It's 11:34 PM.
I've just burned through 3 episodes of the Queen's Gambit on Netflix. I'm tired and I have a ton of work to do in the morning yet for some reason I cannot help myself from clicking "next episode."
WTF is wrong with me?
And it's not just with this show. I've been here before; Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Black Sails, Shameless, Shitt's Creek. My Facebook feed is filled with people confessing something similar.
What dark magic is this?
As it turns out, the answer is quite simple. Old, too. And, by applying it to any of the forms of storytelling you do in your business, you too, can create the same mesmerizing effect. One that will increase the chance of people paying attention.
So what's the secret?
A story loop is a simple storytelling devise that creates a need to know by leaving a gap in the storyline.
All well-told stories have story loops. They're a natural part of plot development. They're often linked to a problem that a character is seeking resolution to. I suspect this goes back to our hunter-gatherer ancestors who had a very real need to close the story loop on the natural mysteries that meant either feast or feminine. If they didn't close the story loops between a set of tracks and the actual animal who made them, they didn't eat. And well... that's just bad for business.
Back in the day (the 80's to be exact), every sitcom and TV drama contained story loops in every episode. Often, more than one. However, Those loops were always closed by the end of the show. This made sense at a time when our consumption of shows was controlled by the major networks.
However, once streaming became available and we could watch episode after episode, shows began to add additional loops at the end of each episode, often making it impossible to walk away from. The hit of dopamine, cortisol and oxytocin that comes with the closure and resolution of a story loop, is simply too much to resist.
Opening story loops isn't just for Netflix:
If you want to grow your business, increase engagement, create better talks or presentations, start practicing the art or opening up story loops.
But be warned! There are some significant hazards to be aware of...
THIS WEEKS CHALLENGES:
I make videos about the things I and the people I serve, need to hear.