What do you think is the best TV show of all time?
There’s a lot of great ones out there. Some of my favorites are Spartacus, The League, Californication, Vikings, Billions, South Park, The Boys, and quite a few others I can’t think of right now.
But there’s one show that stands out above the rest…at least in my opinion…
Game of Thrones.
I know some people think it’s The Sopranos. Or Breaking Bad. I haven’t watched those.
But I did watch all of Game of Thrones. And I loved it.
There’s a reason I’m bringing it up…
I’m gonna focus on storytelling lessons from the best movies and tv shows of all time.
I’m currently writing a screenplay for a tv show and a friend of mine recommended a book on the topic. I haven’t read the whole thing, but the parts I’ve read were super insightful.
There’s one word above all else that really stood out to me from the book.
Tension the key to great storytelling.
At any given point in a story you should be doing one of the three things:
1. Building tension.
2. Maintaining tension.
3. Releasing tension.
The problem is you need to do each of those things at the right time.
They need to be done in a specific order. Get the order wrong and the story falls flat.
The first step is always to build tension. Learn how to do this well and you’re better than most writers or storytellers.
Then you maintain and build more tension until it’s time for a release.
One of the most powerful tools of all to build tension is to create the feeling that the viewer/reader/listener doesn’t know what’s going to happen.
Like they really don’t know what’s gonna happen. Not just the “I know the hero is gonna survive in the end but it’s gonna be thrilling along the way” type of tension.
I’m talking about the “I seriously don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know who’s going to live or die. I don’t know how it’ll end.”
That’s what Game of Thrones did better than any other show in my opinion.
At the end of the first season they killed the main character. That just doesn’t happen often. Even in shows where people die.
I love Spartacus. But deep down I knew he’d always survive until the very end.
But with GoT I didn’t know who they’d kill. Every episode was a potential chance for them to eliminate a main character.
That constant tension is what made it so hard to stop watching.
So if you’re interested in storytelling at all, you should check out this free training on using stories, characters and comedy to sell anything. It’s the same storytelling formula I’ve used to sell over $100,000,000 worth of stuff online.
The last time I taught storytelling I got a really cool testimonial from one of the guys one the training. He writes ads for Dan Lok. He tweaked one of the ads based on what I taught him and he increased the clickthrough by over 60%. That’s worth a whole bunch to someone running a lot of traffic.
You can use these storytelling methods in your marketing. Or you can use it in any type of writing you do. Or in your everyday life when you’re talking to friends.
That’s all for now,
Ian “I love stories” Stanley