I familiarized myself with the ballads (lots of versions) and after reading through them each several times, I started jotting down notes of the order a story could develop in. Really, it wasn’t difficult considering a ballad is a story set to music. However, if I just followed the ballad’s action, I wouldn’t catch my audience early on and excite them enough to get them to “buy in” to the tale. Someone once said “You’ve got to shoot the sheriff on the first page.” Translated, this means that you need a strong hook to capture your readers’ imagination.
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