Simplicity and Sequencing

Storytelling is an ancient artform that takes a lifetime to master, so I’m not sure I have any secrets that are unknown to others. One thing as it relates to storytelling and social change, especially in digital and transmedia contexts, is the importance of simplicity and sequencing. Complex stories can be incredibly emotionally engaging and moving, but for a story to really stick, it needs a simple hook and logline so people can understand it.

Think about the end first, and then start with a simple hook. Start with a mystery. Or drop us right in the middle of the action. But don’t milk the “crisis” too much, or else people figure that out and tune out. It’s all about the progressive reveal of a story.

This is especially important in interactive media where the technology allows for so much abundance of content and sensory overload. Also, if you want to apply the story to an entire community, the simplicity helps the message spread. Even really simple stories can work on multiple levels, for “new initiates,” and seasoned veterans of a community.

Lee-Sean Huang

From the website The Narrative Renewal Project, “Hook them at the right time