Story and its authority and impact (without a particular char.)June 26, 2014
How hard is it to put out a blog post that has a point but still has no … in it?
I took this on as a task to find out if it was worth it. My work follows. (This is not my only try: I did it months ago, too.)
So, story and its roots as a way to grab custom.
Many of us look back only as far as a 1974 Wall St. Journal pitch that’s still working as hard as if a train was pulling it. Its author, Martin Conroy, actually built on work by a guy – Barton – who was pitching by mail around 1920. No doubt Barton wasn’t its originator: you could dig around and go back far into history to find prior illustrations of its authority.
So, what is it about story that has such fab payback?
For a start, look into a human brain and you will find a part that acts upon story. I am not that fond of jargon so I’ll call it Mr Limbic.
Now, Mr Limbic is old. So old that a lizard has him too. And Mr Limbic has a job to do. His job is to stop us from dying by wild animal attack.
Can you profit from this fact? Naturally! This is what to do.
First, you want a protagonist. Now put him in a quandary. Which way to jump: that’s your crux. Buy your product or don’t buy it.
Find out as much as you can about what good springs from buying and what harm from not buying. Add drama to your story with facts that your patrons can’t dismiss.
Bring your story into sharp focus by having your protagonist’s words as a part of it. Voicing your protagonist’s ambitions – naturally – allows you to sound impartial.
Your copy will carry authority if you allow it to. And story is my pick from our ragbag of tricks and tools.
My guiding spirits push my writing constantly towards story. Now it’s your turn.