You’re four years old, and your mean uncle tells you the story of the Child-Eating Monster Under Your Bed.
Is four-year-old you gonna have an emotional reaction to that?
You kiddin’ me?!
You have nightmares for months. You wet your bed repeatedly.
And you remember that time in your life to this very day.
Why? Because you were scared out of your four-year-old mind, and you felt it to the very core of your being.
HUGE TIP #1: The stories that leave the biggest impact on us are the ones that make us FEEL something. Therefore, always look to enhance the emotional impact of your pieces, even if your piece might not seem to be emotionally driven.
I kid you not, this is one of the most important things we can accomplish as editors and storytellers – to tell a story in such a way that the audience gets emotional as a result.
Now here’s one of the easiest things to use to your advantage:
Time, by letting emotion build as you tell longer stories.
That’s why movies are so effective in completely transporting us to different worlds – the movies run 90 minutes or longer, and we’re just sitting there watching. Every minute that ticks by is another minute where the storyteller gains more control over our attention and emotions.
Of course, if you’re gonna tell a long story, you better have a really good story that is deemed worthy of the audience’s time.
And let’s face it: at the end of the day, the bulk of the stories we tell either in person or through editing will be short.
And for the same above reason of time, short form editing is often harder than one might think. You only have a matter of seconds sometimes to put your audience in an emotional state.
Because of this, my practice is: Continue reading