The Sticky Power of a Story Arc

The Sticky Power of a Story Arc

by Tracy Johnson

Writers create stories around a formula that creates a story arc. The goal is to take the reader on a journey, a story with a beginning, middle and end. The process creates a sticky thread that weaves through the story, adding texture and continuity to their work.

The same concepts that work for a novel can be applied in many ways. You’ll recognize a story arc in online marketing, sales pitches, songs, screenplays and movies. It even works for a radio show.

Entertainment without storylines is simply a series of bits. Bits may be fine, but when your show is nothing but individual elements, you have to start from scratch in every break. The average morning show is usually more about moments than stories. Moments are great for gaining attention, but their impact is short-lived.

You might also like:
3 Reasons Storytelling Skills Are Critical To The Success of Your Radio Station [video]

It’s much more effective when segments lead the listener to hear more!

Small story arcs happen on the air when a topic stretches across multiple breaks. This is common when executing a feature like Second Date Update. The problem is set up in the first segment and paid off later in the hour. That’s all well and good, of course, but great radio shows develop deeper story arcs and storylines that regularly come back.

Similarly, in radio we have an obsessive drive to be topical-it’s all about what’s hot NOW. There’s no past, no future, just now. Immediacy and instant gratification are important, but when there’s no story, no arc to draw and emotionally involve the audience, we are like hamsters running in a wheel, working hard but never really gaining meaningful ground.

You might also like:
Modern Family Teaches How to Tell Stories

Story Arcs Outside Radio

______________________
Hey, sorry! This content is reserved for Insiders members. If you’re an Insider,
Sign In Now.

If not, sign up now for an account starting at just $5 per month. Webinar-enabled plans start at $19 per month. Or try it free for 10 days! This is reserved for Basic, Plus, Premium, Premium Annual, Pro, Pro Annual and Trial member to access this content.
Register

Fix Your Station For Generation Now eBook
eBook, 4.95

by Tracy Johnson. Industry experts have told you all about millennials. They’re unique, different and hard to reach. And they grew up in a world where radio wasn’t as important as in the past. […]

Make Information a Tune In Not a Tune Out Presentation & Slides
Webinar, $19.00

The world moves fast. Information is here today and gone tomorrow. The cycle turns over quickly. Content has a short shelf life. Information is received and consumed differently than ever before. Yet most radio stations […]

Join the TJMG Newsletter

Hire a talent coach for less than $1 a day.

Sign up for Insiders Radio Network.

Game-changing guidance to transform your show, station & career.

@TracyJohnson