Storytelling, just like advertising, is an art, not a science.
“Logic is one of the great obstacles to progress.” – Bill Bernbach
Despite what we may think, we are not rational beings; we are curious creatures with illogical behaviors. In fact, we are defined by our idiosyncrasies and unique ambitions – our quirks give us character.
It’s foolish to rely on research. For the same reason you think it’s going to work it’s bound to fail because it leads to conformity, and the audience wants something new. Storytelling is an art not an audit.
Research is dangerous because it deals with facts, and not necessarily the truth. And the facts can be distracting for the same reason lawyers rarely lie, and can rarely be trusted.
“As poet and mathematician, he would reason well; as mere mathematician, he could not have reasoned at all” – Edgar Allen Poe
Research puts us in a position we have already been. From that familiar place we need to push the boundaries, and intuition tells us what barriers to break. We are motivated by intangible forces and crave original content. And when seeking originality the rules of convention are impotent.
Regurgitating research is like telling someone a joke they’ve already heard. Storytellers have the responsibility to give the audience what they didn’t know they wanted, or as an ad man would say – creating demand.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge” – Albert Einstein
We didn’t know we wanted Alice to go to Wonderland until Lewis Carroll stuck her down a rabbit hole. And no amount of research would have told Mark Twain to put an orphan on a raft with a runaway slave.
- 9 Favorite Quotes-Do you see your favorite? (greenbeankindergarten.wordpress.com)
- Stigler’s Law: Why nothing in science is ever named after its actual discoverer [History Of Science] (io9.com)
- Today’s Quotation: Lewis Carroll on reality as dream (euzicasa.wordpress.com)
- “We’re all mad here”: the Cheshire Cat in the Alice books. (manbehindthecurtain.ie)