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The Lorem Ipsum Newsletter

#23: People don’t care about your stories? This might be why.

Vahur Singa
  Reading time 1 minute

The term storytelling is sexy for a reason – it’s nothing less than a foundation of humanity.

Mastering it will make you more likeable, form deeper social connections and have more business success.

But for a story to work, you must first draw people in and spark their interest.

If you don’t get the audience intrigued from the start, any interesting plot twists and breakthroughs won’t matter.

In today’s newsletter, I try answering a simple yet complex question: How to write a good introduction for a story?

Here’s my checklist for reviewing intros I’ve crafted for for videos, presentations, posts, and sales letters. I’ve adapted it from Lisa Cron’s book “Wired for story.”

  • Do we know whose story it is? There must be someone through whose eyes we are viewing the world – aka the protagonist. Think of your protagonist as the reader’s surrogate in the world that you, the writer, are creating.
  • Is something happening? Don’t just set the stage for later conflict. Jump right in with something that will affect the protagonist and so make the reader hungry to find out what the consequence will be. After all, unless something is already happening, how can we want to know what happens next?
  • Is there conflict in what’s happening? Will the conflict have a direct impact on the protagonist’s quest, even though your reader might not yet know what that quest is?
  • Is something at stake in the intro? And, as important, is your reader aware of what it is?
  • Is there a sense that “all is not as it seems”? This is especially important if the protagonist isn’t introduced immediately, in which case it pays to ask: Is there a growing sense of focused foreboding that’ll keep the reader hooked until the protagonist appears in the not-too-distant future?
  • Can we glimpse enough of the “big picture” to understand why the things we observe matter? It’s the “big picture” that gives readers perspective and conveys the point of each scene, enabling them to add things up. If we don’t know where the story is going, how can we tell if it’s moving at all?

I hope this checklist helps you have more success telling your stories and better understand why you enjoy the stories you do.

 

Wishing you success,

Your friend Vahur

 

Whenever you’re ready, there are 2 ways I can help you:

  1. For Estonians: If you are an entrepreneur, freelancer or marketer and tired of poor results from social media, consider joining my Content Marketing Masterclass.
  2. If you’d like me to coach or consult you in private, I offer a 1-on-1 coaching program and a 1-hour consultation call. Learn more about my services here.
Sven Nuum
Sven Nuum
I don't know anybody who has deep-dived into content marketing and social media like Vahur. The way he writes using copywriting persuasion principles and communicates with his audience is outstanding.
Mihkel Vetemaa
Mihkel Vetemaa
Only some people understand the social media game and how to tap into human psychology to stop the scroll. Vahur is really passionate about content writing and systemizing it. It's surprising how his content always gets attention.
Mardo Männimägi
Mardo Männimägi
He is a charming person who knows how to listen. Vahur has given me great advice on growing my businesses and podcast. To grow on social media through content, you need to think strategically, which he knows how to do.