J. J. Abrahams is the creator of Lost (with Damon Lindelof), Alias, and the director of Mission: Impossible 3. Via John Gruber’s Daring Fireball, I stumbled across this talk of Abrahams discussing how elements of suspense can help propel a narrative. The talk was given at TED, an organisation that started out as the Technology, Education and Design conference in 1984. Now it’s an annual meeting where luminaries get 18 minutes to give the talk of their lives.
“The first question people ask me is: What the hell’s that island? It’s usually followed by: No, seriously, what the hell’s that island?”