A writer-to-writer book recommendation… AND MORE!

Copywriters! Read This!

 

Hello, everyone! I’m Ryan Kresse. The new guy. I used to be a turtle at Discovery World.

(I was a copywriter at Discovery World, and I would occasionally blog as Boop the Discovery World Spokesturtle. Boop is a real turtle, he just needed some help with words and ideas and typing. So I helped.)

Now I am a copywriter at SRH Marketing, and I couldn’t be happier. I am happier than Boop when he’s basking on a log in the warm summer sun.

As copywriters, we spend our hours buried up to our necks in ideas. We transform them into language. We search for meaning and build stories. We shape ideas into something beautiful. Occasionally we have to wrestle an idea to the ground and put it in a tiger feint crucifix armbar until, bloody and exhausted, it finally submits. I had to do that twice today. But that’s, like, one of the only occupational hazards of this job.

When we’re at our best, we make ideas surprising, engaging and understandable (and profitable, but that’s a blog post for another day). We transform how people see themselves and the world. We change how they act. It’s pretty cool stuff.

And when we find other people who can do beyond-extraordinary things with ideas and language — authors, writers and poets — we get excited. Well, I get excited.

Okay, new guy. Bring it. Who should I get excited about? Simon Sinek?

What? No. Sure, he’s great. But you should definitely get excited about Charles Yu.

And why should I get excited about this guy?

Because he is a phenomenal storyteller. He has an absolute bananas ability to create rich characters who experience profound loss and alienation. And I’ve never encountered anyone who is as quite at home with metaphor as Yu is.

His first novel, How to Live Safely in a Science Fiction Universe, is one of the best and most gut-wrenching (in a good way) time travel stories ever written.

His second, Interior Chinatown, is even better. It is dark, acerbic and acidic, hilarious and heartbreaking. It’s part screenplay, part novel. The writing is perfect. It’s about representation and identity and who gets to decide what that means. It is fantastic.

Will I enjoy it?

Yes, of course! I mean, I don’t know you, but I assume you love words and stories and ideas. And these are friggin’ great stories with profoundly personal ideas. And the writing is effing perfect, so there’s that.

So I should definitely read Charles Yu?

You should definitely read Charles Yu.

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