The Back of a Napkin



My professor, Joanna Dunlap asked us to sketch something on the back of the napkin to demonstrate one of the storytelling design ideas that we learned in our class reading assignments. I chose the “Gap Theory” coined by George Lowenstein in 1994. He stated “curiosity happens when we feel a gap in our knowledge.” The need to know something pulls one into a story, retaining one's interest.

My mediocre drawing depicts a pail with mysterious contents. Four stick figured people surround the bucket and have different reactions to the contents. One sits next to the bucket looking lovingly into it. Another stands above looking angry a third looks frightened and is about to run away and the fourth is just surprised.

I have yet to attempt this method of retaining an audience. It appeals to me greatly but it seems challenging. I’m afraid to disappoint by naming what’s in the bucket too soon and losing my audience. If I wait too long, I might lose them out of frustration. It seems a delicate balance and I’m not sure I’m ready for it yet.

When called upon to write a new story as an instruction, I will attempt to build in something of a mystery in order to intrigue my audience. However, I’m a little nervous and to not expect a great success. It seems to me that this technique is quite advanced. Its great to have something challenging to shoot for.