Success story: Enough Cracker Jack has been sold to stack boxes of it end-to-end around the world more than 63 times. It all started with one man’s dream and the Chicago World’s Fair. The years was 1893 and the man was F.W. Rueckheim. He mixed up a new recipe of popcorn, peanuts and molasses and found he had a product everyone loved.
He called it Cracker Jack and adopted a slogan created by a satisfied customer—“The more you eat, the more you want.” Once the product was launched, it took off like wildfire.
The fun part of Cracker Jack’s magic formula was added in 1912, years after the Chicago World’s Fair, when Rueckheim came up with the brilliant and surprising idea of hiding a prize in every box.
Children eagerly ate the delicious treat while searching for the tiny treasure hidden inside every box. Since the the day the first surprise was packed in the first box, over 17 billion toys have been given out, making Cracker Jack one of the world’s largest user of toys.
Found on the back of a box of Cracker Jack, this tantalizing tale holds a treasure within it for us. As writers, we would do well to hide surprises within our stories. Like eager eaters of Cracker Jack searching for their treasures, readers love surprises.
A tricky plot twist, a character who suddenly isn’s characteristic of the personality you’ve created, the unexpected entry of a new player who stirs your story up—any and all of these can make your tale more tantalizing and engaging. One well-known writer was fond of saying he made it a point to sprinkle a little magic in every paragraph.
Let’s do the same with our writing! Let’s hide treasures within it for our readers to discover and savor as we all write on!
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