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The simple truth about storytelling

Contrary to what some storytelling coaches want you to believe, in the end there’s only one thing you need to understand about storytelling.

And it’s this question: “What happens next?”

I mean, of course, you can say a lot more about storytelling. The hero’s journey does work. “Show, don’t tell!” is useful advice. As is the three-act-structure and many other techniques …

But in the end, all of that is optional.

Because the only thing that matters is whether your audience is curious to learn more. If you nail that, it doesn’t matter whether it’s through the hero’s journey or some other fancy framework.

Storytelling really isn’t a mystical art locked behind gates of complexity. At its core, it’s simple, straightforward, and something anyone can absolutely do.

Just tap into your audience’s curiosity!

That’s it.

If your audience wants to know more, you’ve nailed it. Even if you’ve never heard of the hero’s journey or any other storytelling formula … when your story makes people sit up and wonder what’s next, you’re telling a great story.

“What happens next?” is the only questions you need to ask for that. The better you understand your audience’s needs, their desires, their questions, the easier it will become to find a compelling answer to that question.

If it’s using the hero’s journey, that’s totally fine (it means you’re using it right). But if you’ve never heard of it, don’t worry! The more important information is to know your audience.

So, what is your audience dying to know?

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