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Long Overdue Newsletter - March 2021


Creative Writing Lesson

In this video, Trey Parker and Matt Stone (creators of South Park and The Book of Mormon) offer a helpful formula on how to write an engaging story. Their secret? If you write an outline of your story, you should put the words, "But" or "Therefore" in between each scene instead of, "And then." Couple bleeps in here, but hey, it's the South Park guys.

What does this look like in action? Let's take a look:

What not to do - Last night, we went to a great restaurant. And then we went to see a movie. And then we got ice cream. And then we came home, watched the news, and then got ready for bed.

There's no twists and turns. No suspense.

"But/Therefore" rule in action - Johnny Cash's "Boy Named Sue" is a great example of the "But/Therefore" rule. Let's take a look:

My daddy left home when I was three

And he didn't leave much to ma and me

Just this old guitar and an empty bottle of booze

Now, I don't blame him cause he run and hid

BUT the meanest thing that he ever did

Was before he left, he went and named me "Sue."

Therefore... I got made fun of a lot. Therefore I got tough and started fighting back. But I made a vow to hunt down that man who named me Sue. Therefore I went to every bar and saloon to find him. Therefore, when I found him, we got in a big bar fight. But mid-fight he starts smiling, tells me he knew he wasn't gonna be around so, to make me get tough fast, he named me Sue. Therefore I didn't want to fight him anymore. "I got all choked up and I threw down my gun, I called him my pa, and he called me his son." Therefore "I came away with a different point of view." But...

If I ever have a son, I think I'm gonna name him...