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Backwards stories

Some of the best crime stories work backwards. We witness the murder and know who’s the murderer right from the start. And then we want to find out why they did it. Or if (and how) they can get away with it.

Traditional crime stories work the other way around: We don’t know who the murderer is but want to find out. Great movies exist for both approaches. That’s because none of the approaches is inherently better than the other.

It depends.

Great storytellers know that and will consider both directions before settling with how they tell their story. (In fact, they will explore even more ways to unfold the story than just these two.)

How about your story? What would happen if you turned it upside down? If you started with the big reveal and then used your audience’s curiosity to find out how that’s even possible and use that curiosity to craft a compelling storyline that leads them ever deeper into the fascinating details?

There are a million ways to tell a story.

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