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Wired for Story

The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence
Written by: Lisa Cron
Narrated by: Wendy Tremont King
Length: 9 hrs and 10 mins
Categories: Self-Help, How-to
5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Imagine knowing what the brain craves from every tale it encounters, what fuels the success of any great story, and what keeps people 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.

©2012 Lisa Cron (P)2017 Tantor

What the critics say

"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)

What members say

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  • Overall
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  • Jane J.
  • 2019-04-04

One of the best craft books I've read

I'm an MFA student (writing for children and young adults), so I've read many books on writing. This one is genius... ...it's given me many new insights into how I can craft a more compelling story. One of the best craft books I've read.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Lucas
  • 2018-05-26

Great details to be aware of.

I received so many jewels from this material. A++ layouts and areas of writing to avoid, ensuring your book will be read completely.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • PoeticLicensedk
  • 2018-12-30

A pathway to a writing life

As someone who has dreamed of becoming a writer my entire life, I've started and stopped many times. Why? I'm a reader. I have writing skill, I pay attention to my surroundings, I have voice, I understand philosophy as well as anyone. What I have always wondered about is how to write commercially, how to get paid!

Lisa Cron, in Wired for Story: a Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Senrence, presents as a professional editor, an industry insider, and I have little doubt that if I utilize the lessons from her case studies, and avoid the pitfalls, I too can realize that lifetime goal. As New Years Day 2019 approaches, four years before Kurzweil's singularity, and my 60th birthday, I could use a little fire in my belly, as well as a reason to suspend disbelief. What the Hell!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • rlwmdd
  • 2018-01-07

Useful, but not so much as the title implies.

The overall advice seems sound. Not that different from other books of it’s kind. It’s a useful book to think about storytelling as a creator. The “psychology” part of it is a bit of gimmick, in my opinion. There are tidbits, but probably nothing you don’t already know if you are a storyteller. They are tiny tidbits, however, that begin each chapter. Just enough to think, “oh right, this book is supposed to be about how the brain is wired for story” (a phrase also used over and over to remind us).

I didn’t love the performance of the reading. It was dis tracting slow for me. I played it at 1.25x or 1.5x speed just to make it a normal pace for me (and I’m from the south! Hehe)

It’s useful info, though. Seems on par, I would say.

11 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • A. Yoshida
  • 2019-07-06

Maybe good for aspiring writers

This book is a little different from other writing books in that it's about 'why' write a certain way. Most writing books are about 'how' to write, like suggesting 'show, not tell' (as if replacing 'he was sad' with 'he was crying' will turn mediocre writing into great writing). There are some good tips for aspiring writers but this book just wasn't very engaging with the examples the author used.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Miss Jack
  • 2019-06-22

Narration Could Use a Little More Pep, but Good!

I was hoping for a little more energy in the reading, but everything else was great! Excellent advice and guidance, clear and thoughtfully inflected narration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kathy Dodson
  • 2018-10-16

Must read

If you are a writer, you must read this book. It provides the basis for story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-10-11

Good advice, bad expression

many good and standard nuggets but they are filtered through a strong bias toward only a few ways to tell a good tale

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  • Neil Wilkinson
  • 2019-07-30

Worth your time.

I'm very pleased with this. It's far better than most other writing books you'll find.

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  • Ishums
  • 2019-07-17

Good lessons

I feel like I just sat through a high level literary class with a likeable teacher. About to listen to this for the second time to pick up all the things I missed while I was spacing out and staring out the window planning my story.