Storytelling Lessons in 60 Seconds or Less

The mind wanders, especially when forced to look at the same walls all day. Enter YouTube. It’s the great playground for the bored and stultified. It beckons us with its search engine, and cheerily sucks us into rabbit holes of delight. Instead of being force-fed what some news group wants us to see (and believe), or as an alternative to getting hooked on a ten-episode series that may, after all is said and done, end with a thud, we get to choose according to our own particular interests and attention spans. Which makes watching old commercials on YouTube the perfect pastime. For some odd reason which I am not privy to, my brain brought up an old memory the other day of a commercial I’d seen as a kid. It was for Alka-Seltzer, which back in the 1960s put out a string of hilarious ads that went “viral” (in those days, that meant talking about things at the office water cooler). The commercial I recalled was a mini-story about a professional pie-eating team (already that’s funny). It had the trope of the wise old veteran taking the rookie under his wing, complete with an iconic last shot—the vet turning around as he leaves, giving the kid a last wave. I searched for it on YouTube, and there it was. Other commercials came to mind, and I found each one of them. And it struck me that in addition to their entertainment value, they also offer lessons for writers.

Source: Storytelling Lessons in 60 Seconds or Less

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