Wired for Story Book Summary - Wired for Story Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

Wired for Story summary

Lisa Cron

The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence

4.4 (124 ratings)
16 mins
Table of Contents

    Wired for Story
    Summary of 7 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 7

    Humanity’s love for stories evolved out of our need to survive.

    Our TV stations are programmed full of dramas and soap operas and our bestselling book lists overflow with fiction. What is it about stories that we love so much?

    Stories appeal to us so much because they are hardwired into our brains. They actually allow us to picture the future and prepare for it.

    When a good story captivates us, the neurotransmitter dopamine is released in the brain, which causes our concentration and interest to heighten.

    We can actually thank our evolution for this process. Exchanging stories was the most effective way for our ancestors to transfer lifesaving information to one another, so we learned to pay attention to them.

    Picture a Stone Age man sitting in his the cave one night, listening to his friend’s story about how his daughter ate some red berries and nearly died. From that story, our ancestor would have learned crucial information about how to keep his own children out of danger.

    Modern neuroscience can help us strip this evolutionary practice down further for a deeper understanding. We’ve now discovered that when we listen to a story, our brains process the information just like they process real life. This tells us that stories developed as a simulated learning experience, giving us a safe way of understanding how to deal with danger, without having to actually face it.

    For example, if your ancient self wanted to know why you shouldn’t approach a saber-tooth tiger, it was a better idea to listen to a friend's story, rather than go and find out what might happen for yourself. Both methods would teach the lesson, but the story is unlikely to result in your death.

    In our modern world, our chances of facing a saber-tooth tiger are pretty low. Yet, the power of stories to engage and educate us endures.

    The wonderful thing is, writers can take advantage of this. But a story alone is not enough. Engaging stories need to contain particular characteristics, which we will discover in the following blinks.

    Want to see all full key ideas from Wired for Story?

    Key ideas in Wired for Story

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Wired for Story about?

    Wired for Story (2012) takes findings from modern brain science to explain why exactly certain stories suck us in, while others leave us bored and disengaged. By using some fundamental techniques drawn from understanding what makes us tick, writers can craft more compelling stories.

    Best quote from Wired for Story

    A reader is a bit like a potential business investor. If you want to impress them, you need to cut through the clutter and get to the point.

    —Lisa Cron
    example alt text

    Who should read Wired for Story?

    • Anyone interested in writing
    • Anyone interested in brain science
    • Anyone interested in storytelling

    About the Author

    Lisa Cron is a writer, literary consultant and an instructor in the UCLA Extension Writers' Program. She has previously worked as a publisher at W. W. Norton, a literary agent at Angela Rinaldi Literary Agency and as a story consultant for Warner Bros.

    Categories with Wired for Story

    Books like Wired for Story

    People ❤️ Blinkist
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked

    Start growing with Blinkist now
    27 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    Of Blinkist members create a better reading habit*
    *Based on survey data from Blinkist customers
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial