Picture this:

You fly your loved ones to visit you on the other side of the world.

Then you’re trapped in a house without food or water because of flash floods.

Yup…that’s what happened to me.

What started as a dream ended as a bit of a nightmare.

See, I’d always wanted to treat my parents, but I hadn’t been able to in a while because I was starting a new business.

But the first thing I did after my 20k launch was…

…Flying my parents to Brazil for a beach getaway.

Until shit went south FAST.

Our Uber barely made it to the Airbnb.

The rain and floods intensified when we searched the Airbnb to find there was no food or water.

It was getting dark and the water was running high.

Fear, hunger, and thirst set in.

My Dad and I set off on a mission through knee-deep water – praying that the local markets would be open.

Soaked, tired, and irritated we made it to the nearest grocery store to read a sign that said:

“Fechado” (closed in Portuguese).

And this is where the real-life heroes journey kicked in:

When the heroes are forced to make a change…

…but are stopped from achieving their goals by outside obstacles.

A mystical guide appears to show the path.

But our guide wasn’t some fairy tale wizard or knight in shining armor.

No…no…no… he was a barefooted man missing a tooth and carrying a giant red patio umbrella.

He smiled and said “fechado”

Dad and I weren’t smiling because we were absolutely fucked and hungry.

The Umbrella Man (later known as Joel) turned and pointed in another direction signaling every market was closed.


But despite the heightened tension of the situation…

…Joel had a hippie feel-good attitude and a smile that shined through the rain-soaked night.

He signaled us to follow him.

“Where are we going?” my Dad said.

To Joel’s house…

…He tossed us some keys.

Therefore, he lent us his car.

Perhaps he was our knight in shining armor?

Because of the umbrella man (later known as Joel)…

…Dad and I were able to drive through the flooded streets to the nearest city and get food and water.

A miracle.

So what’s the lesson here?

One of the best ways for you to share a good story is by reversing expectations.

You do this by building anticipation.

For example, a nice vacation in Brazil…

But then you twist the plot – or in this case, the weather does.

So how do you use it?

Start by giving your readers expectations of a certain outcome.

I used this trick by showing a vacation in Brazil.

Readers anticipate relaxation and beautiful beach moments.

The twist:

I wrote about flash floods and being trapped in a house with no food or water.

This sudden change sets the stage for heightened tension and engagement.

Deepen the tension:

The journey with my dad through knee-deep water, with hunger and darkness made suspense.

The unexpected solution:

Just when things seemed at rock bottom an unexpected hero emerges.

The help from a hero not only adds depth but also adds a human touch to the story.

Have an awesome day Reader, and stay dry.

Catch ya on the flip side,



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