Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.
First, a quick note to let you know that next week I’ll start answering some of the many “Ask Me, Baby” questions I’ve received.
What’s held things up a bit is that my old hard drive died and it’s just taken me a while to get everything sorted out on my new one. But you have my word that next week I’ll start answering these questions.
Some folks have sent in some good ones, and… ha, ha, others aren’t so clever. But I’ll be entertaining nonetheless.
O.K., we’ve been talking about story-telling lately, so I wanted to get a little more into this.
For instance, if you’re reading this message, it’s probably because you like the subject line.
Yes, I like it, too.
It comes from something called the Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner, which is a very lengthy poem written by an English poet named Samuel Taylor Coleridge, back in the late 1700’s.
The story basically talks about a very long and frustrating sea voyage. The conflict here is that the mariners are out at sea surrounded by water, and yet… there is no (clean) water for the sailors to drink.
And in these few words I’ve given you so far, you have the basic format for what your story needs:
1. It needs to have a human interest hook. Preferably one that teaches a lesson or has a moral, or shows a profound experience that leaves mental footprints on the people in the story, and on the reader. (Bottom line: if you can’t make someone feel something, it’s pretty much a waste of time.)
2. You need to be specific. I was specific about many things, even in this brief conversation. The name of the poem, who wrote it, and when it was written, amongst other things.
Specifics breathe live into the characters in your story.
And three, if you have conflict, that’s good.
Conflict is the basis of every single television show you’ve ever watched. There’s a struggle between two people, or between a person and a thing (in this case, the ocean), and this tension… is what motivates and moves outsiders to follow along.
This all goes back to curiosity and the inherent desire you have, to get things you’re curious about, resolved.
I know, it seems easy when I put it like this, but all it takes is some practice and you’ll get it down. Just make sure you’re including these three strategies, and after a few tries, you’ll start becoming more compelling story-teller.
But if this seems too difficult for you, don’t worry, I have good news. You can always continue boring everyone to death and not get anyone to buy anything from you.
Hey, it’s a free country — the choice is yours.
Now go sell something, Craig Garber
P.S. How to create emotionally compelling stories and sales copy, that gets ’em to say “Yes!” every time!: http://www.kingofcopy.com/seductive
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