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“The only vampire I ever met was in Natchez, Mississippi.” That’s the opening line of a story* I’ve told hundreds of times both to entertain and teach. It’s simple. But it’s a hook I crafted through many drafts and rounds of audience feedback. Why’s it great? And how can you make your own hooks great? I’ll dissect.
Thoughts rumble around in my head like rocks. Boulders, stones, pebbles. They’re rough ideas, starter concepts and floating phrases. And I can hear them crashing, crunching and bumping into each other. This is the beginning of my writing process.
Noel likes to wait until the very end of the night to sing Beyonce. Before then she's too busy doling out Buds and little bags of Classic Lay's. But by about 1:45, the ten customers at Nick's Lounge, which does karaoke every night of the week, have all sung at least once, and Noel glides out from behind the bar, tells Steve the DJ to cue up a deep track--"'Single Ladies' is so overdone!"--and kills. I mean, she really kills.
Jimmy clicked the volume down a few levels. I could sense him spot-glancing me in his rearview mirror before he finally said, “So, it’s kinda been a tough afternoon.”
I was overnighting in L.A. for work on a Thursday and using Uber to get place to place.