In one of Gabriel García Márquez’s finest novels, the 90-year-old male narrator is overcome by love: “I floated among erratic clouds…my delirium was so great that during a student demonstration complete with rocks and bottles, I…held up a sign that would sanctify my truth: I am mad with love.”
Emotion spills lavishly into the moment, rife with the virile energy of a man in his prime. There is no further mention of the student demonstration. But Garcia trusts his reader enough to forfeit linear storytelling in favor of a more resonant human truth.
Like Garcia’s magic-punctuated storylines, copy balances fact against poetry. Copywriting provides an opportunity to abandon dry details, choosing instead to hang-glide in the dizzying air space of human thrill, creativity, delight, and inspiration. A great copywriter trusts her readers’ intelligence and creativity. As such, she is freed from stating the obvious, and given license to soar. Soaring–within precise parameters–makes the copy. The failure to soar is a failure of copy.
Interested in getting to know Marquez’s venerated prose? Try a few of my favorites: “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” “Of Love and Other Demons” and “Love in the Time of Cholera.” If they inspire you, explore too the works of Isabel Allende, Marquez’ female counterpart. Some of her best stories include “The House of the Spirits,” “Portrait in Sepia” and “Daughter of Fortune.”