6 Tips on How to Influence the Reader When Writing

Steven Pinker is one of the most influential psychologists in the world, a scientist and a linguist from Harvard University. And here are the six tips that he can give to each writer.


We might have always thought that writing is one of the arts, along with music, painting and architecture. Pinker has a different opinion. He believes that writing is a science; like any other science, writing is subject to the rules, which we will share with you.

We would like to be unique, but unfortunately, people’s brain works in about the same manner. Therefore, it is important for the writer to know the basics of psychology to be able to influence people. What do we need to achieve this?

Create images, but do not show superiority

One-third of the human brain is responsible for vision. Therefore, you should give the reader an opportunity to “see” your story. In order for the readers to move from the phrase “I think I understand” to the phrase “I understand,” they need to see the images of what you want to convey in their head.

Many writers are also trying to impress with deep thoughts and smart words. And here you can read about a study that has proved that the simpler the brain processes information, the more emotions it arouses. That is how you should treat writing. Trying to show your superiority over the reader, you make him feel stupid.

Nobody likes to feel stupid.

Avoid omniscience

Even when we write for others, we still think primarily about ourselves. What does it lead to? Nothing good. Remember that the reader does not know what is in your head. Therefore, many of your thoughts can be absolutely incomprehensible.

Have you heard the phrase “explain it to me as if I were a child of five”? It makes sense. The best way to find out if everything is clear to the reader is to give your creation to someone to read. Preferably someone from your target audience. In such a way you will get an editor, even if the editor is your friend.

Remember about the main idea

Let the reader understand your idea as soon as possible and build a story around it. People need to start from the main idea to follow the progress of your story. This rule is also supported by research.

So, you should not seem too smart, you should be able to create images and remind the reader about the main idea. What’s next?

Break the rules

If all the books were written according to the rules, imagine how boring life would be. What would we do without A Song of Ice and Fire, where one of the main characters dies within 50 pages of text?

Or without the song I Feel Good by James Brown. Yes, Brown also broke the rules because there had been no phrase “I feel good” in the English language before this song appeared.

But, in order to break the rules, you must first learn them. And it is much more difficult.


Every single article for writers includes this advice. If you want to make music, you have to listen to a lot of music. If you want to learn how to draw, you will have to spend many a day studying the works of other artists.

Everything is the same in case of writing. Not only educational materials, but also books by famous, good and interesting writers will be needed. You cannot become a good writer without reading.

Do not think that everything can be done perfectly from the first time

You may think that the thoughts in your head are as clear and understandable as possible. It is not true. You will have to spend a lot of time editing and rewriting your written work to get a worthy result. All writers correct and edit their written texts many times. You can read about this in the book Bird by Bird.

Of course, there are brilliant writers in the world, whose thoughts easily flow from their head onto paper. Do you believe that you belong to them? Perhaps you do, but it is better to be on the safe side.


If you scanned the headlines and just looked through the article to the end, here is a short list of tips:

  • Create a visual image and do not try to make an impression on the reader.
  • Avoid sophisticated words and expressions. The reader may be unfamiliar with them.
  • Remember the main idea and remind it to the reader.
  • You can break the rules, but first you will have to learn them.
  • Read.
  • Edit the resulting text.

Are there many writers among the readers of Geniusbeauty.com? Tell us about your writing experience. It will be interesting.

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