Diving into the middle

Mark Bernstein: The core challenge of the weblog is simply that we’re always coming into the middle of the story. This is what I meant with my post Orientation. I’ll steal the David Mamet quote, from his book On Directing Film:

In film or on the street, people who describe themselves to you are lying. Here is the difference: In the bad film, the fellow says, hello, Jack, I’m coming over to your home this evening because I need to get the money you borrowed from me. In the good film, he says, where the hell were you yesterday?


I wish I had seen this quote 18 months ago when I first started blogging. I did manage to figure it out, but it would have been nice to have this little piece of advice.

It reminds me of the editor who worked with me on my first book, Managing Information Strategically. Jon used to start reading my draft chapters at the top of page three. When I asked him why, he said that was where he always found my real lead. I still struggle with diving into the point I want to make and resisting the urge to offer all the backstory.