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.

Here's what people are saying: 

As both a publishing veteran and a TV pro, Lisa Cron knows storytelling. In Wired for Story she shares her fascinating psychological approaches to the craft. Her fresh way of looking at the core essentials of writing has our neurons firing.
— Writer's Digest
... how can you craft a story compelling enough to keep readers turning the pages deep into the night? The answer lies in a new book linking writing to neuroscience, Lisa Cron’s Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science .
— Arnie Cooper, Poets & Writers
Lisa Cron’s Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence is relentlessly interesting because it reveals how our brains perceive and process stories and narratives. Ms. Cron walks the writer through the mental architecture of a story, patiently revealing what works and what doesn’t and why. She writes with clarity and humor about elementary things every writer could profit from revisiting under her auspices. Who would have thought anyone could make the intricacies of brain science accessible?
— Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Story guru Lisa Cron unlocked my last novel for me over lunch, but if you can’t have her by your side when you’re wrestling your manuscript, the next best thing is this smart, funny, genius book about the myths, realities and brass tacks of story. Packed with innovative tips and techniques, it’s as essential to any writer as a laptop, and much more fun.
— Caroline Leavitt, author of New York Times Bestseller, Pictures of You
Wired for Story reveals that stories are not only a metaphor for human striving and survival; they are the means by which the brain ensures that we survive. Lisa Cron translates the latest neuroscience into an master guidebook for how to write engaging, meaningful, and moving stories.
— Elizabeth Lyon, author of Manuscript Makeover
We all love a good story but most of us struggle to write them. Lisa Cron enlightens us as to how to get the job done in a savvy and engaging way.
— Michael Gazzaniga, neuroscientist, director, SAGE Center for the Study of Mind, University of California, Santa Barbara
Remember when Luke has to drop the bomb into the small vent on the Death Star? The story writer faces a similar challenge of penetrating the brain of the reader. This book gives the blueprints.
— David Eagleman, neuroscientist, Baylor College of Medicine, and author of Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain
This book is a godsend for writers. Whether a novice or a seasoned pro, it’s a safe bet that the wisdom found in these pages will be revelatory. Lisa Cron breaks down the elements of story in way that is easy to digest and implement, and she does so with wit and warmth. This is what should be taught to writers in every post-graduate program, and unfortunately, isn’t. As a published writer of both fiction and prose fresh out of an MFA program, I finally learned the concrete elements of what makes a story work from this book. Required reading.
— Rachel Kann, MFA, Award-winning poet and fiction, Instructor, UCLA Extension Writers’ Program