The Hook and The Look

What’s going on peoples? Flobo here and I’m back once again to talk about those creative endeavors you’re probably undertaking. You know, writing/filmmaking that sort of thing.

Imagine (if you will) that you’ve already created your masterpiece. Your script (or manuscript) is just soooo good, you couldn’t possibly edit it anymore. The public is clamoring to see your magnum opus right at this very moment. Lines have been forming around bookstores for hours…

Copyright FOX

Then you tell them it’s only available as an e-Book

Let me ask you this: What’s the ‘package’ of your work, like? That is to say, your “look & feel” or (mise en scene if we’re talking about film). You know, the aesthetic.

Notice I’m not talking about genre, or even marketing (but all three of these realms kind of bleed into each other). You see, you can offer a product in a certain segment but have an aesthetic that’s different than your competition. For example, there are hundreds of kinds of cola drinks out there, but they all find ways to be different.

Some to varying degrees of success

Some to varying degrees of success

A “supernatural romance” can be the difference between “Twilight”,  and “Beauty and The Beast”. A buddy comedy could be the difference between “The Hangover”, “The Other Guys” and the Cheech and Chong Movies. When you create your story, you ultimately have to ask yourself who is the intended audience. Beyond that, you must find a way to summarize your story so that it not only sounds appealing, but different enough than the other products already on the market. In the film business, they call this THE PITCH.

In your short summary, you are supposed to engage the producer (or audience) enough to get them interested in reading the rest of the work (THE HOOK). When they do decide to take a look at it, they must have enough appreciation in the world you create to stick with the developments within (THE LOOK).

Why are the Hook & Look so important? Well for one, people just don’t have the time to give your work the full chance it deserves, anymore. Some or lazy and others are busy, but most nowadays have to be “prepped” into reading a long form of work. We’ve been conditioned by advertising and it seeps in to all aspects of our psyche. We have to see a trailer before we see the movie. We go to Yelp before checking out a restaurant. We read the preview line in our e-mail inboxes before deciding it is  important enough for a full read. The Hook and The Look are here to stay.

The sad part is, if your story fails on one or two of those accounts, maybe it’s time to rework it a bit.

But I still love you, Crystal Pepsi!

–Flobo

 

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