I saw a Ghost Today

I saw a ghost today

And for someone who doesn't believe in God

Or practice any form of religion

It was scary and made me question the premise of my unbelief

At past 5pm yesterday evening,

3hours after I got back from a tour with a new Client,

I was out on my routine evening walk, approaching Domino's Pizza just opposite QVC supermarket... 

...When this old man, sitted alone in front of an RCCG Parish ––beckoned as though he was asking for me for money...

As I dipped my right hand in my Nike Joggers to give him one of three =N=1,000 notes I had with me...

He said something that made me think he was one of those mentally deranged beggars lost on the streets on Lagos;

It wasn't what he said, or how he said it...

But the name he mentioned and how he looked me in the eyes like I was a prodigal child returning home after 10 years


Let's take a moment and talk about this story....

If you follow me on Twitter — you may have seen a RT from me with the caption " Brilliant storytelling..."

That was thread with a story—thread by Victoria Bassey (Ria Kosher — @vbw_riakosher — Hi Vikky!)  

And here's a few things that stood out for me:

  • The first sentence was a killer hook (causes a pattern interrupt and triggers instant curiosity) — I was hooked immediately I saw it and I wanted to know more...
  • Sure enough, the first sentence did it's job, but notice how she doesn't really give away anything in the first tweet, even if it was a story-thread.....
  • Her story had a gist-worthy opening "I saw a Ghost today"
  • Her story — although fictional — makes you feel like it was real and happening upon your very eyes — like you were witnessing it yourself...
  • Picking Old man or even Old Woman, as the support character in fiction, and matching it with a big idea around "Ghosts" was brilliant thinking by Vikky ... For some reason, Nigerians and Africans tend to associate the Old with spiritual stuff, so it works really well to get their attention
  • Raising The Tempo with an Intriguing twist:

    Introducing the 5-year-old girl, the old man telling her to go bring a picture, the girl returning and the lead character's reaction when she realizes she's looking at herself in the picture and the old man saying "she died the day she took the picture" 

 t's not very often that you see such brilliant storytelling on Twitter (or anywhere else for that matter)

But is that all that stood out for me?

Well, there's other things I want to point out...

But maybe I should just talk about why I stole Victoria's line and used it in my email lead.... (subject line and opening paragraph...)

What happened was:

I was fooling around trying to rewrite the story with my persona — in a way that would give it a more intriguing opening unique to who I am...

So when you see words like...

And for someone who doesn't believe in God

Or practice any form of religion

It was scary and made me question the premise of my unbelief

I was on my routine 30-minute evening walk,


You feel it's real and this really happened to Andy because I've included details you probably already know about me...

Not believing in God and the evening walk.

Anyway I just wanted to use this to drive home a small lesson on Storytelling... (If you want to sell with stories)

Whenever you tell a story (real or fictional)

Try to include a lot of personal detail about the character (s) in your story....

That makes it more real

For example, instead of saying "Nigerian Copywriter..."

You could say something like...

"27-year-old Nigerian Copywriter, He's dark-skinned, has a crazy work-ethic, doesn't believe in God, lowkey has badmouth, is very minimalist, and lives a very simple life; your regular T-shirt and jean millionaire next door..."

Doing this gives your reader a vivid image of who this guy is

Versus just saying "Nigerian Copywriter"

Now, of course, when it comes to storytelling,

Some details can be left out...

You don't want to include boring, unnecessary detail that only ends up confusing your reader

But mostly, you gotta include so much interesting detail..

Your reader feels like it's happening right in front of them

And it's not just your details about your character

It's everything in your story

The car, the house, the shoes (Adidas or Nike?), the phone (Apple or Samsung?) and so on...

And you gotta do this so well...

When you describe harmattan season, your reader feels like it's harmattan season where they are at the time of reading your story (even though it may be raining outside...)

That's the power of storytelling

And one thing that helped me get better at storytelling was fiction'

I read a lot of fiction

And it doesn't just help me get better at storytelling

It expands my imaginations...

And increases the quality of my thinking

Although, the book I'm reading now is not fiction (Born a crime — Trevor Noah — very funny book, that guy is a clown lol)

My next read is a crime thriller— JUROR NO.3: James Patterson

What always astonishes me about these thrillers is not just how crimes are investigated —

But how the plots always end with an open loop that leads to another open loop that leads to another open loop until the Crime is solved

End to end fascninating stuff

Just how I love it...

And it makes me see areas where I can improve my own writing

Whether it's Ad copy or sales copy or landing page copy or even a simple email like this...

So great fiction is not just a marvelous reading experience

But an eye-opening, insightful learning experience where you're just learning exciting new stuff from a great piece of writing

Okay this email is getting longer that I planned

Gotta go 

Happy sunday to you and yours

Stay frosty



P.S: So I have this small Copywriting class where people are making good money for themselves writing copy for foreign business owners

It's a fun place to be

You make great friends and you get a lot of help and support

If you need help building a thriving writing biz that caters to foreign Clients who pay you well... 

Please go here

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