Kevin Spacey: 3 Elements of Storytelling


  1. CONFLICT. Conflict creates tension, and tension keeps people engaged with your story… This kind of conflict between who we are and what we want to be and what others may expect of us is the central thread of the human experience. Look into your own lives and you’ll see that kind of tension everywhere… Our stories become richer and become far more interesting when they go against the settled order of things, to really achieve something different and unexpected.
  2. AUTHENTICITY. I think a lot of content marketers need to be mindful of falling into the trap of looking for keywords or quick hits to boost their ranking on Google. [Applause] Stay true to your brand and true to your voice, and audiences will respond to that authenticity with enthusiasm and passion.
  3. AUDIENCE. Possibly [the] most important element of any story… The device and the link are irrelevant to the story, which is an essential concept that content marketing has learned and embraced better than anyone… It’s no longer about who you know, or how much you can afford, but what you can do, and audiences have spoken: THEY WANT STORIES. They’re dying for them; they’re rooting for us to give them the right thing — and they will talk about it, binge on it, carry it with them to the bus and to the hair dresser, force it on their friends, tweet, blog, facebook, make fan pages, silly GIFs, and God knows what else about it. Engage in it with a passion and an intimacy that a blockbuster movie can only dream of. And all we have to do is give it to them.


Agent Query offers writers a literary touchstone. We want every writer posing as an accountant, office manager, bus driver, police officer, housewife, flight attendant, or juvenile delinquent to know that their story has a chance to be something more than a shameful, indulgent escape— pages hidden in desk drawers that only see the light of day in whimsical dreams of publication.