Isn’t it lovely and quite remarkable that he replied to his fan mail in such a thoughtful and personal way?
Aside from that, though, this letter stood out to me because of a particular piece of advice shared in it, which I think all e-learning designers (indeed, all writers!) should be mindful of:
In writing. Don’t use adjectives which merely tell us how you want us to feel about the thing you are describing. I mean, instead of telling us a thing was “terrible”, describe it so that we’ll be terrified. Don’t say it was “delightful”; make us say “delightful” when we’ve read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers, “Please will you do my job for me.”
How often do we make the mistake of telling our learners that something is ‘very important’ – especially in compliance courses? Are we guilty of laziness when we do this? Is it easier to just tell our learners that doing (or not doing) something is important and expect them to believe us, rather than illustrate consequences and impacts in such a way that they can infer the importance themselves?
Incidentally, the other four pieces of writing advice included in C.S. Lewis’ letter are equally valuable and worth bearing in mind – go and take a look.