Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Rest of the Story

First, thanks to those who expressed sympathy over my computer. Good news – I recovered my files! That said, onward to blogging …

I’ve always loved radio legend Paul Harvey’s “The Rest of the Story.” Each show begins with an enticing event and ends with an unsuspecting twist. Yesterday, when I learned of his passing away, I reflected on Mr. Harvey and these segments. What could I learn from them as a writer?

Lesson #1: The show’s opening always snagged the audience with an interesting tidbit.
Application #1: Every chapter deserves a good hook.

Lesson #2: The audience never knew who Mr. Harvey was talking about.
Application #2: Divulge only the details necessary to keep the story moving.

Lesson #3: A commercial always broke just as your interest in the story climaxed.
Application #3: Chapter breaks and scene switches can be a good thing.

Lesson #4: I always felt satisfied at the conclusion of the segment because the surprise of the ending equaled the suspense created at the story’s opening.
Application #4: A thriller book needs a thriller ending.

And that, folks, is the rest of the story …


  1. I struggle with switched when the story gets exciting. I have a tendency to get off track with my plot.
    Which is great because now I know what to work on in revisions!

  2. Thanks, Barrie. Granted, maybe a couple are a stretch, but I do love THE REST OF THE STORY, and these thoughts really did come to mind. Now, if I can only remember what I learn ...