Everyone loves a pithy quote that summarizes “the situation” or pages of copy in just a line or two, which coincidentally is perfect for today’s bite-size posts shared on social media sites, says author and college instructor Daniel Wick.
Think Mark Twain, George Carlin, Oscar Wilde, pertain to your topic at hand, and stir. “Many quotes are aphorisms, or epigrams, or have the qualities of an epigram,” Wick said. “Epigrams and aphorisms are both original thoughts that are usually concise and memorable; they’re brief, usually witty, occasionally profound observations on life, love, death, philosophy, religion and virtually everything else.”
Wick’s book, “An Epidemic of Epigrams or an Avalanche of Aphorisms,” (http://tinyurl.com/pzsqnza) offers tips for creating memorable quotes.
• Don’t be afraid to stand out. If you have your own thought, why not share it with your friends? Many people believe that since they’re not Shakespeare that they have no business spreading their original pithy observations, but you may be surprised by the response.
• Repurpose conventional quotes. If you’re tired of the “conventional wisdom,” put your own twist on that nugget of truth. “It works; people instantly recognize the quote but have to pause to process its new meaning,” Wick says. “A few examples I use include: ‘Beauty is only sin deep,’ and ‘You shouldn’t judge a cover by its book.’ “
• Ask yourself, “Does it feel right?” As any good writer would do, put yourself in the reader’s place. Then read it with a fresh point of view and figure out whether or not it rings with that “something extra.”
“Of course, great ideas and great quotes don’t often reveal themselves on command; they often spring forth on their own terms,” Wick said. “My advice: be open when a good idea presents itself.”