Is your story recognizable enough?

Mark is 40 years and has autism.

He want to watch the movie The Blues Brothers every day. Before he starts, he puts on his black glasses, his hat and his tie.

Every time again, he laughs at the jokes, get’s excited by the car chases, dances to the songs. Even though he knows the movie by heart.

I met Mark (not his real name) when I worked at a group home for people with an intellectual disability for six months.

Mark likes what he knows. And he’s extreme in that respect.

But to a slightly lesser extent, other people also like what they know. Your audience as well. You may not take that into account enough.

Especially if your story contains a lot of new, complex information, it helps to add known elements.

An iPhone in a story about semiconductor chips. The 2004 tsunami in a story about remote sensing. Antibiotics and Uganda in a story about healthcare systems in low- and middle-income countries.

The known elements give your audience something to hold on to, give them a breather.

So don’t be too afraid to tell your audience something they already know. Think about The Blues Brothers.