Wired for Story Book Summary - Wired for Story Book explained in key points
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Wired for Story summary

Lisa Cron

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

4.4 (152 ratings)
16 mins

Brief summary

Wired for Story by Lisa Cron is a guide to using neuroscience and the power of storytelling to write compelling fiction. It provides practical advice on how to create a story that resonates with readers by tapping into their brains' innate love of narrative.

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    Wired for Story
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    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.

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    Key ideas in Wired for Story

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    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.

    Wired for Story Review

    Wired for Story (2012) is a captivating exploration of the art of storytelling and the science behind what makes a story resonate with readers. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It offers insightful analysis of how the human brain is wired to respond to stories, providing a deeper understanding of what makes a story engaging.
    • The book provides practical techniques for crafting compelling stories, helping readers to improve their own storytelling skills and connect with their audience.
    • With its wealth of examples from literature, film, and real life, the book keeps readers engaged and enthralled, making it anything but boring.

    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.

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    Wired for Story FAQs 

    What is the main message of Wired for Story?

    Wired for Story reveals the crucial role of storytelling in the human experience.

    How long does it take to read Wired for Story?

    The reading time for Wired for Story varies depending on the reader's pace. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in approximately 15 minutes.

    Is Wired for Story a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Wired for Story is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the power of storytelling. It offers valuable insights and practical guidance.

    Who is the author of Wired for Story?

    The author of Wired for Story is Lisa Cron.

    What to read after Wired for Story?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Wired for Story, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • On Writing Well by William Zinsser
    • Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t by Steven Pressfield
    • Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose
    • Talk Triggers by Jay Baer and Daniel Lemin
    • Write Your Book in a Flash by Dan Janal
    • The Science of Storytelling by Will Storr
    • Storyworthy by Matthew Dicks
    • The Bestseller Code by Jodie Archer & Matthew L. Jockers
    • Hagakure by Yamamoto Tsunetomo & Alexander Bennett
    • Everybody Writes by Ann Handley