Could you explain it to a Martian?

This week’s tip: describe it to a Martian.

At the heart of this tip is recognising the distinct differences in the ways people see and understand the world: their ‘worldview’. For example, Christians view the world as followers of Christ.

You have a unique collection of ideas, knowledge and experiences which shape your worldview. It’s worth spending time thinking about your worldview—your perspective on life—and how it influences the way you write.

Now for the key question: do you assume your audience has the same perspective or knowledge?

So this week’s tip: describe it to a Martian, is just another way of saying: ‘keep things clear and simple; as if someone who had no knowledge might come to understand’.

Rather than curtailing your creativity, use this way of thinking to inspire creative communication. I love the poem, A Martian Sends a Postcard Home, by Craig Raine. This evocative poem uses imagery to describe ordinary earthly life through the eyes of a Martian visitor.

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