So what were the biggest stories of 2018? Well, Brexit obviously, Trump probably and, I dunno, maybe North Korea? Serious stuff, big issues and yep, plenty of Google searches across the year.*
But let’s throw in some alternatives: switch out North Korea for “Royal Wedding” and see what happens.
Yep, Meghan and Harry’s big day massively eclipses even Trump, the most famous man on the planet. Now let’s add another of the summer’s big stories: ITV’s Love Island!
Wow. We really got into Love Island this summer. A longer lasting spike, a much bigger average score than all the others. Finally, let’s blow all the rest away and add in the 2018 World Cup:
So there you go, the World Cup, Love Island and Royal Wedding were by far the biggest of 2018’s big stories.
Why did we find them so fascinating? Because they are fundamental life stories.
Meghan and Harry: a classic Boy Meets Girl story. We are programmed on a deep, evolutionary level to pay attention to Boy Meets Girl stories because without them, none of us would be here.
Love Island: on the face of it, another version of Boy Meets Girl. But look deeper. Yes, we shared stories about Jack and Dani’s romance, but we were far more interested in the ups and downs of Meghan, Wes and Samira; far more interested in who was real and who was fake.
World Cup: yes it’s sport, but it’s so much more. The hero of the tournament was Gareth Southgate. We followed his journey: from the boy who missed a penalty and let his country down in 1996 to the man who led a team and made his country proud in 2018.
Fundamental life stories thrill us because they show us what it means to love, what it means to trust each other and what it means to grow up and face challenges.
So, if you want to tell a thrilling story about your work, think how you can shape it into a fundamental life story. What could your story tell us about:
- Love and being loved (or at least, being respected)?
- Who is true, who is fake and how we trust each other?
- How we grow up, face challenges and become stronger?
More storytelling tips here – or a free guide to better writing here.