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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.
The only vampire I ever met was in Natchez, Mississippi. Natchez is one of the oldest towns on the Mississippi River—settlers were there in the 1600s. And when you look at it on a map, it’s as if the river actually bends toward the town, as if Natchez has this mysterious magnetic pull. It’s a town full of transients—Mark Twain slept there. It’s a town full of characters. I was there to find those people: to write a story about the most interesting locals.