Lessons from Malcolm Gladwell’s masterclass

1. The ultimate question is “what is interesting?”

– Imperfection is interesting
– Failure can be interesting

2. Interesting doesn’t mean it’s clean or that the protagonist gets what they want.

3. Incomplete stories, without that final piece that wraps it up nicely, can be the stories that stick in a readers mind the longest…

4. Give your audience meat to chew on and think about, but give them candy too – funny little moments that are easy to consume and share with others.

5. Surprise vs. Suspense

– Surprise: New, revelatory information out of the blue
– Suspense: Keeping information secret that the reader knows it is missing and needs

6. Library nonfiction shelves are arranged like a conversation – categories blend into each other and teach you how to think.

7. Stories must challenge, transport or transform.

8. Use comparison and contrast of characters in and of itself to help describe and flesh out individual characters. The contrast, and how characters respond to each other is often revealing.

Gladwell’s may be my favorite class I’ve taken so far in my learning challenge. He is incredibly engaging, and teaches through his storytelling. His course is on Masterclass. I highly recommend it along with all of his books.

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