This is an episode from the Kickstarter launch campaign for Storyteller Tactics, brought to you by Curious Tales and What's My Motivation?
If Rachel had a catchphrase, it would be “Do we know that?”
Followed by a pause, into which she mentally inserts “Or are you just making a massive assumption?” Colleagues joke it’ll be carved on her tombstone: “Here lies Rachel Downes… Do we know that?”
Rachel loves research. Not just looking at data, but planning how she’s going to find it. It’s a certainty thing. She hates feeling like she’s on weak ground. But it doesn’t always make her popular.
“How long before you can give us some answers, Rachel?” her boss asked in her first meeting at MetroShop, the large grocery chain where she’d just started work.
“Give me a week and I’ll give you the right questions,” she replied.
Silence for a moment, raised eyebrows from her new colleagues… then the boss laughed.
“They better be good questions,” he said.
Rachel gets so absorbed in research - happily lost in layers of potential information - that time just flies by. She checks existing databases, reads other people’s research. And that’s before she even thinks of speaking to users. Rachel enjoys “proper” research so much that she takes work home, rather than admit how long she’s actually spending on planning.
Few clients really appreciate the power of a great question. Secretly - openly sometimes - they just want a quick answer.
Like Julie and Sohan, heading the team in charge of MetroShop’s app. They want more “stickiness”. “How can we get users to spend longer in the app?” they ask. “It needs to feel more friendly,” they say.
“Do we know that?” thinks Rachel. “Ok, give me a week,” she says.
Here are the tactics I used to write Rachel’s story...
This week’s Storyteller Tactics
You don’t have any control over your curiosity. Some things just catch your attention, others don’t. Curiosity is a driving force in any story: what’s over the next hill, what’s inside that box, what’s making that funny noise in the cellar?
Make your curiosity a key part of your story. Think about what grabs your attention. When do you experience “flow” - getting so absorbed in something that time flies by? When do you see someone else doing something and think, enviously, “I wish that was me”? If it makes you curious, chances are I might pay attention to it too.
What's My Motivation?
If you want to know people, try to understand their motivation. The father of Method Acting - Stanislavski - told young actors to flesh out their characters by asking questions like “What do I want? Why do I want it? What must I overcome to get it?”
Rachel hates being on intellectually shaky ground. She’ll overcome social disapproval from colleagues, clients and bosses to get the certainty she craves.