The Stephen King approach to writing email stories



The dumbest reading decision I ever made was the time I read Stephen King’s Cujo novel.

I was living in a rental house with four other ladies during my junior year of college. One weekend all of them were away, which normally never happened.

For some reason that’s the time I chose to read my first Stephen King novel.

I scared myself half to death reading about that crazy dog Cujo. All these years later I still remember that dog attacking people trapped inside a locked car.

I couldn’t sleep because reading Cujo made me afraid of my own normally safe surroundings.

Every little noise was a potential thief – or Cujo – trying to get into my house.

Yet I couldn’t stop reading and finished the whole thing that weekend. I did have to pull the damsel in reading distress routine and sheepishly ask my future husband to come over and sleep on our ugly flower print couch so that I could get some sleep.

Such is the power of a great story. It pulls you in even even if you don’t want it to. This is why stories are an important part of email copywriting.

In Stephen King’s book On Writing he talks about how stories create themselves and it’s a writer’s job to let them grow. He doesn’t believe in plotting.

He describes a one sentence question you should ponder before writing a story.

If you don’t have this one sentence then you won’t have a story at all.

This applies perfectly to copywriting, because I couldn’t help but notice this is the same formula used for a certain type of copy headline. In uncovering this nugget about your product or service’s story, it will expand into headlines, bullets, and email stories. These three elements all feed off each other.

I go into detail about this in week 11 of my A Year of Email Copywriting course.

When you sign up I can get the first 11 weeks to you right away if you ask, so you won’t have to wait. Just let me know.

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