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The Secrets of Story by Matt Bird

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Introduction

You’ve just boarded a plane. Your iPhone is loaded with all your favorite podcasts, but before you can get your earbuds in, disaster strikes: The guy in the next seat starts telling you all about something crazy that happened to him—in great detail. This guy is an unwelcome storyteller trying to convince an extremely reluctant audience to care about his story. We all hate that guy, right?

But any time you write a story for strangers (any kind of story: novel, memoir, screenplay, comic, even just a cover letter), you become that unwelcome storyteller, desperately trying to make a connection before those earbuds pop.

Twenty-first-century culture moves fast, and there’s an endless amount of content bombarding us at all times. What are ...

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