Making Readers Want to Know What Happens Next

By Jack Limpert

The long-running television show, “The Sopranos,” starring James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano, was a complicated story—a Mafia boss, his family, all kinds of characters, all kinds of organized crime. How did the creators got viewers into it during the first hour?

The first hour began with Tony driving the New Jersey Turnpike with the song, “Woke Up This Morning,” pounding in the background. Then Tony, after what appeared to be a panic attack, is in a psychiatrist’s office reluctantly telling the doctor (Lorraine Braco) about the stress of his life and work.