Behold, the power of the story loop!
Weekly email archives and occasional extra words that don't have a home anywhere else on my site.
In the great green room, there was a telephone, and a red balloon, and a picture of the cow jumping over the moon.
And then the dragons came 🐉
Suddenly makes Goodnight, Moon a story you’ll stay up past your bedtime to finish, yeah?
I saw an Instagram Reel over the weekend that invited commenters to share the first line of any book and add “…and then the dragons came.”
In my world of copywriting, we call this “opening a story loop.”
Plenty of novels do this even without dragons, becoming instantly unputdownable from their tantalizing opening paragraph.
The best television shows do it masterfully, ending on a cliffhanger that has you climbing the walls in anticipation of next week’s episode. (Or smashing the button that continues your binge.)
🚘💣 Side note: Can we please talk about the season-finale cliffhanger in The Diplomat? Holy whodunit, Batman! 💣🚘
And skilled marketers do it everywhere, with a message that leaves their dream customers hungry for more, copy that holds rapt attention as readers scroll, and a general «je ne sais quoi» that inspires enough curiosity to spur meaningful action.
This past weekend, I road tripped to Grand Rapids with a couple of girlfriends (who happen to be massive talents and fellow StoryBrand Guides), to marvel at our friend (another StoryBrand Guide) in her final performance of a community production of Blithe Spirit.
We walked — well, I hurled my body through space on crutches — from our Airbnb for a morning cuppa at Outside Coffee, an RV-turned–al fresco cafe with delicious cold brew and copious canines lounging in the sun.
Next door: an outdoorsy shop called Woosah.
Curious about the name?
A-ha! STORY LOOP! 🧐
The employee we asked told us “woosah” is a mantra to invoke a sense of peace and relaxation:
Inhale on “woo,”
Exhale on “sah.”
(Google tells me it was immortalized by the movie Bad Boys II, where Martin Lawrence learns it in an anger-management class. Loses some of its depth.)
Origin aside, the answer to our question was enough to kick off a conversation about how the name was born, the ethos of the company, the owners’ approach to her art…
And yeah, we…all spent some money. Mission accomplished.
So, how can you open a story loop in your own business? Better do it before the dragons come.
F-S: Reserved for rest