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“If I ask you to think about something, you can decide not to. But if I make you feel something? Now I have your attention.”
Lisa Cron, Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence
“Each thing you add to your story is a drop of paint falling into clear water; it spreads through and colors everything.”
Lisa Cron
“Before there were books, we read each other.”
Lisa Cron, Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence
“...what draws us into a story and keeps us there is the firing of our dopamine neurons, signaling that intriguing information is on the way.”
Lisa Cron, Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence
“Stories are about people who are uncomfortable.”
Lisa Cron, Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence
“We don't turn to story to escape reality. We turn to story to navigate reality.”
Lisa Cron, Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel
“Story, as it turns out, was crucial to our evolution—more so than opposable thumbs. Opposable thumbs let us hang on; story told us what to hang on to.”
Lisa Cron, Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence
“Stories not only give us a much needed practice on figuring out what makes people tick, they give us insight into how we tick.”
Lisa Cron, Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence
“You cherry-pick events that are relevant to the story question and construct a gauntlet of challenge (read: the plot) that will force the protagonist to put his money where his mouth is. Think baptism by ever-escalating fire.”
Lisa Cron, Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence
“Elmore Leonard famously said that a story is real life with the boring parts left out.”
Lisa Cron, Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence
“each scene in your story, ask yourself, If I cut it out, would anything that happens afterward change?”
Lisa Cron, Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence
“Art is fire plus algebra.”
Lisa Cron, Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence
“We think in story. It’s hardwired in our brain. It’s how we make strategic sense of the otherwise overwhelming world around us.”
Lisa Cron, Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence
“In short, when we read a story, we really do slip into the protagonist’s skin, feeling what she feels, experiencing what she experiences. And what we feel is based, 100 percent, on one thing: her goal, which then defines how she evaluates everything the other characters do. If we don’t know what she wants, we have no idea how, or why, what she does helps her achieve it. As Pinker is quick to point out, without a goal, everything is meaningless.6 It”
Lisa Cron, Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence
“In fact, often the opposite is true, because we’re much better at teaching something that we’ve learned through experience than we are at teaching things we innately know. When we innately know how to do something, we assume it’s part of the standard operating package we’re all born with.”
Lisa Cron, Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel
“narrators are often unreliable, and part of the reader’s pleasure is figuring out what’s really true. The”
Lisa Cron, Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence
“To sum up, when writing in the first person, it helps to keep these things in mind:    • Every word the narrator says must in some way reflect his point of view.    • The narrator never mentions anything that doesn’t affect him in some way.    • The narrator draws a conclusion about everything he mentions.    • The narrator is never neutral; he always has an agenda.    • The narrator can never tell us what anyone else is thinking or feeling. Conveying”
Lisa Cron, Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence
“If you don't know what the objective is, everything appears random.”
Lisa Cron, Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence
“When you put together large numbers of pieces and parts, the whole can become something larger than the sum.… The concept of emergent properties means that something new can be introduced that is not inherent in any of the parts.”
Lisa Cron, Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence
“what we’re hoping for in that opening sentence is the sense that something is about to change (and not necessarily for the better). Simply”
Lisa Cron, Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence
“They had mistaken the story for what happens in it. But as we’ve learned, the real story is how what happens affects the protagonist, and what she does as a result.”
Lisa Cron, Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence
“That’s why in every scene you write, the protagonist must react in a way the reader can see and understand in the moment. This reaction must be specific, personal, and have an effect on whether the protagonist achieves her goal. What it can’t be is dispassionate objective commentary.”
Lisa Cron, Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence
“The narrative voice is almost always neutral, meaning that as omniscient narrator, you’re invisible and just reporting the facts. Your characters, on the other hand, are free to express their opinion on whatever they so desire. As long as the reader knows whose head we’re in—that is, who the point-of-view character is—you rarely need a preamble at all.”
Lisa Cron, Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence
“What is it I want my readers to walk away thinking about? What point does my story make? How do I want to change the way my reader sees the world?”
Lisa Cron, Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence
“Outlining the plot before you develop your protagonist traps you on the surface of your novel—that is, in the external events that happen.”
Lisa Cron, Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel
“good judgment comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgment. The”
Lisa Cron, Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence
“You don’t need to know exactly how the story is going to end, but you do need to know what the protagonist will have to learn along the way—that”
Lisa Cron, Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence
“And the best preparation for writing any story is to know with clarity what your protagonists’ worldview is, and more to the point, where and why it’s off base. Thus you have a clear view of the world as your protagonist sees it and insight into how she therefore interprets, and reacts to, everything that happens to her. It’s what allows you to construct a plot that forces her to reevaluate what she was so damn sure was true when the story began. That is what your story is really about, and what readers stay up long past their bedtime to find out.”
Lisa Cron, Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence
“Remember, when we're lost in a story, we're not passively reading about something that's happening to someone else.”
Lisa Cron
“Simply put, we are looking for a reason to care. So for a story to grab us, not only must something be happening, but also there must be a consequence we can anticipate. As neuroscience reveals, what draws us into a story and keeps us there is the firing of our dopamine neurons, signaling that intriguing information is on its way. This means that whether it’s an actual event unfolding or we meet the protagonist in the midst of an internal quandary or there’s merely a hint that something’s slightly “off” on the first page, there has to be a ball already in play. Not the preamble to the ball. Not all the stuff you have to know to really understand the ball. The ball itself.”
Lisa Cron, Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence

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