Story Genius:

How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel (Before You Waste Three Years Writing 327 Pages That Go Nowhere)



It’s every writer’s greatest fear—pouring blood, sweat, and tears into writing hundreds of pages only to realize the story has no sense of urgency and no internal logic, so it’s a complete do-over.

The prevailing wisdom in the writing community is that there are just two ways around this problem: pantsing (winging it) and plotting (focusing on the external plot). Story coach Lisa Cron has spent decades discovering why these methods rarely work and coming up with a powerful alternative, based on the science of what our brains are wired to crave in every story we read (and it’s not what you think).

In this revolutionary guide, Cron helps you crack the story code and create a novel, screenplay, or memoir that will keep readers riveted. Using one novelist’s evolving story as an example throughout, Story Genius takes you step-by-step from the first glimmer of an idea to an expansive, multilayered cause-and-effect blueprint—including fully realized scenes. By plumbing the nitty-gritty details of your raw idea to organically generate your story’s internal logic, meaning, and urgency, you’ll end up with a first draft that has the authority, richness, and command of a sixth or seventh.

I love your new book! You completely changed the way I write and you’ve made it a million times more fun. And easier. I was making things happen rather than having my main character make them happen, so the whole thing was becoming a bit of a struggle and a big, fat mess. Thank you!
— Louisa Hamilton White
Story Genius is EXCELLENT. You have blown some big doors open on how to approach story construction, and more importantly, finding the true seeds of a story.
— Janet St. John
Just bought Story Genius two days ago, and it has already changed my life. Thank you!
— Sarah Callender