Dissecting Seth's Blog - Part 2 - Merely Transactional

Link to Part 1

Here is a recent post from Seth's Blog that makes interesting use of first person narrative voice:

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2017/03/merely-transactional.html

There's a quick introduction of the first person perspective in paragraph 2, "I'm not a football fan."

And then the rest of the post is written in second and third person until the very last paragraph where the author's voice suddenly appears again.

This is a nice setup - the first person gets a brief intro in an early place. It's not intrusive, just a quick, Hi I'm here.

This way, when the author brings it in for strong effect in the final paragraph "I think .... " it isn't coming totally out of the blue, but it does have a pretty strong rhetorical force because:

  1. Unlike the earlier first person writing, it expresses a strong opinion.
  2. You get an even more forceful "Maybe your customers...". Not only has the author suddenly appeared, now he is talking directly to me.

Only here in the end does the author suddenly appear with a Message for You. Because the earlier, informal introduction of the first person this does not feel forced, contrived, or terribly surprising.

This is another really nice piece of writing. For the most part you're allowed to experience a story, it isn't directly connected to you. You're allowed to digest the parable. Only in the end is it revealed how this applies to business and why it might be about you.

Can you use this in your writing playbook? I wouldn't overuse it, but if you had a point you really wanted to put your endorsement on, it could definitely be used (sparingly).

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