(No, not that dark room.)
It’s small …
Like, really small.
You’re on a little bench.
Beside you is some sort of … grille?
You’re in a …
But in an even weirder twist …
… you look down to see …
… you’re dressed as the priest?!?
You open your mouth in shock. “What the he—”
UTTER THAT WORD!”
A deep voice booms from around you.
Was that … God?
Telling you not to say “hell”?
“Is … is that you, God?” you stammer.
“No, you idiot,” says the voice again. “Contrary to popular opinion, you can hear God’s voice any time you like by just reading your Bible. No need to wait for deep voices from the sky.”
Ignoring the thinly-veiled religious truth I have injected into this scene (hey, Christians gonna Christian), you answer the voice:
“Well then, who ARE you? And why am I here in a confessional dressed as a priest? And what’s the secret that you were going to tell me about the crazy-lady story?”
And then, the voice answers you … from the grille beside you:
“It’s me again. Duh. Yoo-hoo!”
You look through the grille …
… and see me waving at you
from the confessional seat.
“Huh? Daniel? But why are you sitting over …”
“Because,” I say, “I need to confess something to you about that story …”
You look at my eyes.
They’re welled up with tears.
With a look of horror on my face, I cry:
“I KILLED MY SON!!!”
This is getting heavy.
You didn’t sign up for this.
(No, like, literally. You signed up for copywriting emails.)
But … you’re the priest here, so …
“There … there,” you say, trying to console me. “We all fall sometimes. I hereby grant you God’s forgiveness—”
Suddenly the walls of the confessional fall down outwards …
… to reveal we’re actually just inside my copywriting lab.
I stand up and dust off my clothes.
“Look, buster,” I say, pointing at you. “First things first, only God is doing the sin-forgiving around here. The Catholic priest thing was just a joke element. And an excuse for me to sneak some evangelism into my copy. Only one mediator between God and man, and all that.”
Then, remembering why we’re here, I return to our original topic:
“I didn’t actually kill my son.
I killed him off for the story.”
“Huh?” you say.
Well … did you forget the email you just read?
I told the story of how a crazy lady approached me and requested $1 for a coffee.
But what I didn’t say in that story …
… is that my young son was beside me the entire time, eating half a Krispy Kreme doughnut I was sharing with him.
Part of my dilemma in talking to a crazy woman a foot in front of me … was assessing whether I would be able to scoop up my son in time if she got agitated.
And after I’d bought her a coffee, she was actually yelling things about him as I walked away.
In other words …
A TOTALLY different
And as the storyteller, I had to make an executive decision to cut him entirely out of the scene.
Thus, when you read my email, you have no idea he’s there.
I call this the “scoping” phase of generating email stories.
And “scoping” is NOT a natural skill.
It’s best learned by watching skilled storytellers take real-life moments … and show you what they choose to include (and what they DON’T) when telling the story.
Which is why that is something I’m doing in my (upcoming) storytelling course …
I am personally recording a whole bunch of “behind-the-scenes” commentary on a handpicked selection of my best story emails.
You will learn not only about what you see on the page … but what you DON’T see, that only I saw, and chose to delete, edit or include.
These will not be the whole course, but they will be a very valuable part of it.
But the course is not finished yet.
For now, your best bet is the (far cheaper) Email Copywriting Compendium, which I would recommend you are familiar with first anyway.
Here is the link for that:
And while you read that sales page, let me get things ready for that next email …
I press a button on the wall.
Suddenly, the walls of my lab lift away, to reveal a … stadium?
Thousands of screaming fans fill the seats.
Speakers pop up from holes in the ground, blaring rock music.
And over it all, you hear my voice booming through the PA system:
to Copywriting Fight Cluuuuuub!”
I stride out, dressed as an M.C.
“Yes! Thank you, thank you! Today, ladies and gentlemen, I have a real treat for you. Twoooooo in-cred-ible fighters. Twoooooo legendary ad men. In a vicious, no-holds-barred cage match!”
(The crowd screams with excitement.)
You spot a vacant seat, and sit down.
Suddenly, the lights go dark.
(Story continues in your inbox)