The Science of Storytelling
‘One of my absolute favourite writers’ Decca Aitkenhead
Who would we be without stories?
Stories mould who we are, from our character to our cultural identity. They drive us to act out our dreams and ambitions, and shape our politics and beliefs. We use them to construct our relationships, to keep order in our law courts, to interpret events in our newspapers and social...more
A nice overview of cognitive psychology and its role in the telling of stories. Will Storr writes well, has good insights, and seems to be a nice sort of bloke. I learnt some interesting stuff.
A couple of awkward moments pulled the overall score down. Storr allows himself to draw a few political conclusions from his outline of psychology, and in so doing moves into heavily subjective territory. Sure, you can talk about wars and conflicts entirely in terms of tribal psychological baggag ...more
As the book moved on there were tonnes of outlines and references to other novels and movies, which (as I haven't read or seen all of them) went over my head a little. It also contains spoilers!!! I skipped over a lot of the quotes and outlines from books that I haven't read yet.
Will Storr's writing style is a ...more
This book focuses primarily on the neurological and psychological aspects of building a story.It deals with examples from a lot of books, which for the most part were very interesting but I did not know ...more
Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me wi ...more
The Science of Storytelling brings together scientific research from many different angles, weaving it into a narrative which delves deep into a reader’s ...more
Pretty interesting both regarding the science part (how our brains work) and the writing part (how this translated into fiction, and more specifically creating compelling characters with a ‘fatal flaw’). The author illustrates those points with examples from a few well-known books, like ‘Lolita’ and ‘The Remains of the Day’, an approach that could easily be problematic. On the one hand, illustrating the theory with examples ...more
Evidence - all of it is backed up my real research in modern psychology. It has a much wider evidence base than a similar book, wired for story. It is focused both on the psychology of readers - what they expect and need to make the story fly - and the psychology of personal change.
No dead horses were flogged in the making of this book - quite a few writing guides out there feel the need to repeat their major point over and over again. ...more
The narrative is definitely beyond the compass of the wannabees attending night school courses in Creative Writing 101, and m ...more
This is a brilliant distillation of current brain science research, psychology, and research into story structure. I had read just about all of these ideas elsewhere, but it's taken me years, and what this book did was to make a beautifully (seemingly) simple narrative which cohered into a convincing argument. It is both practical and scholarly, with extensive footnotes throughout the text. I read on Kindle and it's worth mentioning that you get a pop up ...more
"Brains, conclude the researchers, seem to become spontaneously curious when presented with an 'information set' they realize is incomplete. There is a natural inclination to resolve information gaps."
It creates a mindset in you, now every time I see a movie, series o read something I see this book and all the tricks to keep you engage ...more
I did enjoy The Science of Story Telling, but I feel like it is more pushing towards a certain demographic of people. If you're planning on or are currently writing your own novel, I think this book would be very helpful and insightful during that process. Apart from that, it's interesting but I did find myself struggling to keep my focus a bit. I could put this down to ...more
For me, one of the highlights is the 25 page appendix where theory meets reality in a character focussed method to develop a story from the initial idea. I will definitely be trying the out while I outline my next novel.