No Easy Way

No Easy Way

What is the No Easy Way story tactic?

Nothing good is ever easy. If something was good and easy, we'd be doing it already.

Think of all the miracle diets and fitness fads that promise a six pack in six weeks, or a beach-body by the summer. Do you believe a word of it? Well, the part that longs for a quick fix might be taken in. But you're not trying to con your audience. They deserve a more realistic story. They need to hear about setbacks as well as successes.

Tip: compare this story arc to the POPP arc in Pitch Perfect.

How to use the No Easy Way story tactic

This story arc is the ultimate rollercoaster ride. We love the rise and fall of fortunes in a story--they are addictive.

Here are the beats of a No Easy Way story:

No Easy Way chart

  • Problem: a bad place, where danger lurks or potential is unrealised. (Think: Harry Potter living under the stairs.)
  • Early Success: the Hero takes an opportunity and things start to change. (Harry goes to Hogwarts)
  • Setback: the Hero's own weakness, or hostile reaction of others, make things turn bad (Harry encounters Dementors, Death Eaters and Slytherins)
  • Crisis: : it gets so bad, maybe the Hero would've been better off not trying to change (no one was trying to kill Harry at the Dursleys!)
  • Recovery: the Hero learns where true strength lies (Harry relies on friends and the power oflove)
  • Better place: danger is averted, potential is realised. (Harry becomes a Wizard, Voldemort is defeated)

Think about your own project in these terms:

  • What's your version of No Easy Way, as innovators?
  • What's the version you could tell about your user?
  • If it's your user's journey, at what point do you join them? Are you Dumbledore to your user's Harry?

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No Easy Way is one of 54 storytelling recipe cards inside the Storyteller Tactics card deck.

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