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August 5, 2007 / TildeWill

Interesting Part III

The other thing I wanted to explore a bit was the idea of “suspense”. They say the art of conversation is telling someone just a little less than what they want to know. Me, I’m big on being informed so I try [too hard] to lay all the cards on the table at once. I think by leaving something unexplained, you leave room for the imagination to fill in the gaps. The real trick is to have the imagination fill in the gaps in a positive way.

One of the best examples of this happened by accident. I was walking back to my room when I passed a woman I knew who was walking the other way with some friends. I said ,

“I’ve got a question I need to ask you later?”
“What kind of question?”
“The kind that needs answering!” I said as I winked, waved, and walked out of hearing distance.

When she saw me several hours later at our class, the first thing she did was track me down and ask me what I wanted to ask her. By the way she said it, I knew she had been running through all the possible questions all afternoon. I almost felt like I was letting her down when I only wanted to know why she picked me over someone else to be her student for her practical exam demonstration; a question I was too embarrassed to ask in front of other people.

My point being that the unknown held her attention. Much like someone saying “…remind me to tell you about the time I almost died.” Whoa! You’ve got me on the hook now. You could talk about the boringness of working in a box factory for the next thirty minutes and I’d hang on your every word so I wouldn’t miss the start of the real story. Even when the ending is known, the attention of the audience is held. Interesting.

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One Comment

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  1. gourry / Aug 6 2007 6:57 am

    It works for some movies. They tell you the end right at the beginning, and you want to keep watching just to figure out what the hell happened between point A and point B. Your given example about “the time I almost died” reminds me a lot of Fallen. 😉

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