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Hookline And Conflict


Without conflict, you dont have a story. You have a reality show. A story begins with conflict. Writer Jeff Goins blog has several salient points on storytelling that apply to both your show and your life.

We strongly recommend that you start stories on-air by answering the question, Whats at risk or whats at stake? If you cant answer that question, you dont have a story that will engage the audience and you dont have a hook headline. Hook headlines are crucial to immediately engage listeners, and they always contain conflict. For example: Tell me if this makes me a bad parent?

Without conflict you may have an interesting observation but you dont have a story that will stick with people or touch them emotionally. As Goins points out, It all comes down to a moment. When Harry Potter finds out hes a wizard. When Katniss steps in to die for her sister. Thats when a story really begins when things start to get uncomfortable. Screenwriters call this catalytic moment an inciting incident.

Inner conflicts or dilemmas almost always make us feel uncomfortable, yet bringing these types of personal stories to your show builds character depth. Chris Ebbott, PD Virgin/Toronto, echoed this point recently to the Virgin Breakfast Show, If something in your life makes you feel uncomfortable then thats probably something you want to talk about on the show.

Every great radio show, TV show, movie, book, and comedy incorporates conflict. Most of the entertainment arises out of the conflict. So mine your personal life for stories that contain conflict and use hook headlines to engage people immediately. Your show will improve... and your friends wont nod off during a story at your next dinner party.

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(11/14/2012 11:40:26 AM)
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(9/25/2012 11:23:15 PM)
Useful and insightful info, Randy. My question is: So, who is going to be applying this strategy? Perhaps it'll be the poor slug who is V/T'ing a week's worth of "shows" over a couple hours. Maybe the girl with 2 years experience who spends 3 minutes an hour on the air doing station promo, banal gibberish and directing audience to the station's stellar website.
I get it, Randy. I really do. But, it's hard to make a wind in a vacuum.

- Ronald T. Robinson

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