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

ISBN-10: 1607742454

ISBN-13: 9781607742456

Edition: 2012

Authors: Lisa Cron

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"This guide reveals how writers can take advantage of the brain's hard-wired responses to story to captivate their readers' minds through each plot element"--Provided by publisher.
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Book details

List price: $17.99
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony
Publication date: 7/10/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 272
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.836
Language: English

Rob Kaplan has held senior-level editorial positions with several major New York-based publishing houses & currently heads his own literary services firm, Rob Kaplan Associates. He lives with his family & more than four thousand books in Cortlandt Manor, New York.

How to Hook the Reader
Cognitive Secret: We think in story, which allows us to envision the future.
Story Secret: From the very first sentence, the reader must want to know what happens next.
How to Zero In on Your Point
Cognitive Secret: When the brain focuses its full attention on something, it filters out all unnecessary information.
Story Secret: To hold the brain's attention, everything in a story must be there on a need-to-know basis.
I'll Feel What He's Feeling
Cognitive Secret: Emotion determines the meaning of everything-if we're not feeling, we're not conscious.
Story Secret: All story is emotion based-if we're not feeling, we're not reading.
What Does Your Protagonist Really Want?
Cognitive Secret: Everything we do is goal directed, and our biggest goal is figuring out everyone else's agenda, the better to achieve our own.
Story Secret: A protagonist without a clear goal has nothing to figure out and nowhere to go.
Digging Up Your Protagonist's Inner Issue
Cognitive Secret: We see the world not as it is, but as we believe it to be.
Story Secret: You must know precisely when, and why, your protagonist's worldview was knocked out of alignment.
The Story Is in the Specifics
Cognitive Secret: We don't think in the abstract; we think in specific images.
Story Secret: Anything conceptual, abstract, or general must be made tangible in the protagonist's specific struggle.
Courting Conflict, the Agent of Change
Cognitive Secret: The brain is wired to stubbornly resist change, even good change.
Story Secret: Story is about change, which results only from unavoidable conflict.
Cause and Effect
Cognitive Secret: From birth, our brain's primary goal is to make causal connections-if this, then that.
Story Secret: A story follows a cause-and-effect trajectory from start to finish.
What Can Go Wrong, Must Go Wrong-and Then Some
Cognitive Secret: The brain uses stories to simulate how we might navigate difficult situations in the future.
Story Secret: A story's job is to put the protagonist through tests that, even in her wildest dreams, she doesn't think she can pass.
The Road from Setup to Payoff
Cognitive Secret: Since the brain abhors randomness, it's always converting raw data into meaningful patterns, the better to anticipate what might happen next.
Story Secret: Readers are always on the lookout for patterns; to your reader, everything is either a setup, a payoff, or the road in between.
Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch
Cognitive Secret: The brain summons past memories to evaluate what's happening in the moment in order to make sense of it.
Story Secret: Foreshadowing, flashbacks, and subplots must instantly give readers insight into what's happening in the main storyline, even if the meaning shifts as the story unfolds.
The Writer's Brain on Story
Cognitive Secret: It takes long-term, conscious effort to hone a skill before the brain assigns it to the cognitive unconscious.
Story Secret: There's no writing; there's only rewriting.
About the Author
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