What details and language will make the issue sing, so your work has the desired impact?

In case you hadn’t guessed from the image, I’m talking about framing. (Nice necklace, isn’t it?)

Framing isn’t isn’t about a tweak here or there. It involves making fundamental, strategic choices about what to include and what to leave out.

If you don’t know what your audience really feels about the topic, your decisions will be based on what you think they *should* know– or simply on what you want to talk about. That might be what people want to hear… but it might not!

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