Mind Control

Art of Prose: persistence of thought

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I hope you had a chance to read the winning essay at

If not, then please look up essay #12. For those of you who have read it, you probably feel like it has Twilight Zone, Prisoner, X-Files theme going. And you’re right. Those were all of my favourite TV shows.

In essay #12, we take advantage of persistence of thought in the reader. Through thorough descriptions we force the reader to imagine what is happening. First, we force the reader to use his/her own judgemental heuristics on objects and places as a kind of reference point.

Two detailed reference points are when the protagonist in the report studies something up close: He studies the insignia on the guard’s uniform without actually using the word “insignia.” He studies the picture of a phoenix on an old newspaper without actually recognising that this is a phoenix, yet his description is tell tale.

This method is akin to Alan Tutt’s “Blonde’s Secret Weapon” in Keys To Power Persuasion. The reader is drawn into the story by having to create his/her own continuity through persistence of thought. That continuity are the reader’s own answers to certain riddles here and there such as the definition of “insignia” or what does the classic phoenix insignia look like?

These insignias are symbols and they are recognised as such in the mind. This sets the mind in gear for interpreting internal symbols such as dream symbols with their attached intentions.

Two big picture reference points are Ellis Town and the clouds above. Ellis Town is made of bricks and metal rails and has a cobblestone road going down the middle; this imagery makes the town quite solid in the reader’s mind. As a dream symbol, the road represents the path that we follow, so this pulls on the attention of the reader even further. Internally, we are always drawn to a clear path – especially when that path contains some interesting attractions.

Above the road we have clouds which usually represent confusion. In dreams, clouds usually represent an amorphous mass that obscures necessary details. But, in Ellis Town, we have something special overhead: Lenticulars.

Lenticular clouds represent a kind of lens wherein someone is on the other side studying you like a specimen under a microscope. That’s why these lenticulars are “concealing” something. Although our protagonist never said this, we assume that he is being studied from above by some unknown intelligence.

This “report” is rife with dream symbols, common and uncommon, exactly for the purpose of stimulating judgemental heuristics, therefore, the thoughts and feelings of the reader. I will have a separate post on Persistence of Thought, which is based upon our judgemental heuristics.

Of course, the most important aspect of this report are the feelings it induces in the reader. Remember, the first paragraph or so has already established rapport with the reader. The feelings you induce through intense, internal imagery makes you a master at the art of prose. This art form is the basis for the most sensational, yet successful sales pitches.

We cover feelings in the next post of Art of Prose.

If you want to have a complete guide to the art of prose right now, please have a look at Keys To Power Persuasion.

Happy Mind Control,