What’s Your Story

Pinky: “Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight?”

The Brain: “The same thing we do every night,

Pinky—try to take over the world!”

How many of you knew those lines as soon as you saw the world’s most famous lab rats? 

Pinky & the Brain Warner Bros Animation Cel
Photo credit: Courtesy of Steven Spielberg and Warner Bros. Animation

C’mon don’t be shy, raise your hands up high.

Do you know why you know those 3 lines – so well? It’s because their story, is our story.  Many of us wish we could take over the world; even if we have to do it from our ‘laboratory cages’.

But I have a confession to make.

I’ve never seen 1 episode of “Pinky and The Brain”. Nope not one but that doesn’t stop me from knowing their story. Not only do I know their story, I spread it like I’m a loyal fan.

Pinky and The Brain’s story is empowering. Even though we know they might not succeed, we hope they will.

Having a story that is compelling enough to be ‘share-worthy’ should be the goal of every author.  Well, that is if the author wants to get millions of potential readers talking about her/his book.

Think about every genuine bestseller. What did they all have in common? They all have a ‘shareable’ story that goes a little something like this:

“Gurrrrrl, did you hear about that book that suggest Jesus was married to Mary Magadelene?”
What? Who? The prostitute?!
“Um-hmm. I hear the book is based on facts too.”
“So there’s proof?”
“Um-hmm.”
“Do you know what’s going to happen to The Church if this gets out? “
“Lawd, hah mercy.”
“Well I’m reading it right now. I’ll let you know what’s up.”
~ The DaVinci Code

Or what about this one? I know you all got the e-mail with the message there was a book teaching our children about devil-worshiping. It warned everyone who read the e-mail NOT to let our children read this new book about wizardry. ~Harry Potter

And my personal favorite –

“Only in America can a  skinny black man with a funny name, raised by white single mother become a US Senator.”
“Only in America can a skinny black man with a funny name and an African father run for president and win”
~President Barack Obama 44th US President.

Do you get it? We enjoy a good story.  We’ll buy books, we’ll elect a president, we’ll even buy an overpriced computer if there’s a good story attached.

Have you heard this one? “He stole the original computer design from his partner. And get this, today, they’re both college-dropout billionaires.”

Have you figured out what all these stories have in common?   They all upset the apple cart. These stories shake up the Status quo.

Your story should have the same goal. It should some how break the mold.

If you’re an author, your book has to have a story that rattles a few cages. That is if you want a friend to tell another friend and so on and so on,  so you can “try to take over the world”…

Copyright (c) 2010 MH

So there you have it – one of my talents – “recognizing and developing story angles  that get people gossiping, er…I mean talking.