- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Ten Speed Press; 40065th edition (July 10, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1607742454
- ISBN-13: 978-1607742456
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (281 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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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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 is the author of Wired for Story and Story Genius. Her TEDx talk, Wired for Story opened Furman University's 2014 TEDx Conference, Stories: The Common Thread of Our Humanity. Lisa has worked in publishing at W.W. Norton, as an agent at the Angela Rinaldi Literary Agency, as a producer on shows for Showtime and Court TV, and as a story analyst for Warner Brothers and the William Morris Agency. Since 2006 she has been an instructor in the UCLA Extension Writers' Program, and she is on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts MFA Program in Visual Narrative in New York City. She is a frequent presenter at writers conferences, universities and schools nationwide, and in her work as a story coach Lisa helps novelists, screenwriters and journalists wrangle the story they want to tell onto the page.
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Top customer reviews
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.
Just some of the topics she covers are hooking the reader, getting to the heart of your characters’ feelings, and why our brain requires everything to connect. In other words, anything that doesn’t move the plot forward, contribute to characterization, or world building as it directly relates to plot or character, doesn’t belong in the story. That’s something all writers know, but Lisa Cron shows us why, scientifically, anything that doesn’t will quickly kill your story.
Wired for Story is a great book for understanding the evolution of story, and why our brains are wired to read or hear a story in a particular way. It helps us understand why books are formulaic and why some that break the mold work, and others don’t. This is almost the first book any aspiring author should read, before reading about technique.
The only negative thing I can say about this book is that I think it can be a little too prescriptive at times and this is obvious in some of the examples provided which seem cliched and predictable rather than examples of great storytelling (I'm thinking in particular of Die Hard examples). I still highly recommend this book and urge anyone who is interested in writing to give it a go.
Cron knows her stuff as far as technique for the novelist goes and nobody will go wrong buying this book, reading it, and putting its advice to good use, which is why I gave it four stars. I just think the neuroscience angle was not necessary and didn't really add extra value to what is really timeless advice that stands on its own. That said, it's still a good book I would recommend for her insights into writing fiction.
One caveat: this book is for writers. Everything is geared toward writing and revising a story, from the explanations to the very helpful checklists at the end of each chapter. If you are looking for a book about story or storytelling from a more neurological, anthropological or scientific viewpoint, I suggest trying The Storytelling Animal instead.