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Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence Paperback – July 10, 2012


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Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence + The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller + The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (July 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607742454
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607742456
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,731 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

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

 
“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 and director of the SAGE Center for the Study of Mind, University of California, Santa Barbara

“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 best seller Pictures of You

“Wired for Story reveals that stories are not only a metaphor for human striving and survival, but they are also the means by which the brain ensures that we survive. Lisa Cron translates the latest neuroscience into a master guidebook for how to write engaging, meaningful, and moving stories.”
—Elizabeth Lyon, author of Manuscript Makeover
 
“As a story consultant for business executives as well as artists, I am always searching for ways to convey the skill set involved in constructing a story. Wired for Story presents basic principles for harnessing the natural power of the brain to recognize and create stories in a way that is inspiring and entirely helpful.”
—Murray Nossel, PhD, founder of Narativ Inc.
 
“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 at Baylor College of Medicine and author of Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain

About the Author

LISA CRON spent a decade in publishing—first at W.W. Norton then at John Muir Publications—before turning to television, where she’s been supervising producer on shows for Showtime and Court TV. She’s been a story consultant for Warner Brothers, the William Morris Agency, Village Roadshow, and Icon; an agent at the Angela Rinaldi Literary Agency; and is featured in Ask the Pros: Screenwriting. Lisa is an instructor in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program.

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Customer Reviews

Its a very easy read and very clear.
nextrick
According to WIRED FOR STORY by Lisa Cron, brain science has discovered that human beings thrive on storytelling.
Tom Farr
It helps you write the kind of book someone will pull of the shelf and never want to put down.
Sophia

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Sophia on July 11, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book. I've read a lot of books on writing, and this has been the most useful. I was lucky enough to receive a review copy in galley form. I liked it so much, I bought an extra copy to share with others. The book is chockablock with original, sharp and accessible advice that could make all of us far more powerful at telling our stories. I measure a book by the number of underlines and dog-ears I make (handy for referencing the parts to reread), and this one is a marked up mess. That's a good thing.

If you have a story that isn't quite hanging together or is dragging in spots or is feeling stuck, this is the book for you. It will help you put your finger on why - and walk you through what to do about it.

Wired for Story has helped me fix so many things that I knew weren't quite working in my draft novel. That's critical, because as Lisa Cron has written, "Have you ever gone into a bookstore, pulled a novel off the shelf, glanced at the first page and thought, `You know, this is kind of dull, and I can't tell what it's about, but I'm sure the author tried really, really hard, and probably has something important to say, so I'm going to buy it, read it, and recommend it to all my friends?'" The answer is, of course not. That's why you need Wired for Story. It helps you write the kind of book someone will pull of the shelf and never want to put down.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By nextrick on September 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
I'm a new writer. I had a first draft and was editing it when I saw this book being discussed in the forum. I bought it on kindle and after each chapter I read I went back and checked my first draft. I found I had a lot of rewriting to do. The check list at the end of each chapter was a big help. I am not knowledgable in the quality of self help writing books but as a beginning author I would recommend this book. Its a very easy read and very clear.
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73 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Grá on May 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're at the very very beginning of your writing process, the lessons in the book might be of use to you, but you should know that this information is available in countless other books and online.

And, sure, there's no foul in providing the very basics, but wrapping it in the dubious claim of "brain science" shows this book for what it is, gimmicky and basic. But don't take it from me, read the table of contents. There are 11 (very) basic ideas here, essentially a pamphlet worth of information padded into 200 pages (with a twelfth chapter that uses 30 pages to essentially say, "practice makes perfect."

If you're looking for basics, you'll do just as well (for cheaper) with Novelist's Essential Guide to Crafting Scenes or Writing Fiction Step by Step and Fiction Writer's Workshop. If you've been writing for awhile, and are looking for a good plotting book, you'll likely do better with Plot & Structure: (Techniques And Exercises For Crafting A Plot That Grips Readers From Start To Finish) (Write Great Fiction) or Elements of Fiction Writing - Plot.
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64 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Mark Rovner on July 10, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Don't read this book unless you want to touch hearts and minds and move people. Lisa Cron has cracked the code on why stories matter, how your brain processes narrative, and most importantly how to craft a compelling and unforgettable story of your own.

I've gone to the McKee seminars, I've read Vogler and Truby. But I don't think I really began to understand the alchemy of storytelling until i got my hands on this book.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Tom Farr on September 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
According to WIRED FOR STORY by Lisa Cron, brain science has discovered that human beings thrive on storytelling. Stories help our brains to become prepared for possible situations that may arise in our lives in the future. Stories act as a type of practice for our brains.

WIRED FOR STORY looks at the various ways the human brain is impacted by story and walks writers through the ways to apply these important insights to crafting stories that will keep readers hooked from the very beginning. Each chapter begins with a cognitive secret and then applies this to writing a great story. I especially appreciated the chapter on theme. Cron argues that every story has a point that it is trying to make, and she gives advice on how to shape the story's meaning and communicating it in a way that isn't preachy.

WIRED FOR STORY has a lot of the same advice you'll find from almost any fiction writing book. However, it looks at storytelling from a more fundamental perspective of how our brains are designed to affected by story.

I received this book for free for review from Ten Speed Press, and the opinions contained in this review are completely my own
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Becky Pourchot on April 5, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a good book for tips about writing, but the brain science feels sparse to me and not very in depth. If your looking for a good book about writing, certainly pick this one up, but if you're really interested in the way story telling relates to scientific theories, you're not going to find it here.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Grammar Girl on July 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
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.
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