How to Write a 007 Blog Post

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Skyfall was an amazing James Bond film.The success of the James Bond franchise can be attributed to any number of factors: the actors (No to George Lazenby; yes to everyone else.), the spy toys, Q and M, the cars, and – I have to mention them – the Bond girls (Again, only some of them.). Another factor is the storytelling one. Each Bond movie begins in the middle of the action. No explanation is given for why Bond is in Moscow, Turkey, or some other place. The exact reason for why Bond is chasing some henchman all over the place isn’t immediately revealed; it’s only later that the facts begin to tie together. By then, the viewer has been so submerged in the story that he or she is caught. The viewer has to follow the story to its end, even if the end is known: Bond will save the day in a more or less glorious fashion depending on the director and the direction of the film.

Blog posts can do the same thing. They can entice a reader to continue reading. They don’t do so by bombarding the reader with information in the first paragraph; no, information is withheld. Information isn’t withheld in a “dangling carrot” fashion nor is it done so that the author can shout “gotcha” at the end of the post. Posts of either variety only work every once in a while, and they become tiresome if overused. The reader comes to expect the surprise ending, which ruins the “surprise” that he or she is supposed to find at the conclusion.

To begin in the middle of things requires an understanding of the whole story. The author must know where the blog post is headed so that he or she doesn’t share a detail too early or too late. The author then has to be patient. He or she has to trust that the disparate parts will result in a story, and that those parts will draw in the reader and cause him or her to read the whole.

Photo: Marcos Kontze (CC BY 2.0)

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Erin Feldman

Erin Feldman is the director of editorial services at Tenacity5 Media and the founder of Write Right. She's a copywriter, editor, poet, and artist. You can find Erin on .

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7 comments
ExtremelyAvg
ExtremelyAvg

For as much as I think about story telling, I had never considered this about the Bond movies or why they do it. You are right, though, coming in during a piece of excitement and then leaving to find out what led up to it, makes for a great story. There is a movie that came out this year (I think) called "Limitless". It did that and I love that movie.

Latest blog post: Touched: Ch 19

barrettrossie
barrettrossie

Well done Erin. Those Bond openings are terrific. Peter Jackson did something similar in the LOTR movies, though not exactly the same. But the beginnings were so powerful that you were absolutely hooked. (Or I was.)  

It is a valuable lesson for writers and other story tellers. 

And kudos for not calling this post "What Bloggers Can Learn From James Bond."  :-) 

rdopping
rdopping

I so agree good storytelling can make or break a post.

Erin, I wanted to drop you a line and say Happy Holidays! It has been a pleasure getting to know you this year and engaging with you on the various platforms. I hope you have a great holiday and I look forward to engaging with you in 2013. Until then, have a great holiday and Cheers!

Erin F.
Erin F. moderator

@timbo1973 I think storytelling makes us more human and gives our readers something with which to compare or to understand. Your posts may not be 007 ones (yet), but I know they will only get better as you put time and effort into them.

Yes! Bourne and Mission Impossible do have similar story arcs. I thought of using Bourne, but I'd just seen Skyfall... :)

I'm sure I'll be online before the new year, but if we don't interact via Twitter or somewhere else, happy Christmas and new year to you and your family.

Erin F.
Erin F. moderator

@ExtremelyAvg I think it's become the default method of telling a story. We don't even stop to think about it anymore. I'm curious as to what the next shift will be. We've been in this mode for a good century or so.

Erin F.
Erin F. moderator

@barrettrossie Haha! Thanks. I hadn't even thought of that title.

Jackson does do the same thing with the films. The Hobbit is a good example of that. I don't know that that's true of the Lord of the Ring books. As I recall, Tolkien was a little obsessed with geography.

Erin F.
Erin F. moderator

@rdopping Thanks! I hope you have a wonderful holiday, too. 

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