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Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence

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Imagine knowing what the brain craves from every tale it encounters, what fuels the success of any great story, and what keeps readers transfixed. Wired for Story reveals these cognitive secrets--and it's a game-changer for anyone who has ever set pen to paper. The vast majority of writing advice focuses on writing well as if it were the same as telling a great story. This is exactly where many aspiring writers fail--they strive for beautiful metaphors, authentic dialogue, and interesting characters, losing sight of the one thing that every engaging story must do: ignite the brain's hardwired desire to learn what happens next. When writers tap into the evolutionary purpose of story and electrify our curiosity, it triggers a delicious dopamine rush that tells us to pay attention. Without it, even the most perfect prose won't hold anyone's interest. Backed by recent breakthroughs in neuroscience as well as examples from novels, screenplays, and short stories, Wired for Story offers a revolutionary look at story as the brain experiences it. Each chapter zeroes in on an aspect of the brain, its corresponding revelation about story, and the way to apply it to your storytelling right now.

262 pages, Paperback

First published July 10, 2012

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About the author

Lisa Cron

4 books288 followers
Lisa Cron is a story coach, speaker, and the author of Wired for Story and Story Genius. Her TEDx talk, Wired for Story, opened Furman University’s 2014 TEDx conference. Lisa has worked in publishing at W.W. Norton and John Muir Publications, as an agent at the Angela Rinaldi Literary Agency, as a producer on shows for Showtime and Court TV, and as a story consultant for Warner Brothers and the William Morris Agency. Since 2006, she’s been an instructor in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, and she has been on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts MFA program in Visual Narrative in New York City. On March 2, 2021 her new book aimed at the leadership/ business/nonprofit world, Story or Die: Why Story is the Only Way to Engage, Persuade and Inspire – and How to Use Brain Science to Create One that Will, will be published by Ten Speed Press. Lisa works with writers, business leaders, nonprofits, educators, and organizations, helping them master the unparalleled power of story, so they can move people to action – whether that action is turning the pages of a compelling novel, or taking to the streets to change the world for the better. Or both. For a library of her free myth-busting writing tips, and information on how to work with her one-on-one, you can find her at: wiredforstory.com

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5 stars
2,101 (45%)
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695 (15%)
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49 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 695 reviews
Profile Image for Mignon.
Author 17 books1,258 followers
March 25, 2013
By the fourth page I had dug my highlighter out of my purse, and by page 10 I was dog-earring pages. I had started reading it while waiting for a doctor's appointment, and I was actually disappointed when the doctor finally showed up because I had to stop reading.

Lisa's insights about what makes a good story from her work in television and teaching are amazing, and the way she weaves in studies from neuroscience that explain *why* we like certain kinds of stories and elements gives it a level of credibility you don't often find in books about writing. The sections about why writers often get things wrong were also head-thumpingly revealing.

I received an advance review copy of this book, and I'm sure I'm going to read it many times again over the years as I work on my own stories. As a whole book it's inspirational, and with all my highlighted and dog-earred parts, I'll be looking at it for reminders about what's important.
Profile Image for Abbie.
Author 2 books2,175 followers
November 23, 2019
If you know me at all, you know that I strongly disagree with most "writing advice." Not because I think authors are wrong in the way they write -- but as part of human nature, we will always transfer information that is relevant to us and us alone. For instance, if you pick up a book called "How To Write A Novel" by P.G. Krolmeister, you're not going to learn how to write a novel. You're going to learn how P.G. Krolmeister writes a novel. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this! It's just the way things are. You and I do it every day. Every word that leaves our mouths is slightly (or vastly) bent by our opinions and views of the world. There is no way to stop this. And yes, Wired For Story did have a lot of the author's opinions in it, but something truly unusual happened to me when I read this book: I AGREED WITH LIKE 99% OF HER ADVICE. And here's why.

This book isn't first and foremost about "how to write good" -- it's about exploring the intricacies of the brain and how we subconsciously respond to stories...good ones or bad ones. That's what I loved about this book. Call me a geek, if you'd like (spoiler I call myself a geek most of the time) but to me, nothing is more helpful to understand your readers than to peek inside their brain and witness their reactions to your storytelling.

So, yes, this is a writing advice book -- but what makes it so unique is that it's not telling you "do this that and the other thing and boom you'll have a great book." Rather, it points you in the right direction so that YOU can conduct your own studies on your story as well as other stories that have affected you. I now feel equipped to not just be like "wow that was a good book I wish I could write like that" but to take it apart in my mind, explore it, analyze it, and come out the other side feeling enlightened. Why do some stories consume us and crush us and leave us breathless ...and other stories fall short?? I feel like I know why, now. I don't know everything there is it know about writing, for sure. But this book has opened new doors of exploration for me, and I couldn't ask for anything more in a "writing advice" book.

Profile Image for Jasmine Walt.
Author 65 books1,155 followers
August 8, 2012
If you can only buy one book on the craft of writing, let it be this one. I read it in a handful of days and there was so much stellar information I know I'll be reading it several times and making copious notes. If you're looking for a handbook that tells you about not using adverbs and avoiding dream scenes and all those other writers rules that everyone touts but hardly anyone knows why, then pass over it. But if you really want to know what story is about, and how to use it to hook your readers and have them racing to the end of your novel, this is your baby. Not to mention Crohn doesn't just tell you what to do, she tells you WHY, with a lot of great, tangible explanations and case studies of novels and films so you can really see what she's talking about.

I've been writing since I was sixteen, and I've been around the block as far as how-to guides and blogs are concerned. This is the second one I've finished to the end, and the only one I've read to date that has changed my view on writing so drastically. Reading this book was like one of those times when you meet someone and click with them, and everything they do or say completely resonates with you. In case you couldn't tell, I highly recommend it.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 46 books366 followers
August 30, 2012
This could have been the best book on story writing that I've read that wasn't written specifically for screenwriters if it wasn't for the poor writing. It's as if the author has done little of it over the years and the book only got a proofreader rather than an editor. Because of that, I found it difficult to get through and had to force myself to read a chapter a day rather than a whole bunch at the same time.

Content-wise, the book is good, but it doesn't say anything new, although it reinforces a lot of important concepts. I was disappointed that it didn't have much content on brain science. Probably the most helpful thing about it is a checklist at the back of each chapter, which describes the main concepts of each chapter and is there to help you make sure what you're writing follows the concepts.

The concepts the book uses are usually only found in books on screenwriting rather than books on writing prose fiction. Since this book is for storytellers of all kinds rather than just screenwriters, it was nice that I didn't have to wade through all this screenwriting stuff that I don't care about as a prose fiction writer.

Add a star or two if you're new to fiction writing or haven't read any books on the subject yet.
Profile Image for Bruce Henricksen.
Author 8 books1 follower
April 25, 2013
Wired for Story claims to apply neuroscience to the teaching of writing. Each chapter begins with a maxim derived form brain science and then explores its significance for the would-be writer. Unfortunately, that significance always turns out to be one of the old, familiar rules that writing teachers beat to death: hook the reader early, eliminate irrelevancies, and even the dusty one about showing not telling.

A much better book is Jonathan Gottschall's The Storytelling Animal. It actually delves into neuroscience in depth as it discusses to ubiquity of story in culture and the individual mind, and he spends some time showing us how the storytelling impulse can lead to moral and intellectual error. It's a much more thoughtful book.
Author 15 books23 followers
May 12, 2013
This little gem on page 24 is a representative sample of the content of this book:

"Here's a disconcerting thought: marketers, politicians, and televangelists know more about story than most writers. That is because, by definition, they start with something writers often never even think about--the point their story will make."

If you're the "most writers" referred to, for whom writing is merely self-indulgent and self-gratifying creative masturbation, you might find something you don't already know in this book.

If you're the apparently rare writer who has heard of obscure literary concepts such as THEME, you're too advanced for this book. If being talked down to as if you're in a remedial fourth-grade ELA class pisses you off, don't even pick this up for laughs.
Profile Image for Patrick (Kunle).
69 reviews21 followers
May 16, 2021
"Recall what we've said about stories: they are the brain's virtual reality, allowing us to benefit from the experience of hard-pressed protagonists."

I couldn't agree more.

In this book, Lisa Cron masterfully breaks down the elements of narrative fiction. I particularly love how she elaborates on each of these elements by using cases from popular films and novels; in my opinion, the best way to understand something conceptual is to see it in practice.

I'm happy I made the decision to read this.
Profile Image for Haley Whitehall.
Author 54 books67 followers
April 19, 2013
I read this book based on the recommendation of a fellow author. He said it was a must read. After finishing it, I believe it is a must read for beginning authors. I have done the writing conferences, online classes, critique groups, and read other books on writing. Wired for Story is different because it does take more of a scientific approach, but I found this approach confusing. I know internal vs. external conflicts, story plot, theme, cause and effect etc. Having these things explained in detail through a scientific writing style did not help me.

If you are a new writer this book explains everything you need to know to write a story that will engage your readers and keep them turning the page. If you are a veteran writer this book could be a good review or it could, as in my case, just make you question your solid basis of knowledge by over-analyzing every detail. After all, it is my belief that some aspect of storytelling involves intuition.
Profile Image for Christi Craig.
Author 4 books17 followers
July 12, 2012
I’ve left pencil tracks in 80% of this book. That's how much I love it, and why this book has earned permanent status on my shelf of books on writing.

Story ideas, when viewed in a general way, are not unique. Nor are they very exciting. But, as Lisa Cron says in her book, story comes alive in the specifics. Throughout Wired for Story, Lisa takes a look at storytelling from the inside out, using research in neuroscience to focus on what makes a story work and to explain why a story works. She gives writers tips, tools, and strategies to take back to their works in progress, to make their characters their own, to add depth to their stories and turn them into ones readers won’t want to put down. Wired for Story is a great resource to keep close at hand while working through that first, second, and tenth draft.
Profile Image for Brigitte Staples.
12 reviews13 followers
December 10, 2012
I define my editing skills by before and after I read 'Wired for Story' by Lisa Cron. Discovering why we want story - what lies beneath our fascination, what our brain is subconsciously looking for - my perspective on reading took a 180 degree turn after finishing this book.

'Wired for Story' reveals the psychology and neurology behind the mechanics of fiction, and shows how to harness this knowledge to create compelling writing, from hook to closing sentence. I admit, there were times I felt like I was reading about a fail-safe formula for success every time; and that fiction could end up taking on the sinister ways of advertising if everyone had access to this knowledge. Or worse, that all stories might end up predictable and similar. However, Cron does not go into the psychology of creative language features like metaphor, syntax or voice, so I reminded myself, and thanked my mythical namesake for the infinite pleasure to be had from these, no matter how many times I read an un-put-downable story about a protagonist coming through.

This book has become one of my 'most annotated', and I see that others who have reviewed it elsewhere are never without it as they write. A crutch or an essential tool? You be the judge.
Profile Image for Tara.
Author 22 books535 followers
October 3, 2017
Well, it took me a very long time to read this. I think the bulk of the interesting psychological tips are at the start of the book, the first half. Full of wonderful lines such as: "Before there were books, we read each other." Love that. Cron delves into brain science as it relates to the craft of writing. Those parts are a 5. The rest seems to be filler for me. I began highlighting in the beginning, then stopped. However, still was wroth the read to learn more about the science of storytelling.
Profile Image for Allyson Jamison.
124 reviews
August 10, 2021
I absolutely loved all of the writing advice this book had to give and I thought it was really powerful. However, it sadly had some language that highly disappointed and disgusted me. By the end I was just kind of skimming because I was so fed up with it that I couldn't even enjoy the book. I barely finished it. But what I did read was very helpful and insightful.
Profile Image for Rachel (Into a Story).
533 reviews129 followers
October 17, 2022
This is one of the best writing advice books I’ve ever read. I want to buy a copy so I can highlight it and take notes.

I didn’t really enjoy the humor though, and found a lot of the examples cliche and sexist.

But the information was invaluable and I highly recommend this to any type of storyteller.
Profile Image for Cherie.
Author 29 books115 followers
December 5, 2017
A must-read for any writer. I don't think I've ever highlighted so many things from a book before.
Profile Image for Mary-ellen.
319 reviews29 followers
April 1, 2021
I really enjoyed this book. It gave me so much to think about.

It's an interesting read that explains how and why our brains are 'Wired for Story'. It offers writers insights, based on how our brains work, into various elements of story and key things to think about to make their stories work better.

The vast majority of the content felt intuitively right. The chapter summaries are great and I'll probably reread these down the track as there's some useful ideas to consider through the editing process.

I can see why this is used in university writing courses. I'm looking forward to reading Cron's other books on writing.
Profile Image for Kieran.
69 reviews1 follower
March 30, 2019
I had originally given this book a 1/5. After much thought and debate, I realize that this book simply was just not for me. However, that being said, just because it is not for me doesn't mean that it is not worth reading. While attending a book club last night concerning the book itself many opinions were brought out including my own fairly negative experience. What came out of the book club meeting was a better understanding that while I think of myself as a confident writer, others do not. Others who feel as if they could improve upon their own writing may find this book incredibly useful. While I find that the chapter structure could do without the 'key question' component in the back, others may find that a handy tool to allude to rather than reading an entire chapter. While I found that it remarked upon more film that literary references, some say I was incorrect which is fine. For me, I wholeheartedly wish that I took the frame of mind of the group member that was hosting last night. I wish while reading it I used it as a tool to think critically about others writing rather than a textbook in how to improve my own. While this book was definitely not for me, I do acknowledge that I am simply one person and think others would find it more useful.
Profile Image for Blak Rayne.
Author 34 books88 followers
January 7, 2013
I subscribe to several blogs that post informative material for authors, and when one in particular recommended 'Wired For Story' by Lisa Cron, I thought I'd give it a shot. Aside from fiction, I do read educational books as well as view tutorials, and I always gravitate toward anything to do with writing and publishing. In the case of 'Wired For Story', I have to say it wasn't my favourite read, but it certainly wasn't the worst.

The book was helpful to an extent then it transitioned rapidly into a reiteration of information that most writers are already well aware. I read the first seven and half chapters quite quickly, holding on to every page in the hopes an amazing secret would be told, but to my disappointment, nothing happened, nothing new, that is. Generally speaking, the book is well written, but also over descriptive, losing its appeal to monotony by the end. In truth, I'm not sure how to classify 'Wired For Story', whether I found Ms. Cron's information valuable or redundant. But, I am of the mindset that I will read just about anything because the more I read, the more knowledge I accumulate, and the more knowledge...well, you get the idea.
Profile Image for Vaughn Roycroft.
Author 2 books21 followers
December 13, 2013
Not only did this book change my perception of "story", it completely transformed my approach to writing. I used to say that if a new writer asked me what they could do before they began, my response would be to simply start. Now I would tell them: "Take a day or two studying Wired for Story. Then just start." It's one of a handful of writing books that I keep handy on my writing desk and refer to often. A must for any fiction writer's tool kit.
Profile Image for Suzanne.
422 reviews213 followers
Shelved as 'did-not-finish'
September 19, 2019
Who am I kidding? I’m not going to finish this.

She lost me in the first chapter when she said prose doesn’t matter – only story. ARRGGGGHHH! Sure, it’s a great song, don’t pay any attention to the fact the orchestra is out of tune, screeching away. A style that sets my teeth on edge is not going to keep me reading, no matter how great the story. Maybe it’s just me, but the sound and rhythms of good writing is what keeps me engaged every bit as much as story. Inferior writing distracts and even repels me.

Lisa Cron has taught writing through the UCLA Extension Program, so clearly she has some credentials, and what do I know? But subsequent chapters weren’t really clicking with me either, so maybe this just isn’t the book for me. There’s an intriguing bibliography though, which I intend to explore more fully at some other time. But Wired for Story wasn’t my cuppa.
Profile Image for Graeme Newell.
172 reviews44 followers
July 10, 2022
I enjoyed this book but I must admit that it was not what I expected. My expectation was that this was a book on the brain and how story fits into it. Actually, there was very little brain discussion in this book at all. The brain discussion that was in it was rather cursory. The title was rather misleading.

This was however, a very good book on how to write a novel. The author goes deep into specific tactics for character development, plot, foreshadowing, and all the things a writer needs to know in order to effectively create a compelling story.

For a book dedicated to stories, it actually had very few stories and it. Most of it was narrative explaining techniques and best practices.

I enjoyed the book, but definitely not what I expected.
Profile Image for Holly Walrath.
Author 21 books113 followers
August 16, 2017
This book has really made me rethink how I approach my writing. It uses helpful tips from Brain Science to get you thinking about how readers read. I wish more writers read this book before writing! It really simplifies the simple elements of story and why we find reading so enjoyable.
Profile Image for Peter Gelfan.
Author 5 books28 followers
May 12, 2015
This book marks a convergence that has been a long time coming. For millennia, the craft of storytelling, which has been taught informally and formally by writers and other teachers, has consisted of handed-down principles and so-called rules whose origins lie in philosophy, experience, scholarship, pedantry, sarcasm perceived as wisdom, personal opinion, the necessity to construct marketable curricula, and the pithy utterances of great men and women. Some of this accumulated pile of craft is certainly useful while other parts have devolved into empty catchphrases and clichés.

Meanwhile, great advances in brain research and cognitive science have provided much factual insight into why we humans invest so much time, energy, and emotion in literature and other forms of story. But mostly, the scientists published in their journals and books, and writing schools continued to teach their courses.

Brian Boyd, with his On the Origin of Stories, was the first I know of to put together a comprehensive, brain-based theory of how and why storytelling is a vital evolutionary advance that helps account for the human race’s unlikely survival and eventual conquest of much of the world. We need to ponder stories just as urgently as every kitten needs to acrobatically attack anything that moves. But even though (or, on second thought, perhaps because) Boyd is a literature professor, his ideas seem to have remained mostly confined to the fields of literary and critical theory rather than gaining much influence in storytelling itself. Jonathan Gottschall, in The Storytelling Animal, explored some brain- and evolution-based ideas about stories and their importance, but he didn’t go a step further and suggest ways writers might use the recent discoveries to make their stories more effective.

Cron puts it all together for writers. She explains not only why our brains need stories, but also how writers can shape their stories to best engage readers’ brains from the start, keep them with the story until the end, and deliver maximum benefit and pleasure. She goes into detail and gives many examples. Her writing is clear, conversational, and snappy with plenty of humor.

I think she goes too far in trying to distill the big ideas down to sets of do’s and don’ts for writers. Beginners may find the lists of rules helpful, but I believe it’s far more important for writers to grasp the underlying principles and then figure out how to best apply them to each task and situation in their own work. For example, she insists that before a character does something, readers must always understand why. But in fact, sometimes it’s more important, both literarily and cognitively, to make readers wonder why. With its oversimplifications and checklists, the book does come across as a beginner’s guide, which is too bad, because this may put off experienced writers, who also stand to gain a lot of insight from the big ideas.

I highly recommend Wired for Story to any storyteller. There’s much wisdom, science, and perspective lurking behind the for-dummies façade.
Profile Image for Newton Nitro.
Author 3 books101 followers
October 2, 2018
Um excelente guia para escritores, que usa das neurociências para analisar histórias!

Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence
- Lisa Cron | 262 pgs, Ten Speed Press, 2012 | Lido de 29.09.18 a 04.09.18 | NITROLEITURAS #guiaparaescritores


Este guia revela como os escritores podem utilizar estratégias de contar histórias cognitivas para criar histórias que estimulem os cérebros dos leitores e os cativem através de cada elemento da trama.

Imagine saber o que o cérebro almeja de todas as histórias que encontra, o que alimenta o sucesso de qualquer grande história e o que mantém os leitores paralisados.

Wired for Story revela esses segredos cognitivos - e é um fator de mudança para quem já colocou a caneta no papel. A grande maioria dos conselhos de escrita se concentra em “escrever bem” como se fosse o mesmo que contar uma grande história.

É exatamente nesse ponto que muitos escritores aspirantes falham - eles lutam por belas metáforas, diálogos autênticos e personagens interessantes, perdendo de vista a única coisa que toda história envolvente deve fazer: inflamar o desejo do cérebro de aprender o que acontece a seguir.

Quando os escritores exploram o propósito evolucionário da história e eletrificam nossa curiosidade, desencadeia uma deliciosa corrida de dopamina que nos diz para prestar atenção. Sem isso, mesmo a prosa mais perfeita não é do interesse de ninguém.

Apoiado por avanços recentes em neurociência, bem como exemplos de romances, roteiros e contos, Wired for Story oferece uma visão revolucionária da história enquanto o cérebro a experimenta.

Cada capítulo se concentra em um aspecto do cérebro, sua revelação correspondente sobre a história e a maneira de aplicá-la à sua narrativa no momento.


A autora Lisa Cron, que tem uma longa experiência na televisão americana e no ensino de escrita, fez um dos livros mais interessantes com dicas para escritores que já li.

Ao longo de vários capítulos abordado os elementos da criação e recepção de uma história, ela usa de muitos exemplos e de estudos em neurociência que revelam porque o ser humano está "programado" para gostar de histórias, e como os elementos de uma narrativa podem ser trabalhados para causar o máximo de impacto emocional no leitor.

Ou seja, o livro revela a psicologia e neurologia por trás da mecânica da ficção e mostra como aproveitar esse conhecimento para criar uma escrita atraente e envolvente.

Ela também faz uma crítica a certos mitos da criação literária, contestando que mesmo uma escrita bem trabalhada pode fracassar em cativar o leitor se não estiver baseada em uma história bem construída.

O livro está dividido em 12 capítulos, cada um trabalhando um aspecto da neurociência e o ligando com a arte de criação de histórias.

Seguem as descrições de cada capítulo, só para vocês terem uma idéia do conteúdo sensacional desse guia para escritores!

O capítulo um aborda técnicas de como prender a atenção do leitor.

O SEGREDO COGNITIVO, que é a dica vinda das neurociências, é o seguinte:

O cérebro pensa através de histórias, o que nos permite visualizar o que vai acontecer.


Desde a primeira frase, o leitor deve querer saber o que acontece a seguir.

O Capítulo 2 lida com as formas de identificar e focar a narrativa e reescritas no ponto principal de sua história!

Quando o cérebro concentra toda a sua atenção em algo, filtra toda a informação desnecessária.

Para prender a atenção do cérebro, tudo em uma história deve ter uma RAZÃO DE SER dentro da história! Remova ou diminua ao máximo tudo que for supérfluo.

O capítulo três aborda as formas de como aumentar a empatia entre o leitor e o protagonista!

Emoção determina o significado de tudo - se não estamos nos sentindo, não estamos conscientes.

Toda a história é baseada em emoções - se não estamos nos sentindo alguma coisa, não estamos lendo. Escreva focando no impacto emocional no leitor.

A importância dos objetivos do protagonista é abordada no capítulo 4.

Tudo o que fazemos é direcionado aos objetivos, e nosso maior objetivo é descobrir os planos dos outros, para que possamos alcançar nossos próprios interesses.

Um protagonista sem um objetivo claro não tem nada para descobrir e para onde ir, e assim entedia o leitor.

O capítulo 5 lida com as questões internas do protagonista, e como seu arco se dá através da mudança de sua visão de mundo.

Vemos o mundo não como é, mas como acreditamos que seja.

O escritor deve saber precisamente quando e por que a visão de mundo de seu protagonista foi desalinhada. Quando que ele começou a ver o mundo de uma maneira diferente e o porquê isso aconteceu com ele. Será essa visão de mundo inicial que irá mudar ao longo da história.

A importância dos detalhes e de como deixar a prosa mais concreta e menos genérica é abordada no capítulo seis.

Não pensamos em generalidades; pensamos em imagens específicas.

Qualquer coisa conceitual, abstrata ou geral deve ser tornar tangível na luta específica do protagonista. Evite generalidades e abstrações na narrativa, trabalhe com elementos concretos e específicos. Pinte imagens na mente do seu leitor com as quais ele possa compreender e sentir a transformação do protagonista.ç

O capítulo sete aborda a relação entre conflitos e mudanças.

O cérebro está preparado para resistir teimosamente às mudanças, mesmo as mudanças positivas!

A história é sobre mudança, que resulta apenas de conflitos inevitáveis. Jogue o seu protagonistas em conflitos que o forcem a mudar sua visão de mundo.

O capítulo oito lida com a causa e efeito dentro da narrativa.

O SEGREDO COGNITIVO: Desde o nascimento, o principal objetivo do nosso cérebro é estabelecer conexões causais - se isso e aquilo.

Uma história segue uma trajetória de causa e efeito do começo ao fim.

O capítulo nove lida com os testes que o protagonista deve passar em seu arco de mudança.

O cérebro usa histórias para simular como podemos navegar em situações difíceis no futuro.

O trabalho de uma história é colocar a protagonista em testes que, mesmo em seus sonhos mais loucos, ela não acha que pode passar.

O capítulo dez lida com o caminho desde a preparação dos eventos até o clímax, e os fechamentos dos arcos narrativos, recompensando o leitor.

Como o cérebro abomina a aleatoriedade, está sempre convertendo dados brutos em padrões significativos, para melhor prever o que pode acontecer a seguir.

Os leitores estão sempre à procura de padrões; para o seu leitor, tudo é uma preparação de cenas, ou uma recompensa dessa preparação ou eventos intermediários entre esses dois pólos!

O Capítulo Onze lida com flashbacks e históricos!

O SEGREDO COGNITIVO: O cérebro evoca lembranças do passado para avaliar o que está acontecendo no momento, a fim de dar sentido a ele.

O SEGREDO DE CRIAÇÃO DE HISTÓRIA: Progresso, flashbacks e subtramas devem fornecer instantaneamente aos leitores uma visão do que está acontecendo no enredo principal, mesmo que o significado mude conforme a história se desenrola.

E para terminar, o Capítulo Doze lida com reescritas e edições!

SEGREDO COGNITIVO: É preciso um esforço consciente de longo prazo para aprimorar uma habilidade antes que o cérebro a atribua ao inconsciente cognitivo e se torne intuitiva.

O SEGREDO DE CRIAÇÃO DE HISTÓRIA: Não há escrita; só há reescrita. A experiência de escrever e reescrever faz toda a diferença, com o escritor aperfeiçoando sua técnica através do processo árduo de revisar a própria escrita, e submetê-la ao feedback de leitores betas, editores, etc.

Um excelente guia para escritores, recomendadíssimo!
Profile Image for Julie.
Author 6 books1,698 followers
November 26, 2013
A fresh take on the art and craft of telling a good story. There is nothing new here, but it reinforces good practice and presents it in an engaging, action-oriented way. The science aspect is overblown-a gimmick that makes for a good tagline-but it doesn't get in the way of excellent advice. The Checklists at the end of each chapter are worth the price of admission.

There were elements, positions and opinions that made me twitch. At times I felt like I was reading the Starbucks business plan - no matter where you are, Seattle, Shanghai, Salamanca, the store, the coffee and the service will be exactly the same -just stick to the blueprint for guaranteed success. Although I applaud Starbucks for its acumen, the coffee is unpalatable. And so it is with good story.

Still, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this. My copy is dog-eared and highlighted. I am finishing the first draft of an exuberantly commercial novel and I look forward to checking my work against Lisa Cron's checklists.

In the end, however, there is only this:

The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it ­honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.
Neil Gaiman

Well, there are these two essential rules to writing that must be obeyed:

1) Butt in Chair.
2) Write Words.

If you have a stand-up desk like I do, then it's really simple: "Write Words."
Profile Image for butterbook.
284 reviews
April 8, 2016
The sensational subtitle makes it sound like one of those smarmy write-a-novel-in-30-days books, but don't be fooled. This is one of the most helpful fiction craft books I've ever read. It's devoted to the idea of 'story'--what makes a story, what people are 'wired' to look for and want in a story, and how to satisfy those cravings in your fiction. The 'brain science' part is presented in a very accessible way, and Cron only gives us enough information to make her point, never bogging down the reader with technicalities. She talks a lot about the brain's unconscious impulse to track patterns, make connections, and look for cause-and-effect, and how to translate that into good storytelling. Her definition of 'story' alone is more valuable than 200 pages of most fiction craft books. There are endless gems in this book, and now my copy (that I purchased! that's saying a lot already) is completely marked up with pencil and sticky notes. I know this is a book I will refer to time and time again. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Shira.
Author 3 books164 followers
July 24, 2019
This book was good enough to check out twice, and I still plan to check it out again, once I've finished re-drafting my new outline. Once I finish my new protagonist. This book led me, I believe, to realize that the protag. I wanted to use for my #wip is not the right character for this particular story.
Cron uses fascinating brain research to explain both the psychology of reading, and even how the writer's brain works, and how all of this applies to writing a story. I highly recommend it, and would consider purchasing this book, despite my horror of keeping a book out of public circulation.

She gives the best integrated advice I have seen, not only discussing how to build the plot and theme and character, but insisting that Story is how your characters react to the plot, not the plot itself. She describes Story as defined by changing circumstances.

I'm sure I will be checking this book out again, to read again from start to finish, while letting my first draft rest.
In Service,
Author 5 books97 followers
April 14, 2013
I'm not going to lie: a lot of the information here can be found in other books or in a writing class at your local junior college.
However, that being said, there's some very interesting information here given from the angle of brain science/psychology that's good to read if you're writing. It's always good for a writer to find new ways to keep the reader in mind. Also, something different about this book that was overlooked in reviews I read before buying it: there's a checklist at the end of every chapter. These are "to-do" lists that you can use to apply that chapter's topic to your own novel/story in progress. That was a nice touch, and may be the reason I pick this up again to use in my future work.
Profile Image for Nafiza.
Author 7 books1,196 followers
May 9, 2019
A more cohesive review at a later date and at a different time but while the advice in this book is solid, the kind of books that will be written following said advice will be formulaic. It doesn't take joy in the art of the craft but is slave to the story. While story is indeed important, I would argue that so are the accoutrements of a story.
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