Last Word

On Walt Disney and inspired writing


Walt Disney is credited with saying: “Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.”


(Flickr: Alias 0591)

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Of course, Disney’s animation empire is a beloved part of modern culture that spans decades with drawings that have managed to speak to generations of fans from around the world.

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But, here is something to ponder: Ask any news folks and they will tell you, brilliant stories have the potential to languish, ignored and unread, if they are not accompanied by a compelling photo.

So, if pictures are worth a thousand words, then what can writers do to similarly reach the masses with words that educate, elevate and inspire?

Disney inspiration

Consider the following tips for keeping pace with the pics:

Be compelling with your words. Don’t be satisfied to describe a subject with tired adjectives. For example, bring a heroine’s beauty to life. Show it in her movements. Give a picture of her to the reader by describing how others respond to her.

Tell a great story. The fact is, Disney was a master animator, but he was also talented storyteller who entranced audiences with tales of treachery and triumph. As a writer, you are encouraged to do the same. Keep the audience engaged with a plot that will have the reader turning pages faster than his eye can read.

Create memorable characters that the audience can root for and villains that they can root against. Draw them with your words so that the reader can actually bring them to full and vibrant life in their minds.

Choose topics that are vital to your audience, especially if you are writing non-fiction. Lure readers with ideas that are relevant to modern families and workers. Be sure to deliver with thoughts and helpful suggestions that will speak to the audience and give them hope for a better future.

And be sure to visit for weekly writing prompts that urge writers to match lively photos with lively words.

Kerri S. Mabee is managing editor at and founder of Breeze Media & Communications. Learn more about her at

Kerri S. Mabee

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