One of the best tools in a creator’s toolkit, especially a storyteller’s toolkit, is the callback.

Look at your favorite stories, especially the longer-running series. Recall the exuberance you felt at recognizing references from earlier in the work. Remember which ones made you the most elated.

Those were the moments that went farthest back into the story, weren’t they? The references to chapter one, or episode one, or level one, brought full circle to close an expansive loop. And the longer the trip, the bigger and more satisfying of a final payoff.

If you want to learn the value of callbacks quickly, look at improv. Nothing gets a roar out of the audience like ending the final scene with a callback to the very first one. And no planning required; only close observation and intentional recollection.

If you want others to remember your work, then remind them of where they started their journey with you.