Wired for Story by Lisa Cron is a book that delves into the psychology of storytelling and how it affects the human brain. The author argues that humans are hardwired for story, and that this is the reason why we are drawn to stories in the first place. The book is divided into several chapters, each of which focuses on a different aspect of storytelling.
Chapter 1: The Neuroscience of Story
The first chapter of Wired for Story introduces the idea that stories have a powerful effect on the human brain. The author argues that stories are not just entertainment, but that they also have a functional purpose. She cites research that shows that when we read or hear a story, our brains release oxytocin, a hormone that is associated with empathy and social bonding. This means that stories can help us to connect with others and to understand their perspectives.
Chapter 2: The Anatomy of a Story
In the second chapter, the author provides a framework for understanding the structure of a story. She argues that all stories have a beginning, middle, and end, and that each of these sections serves a specific purpose. The beginning of a story sets the stage and introduces the characters, while the middle of the story is where the conflict and tension arise. Finally, the end of the story resolves the conflict and brings closure to the story.
Chapter 3: The Role of the Writer
The third chapter of Wired for Story focuses on the role of the writer in telling a story. The author argues that the writer’s job is to create a story that resonates with the reader’s emotions and experiences. To do this, the writer must create characters that are relatable and situations that are believable. The writer must also use language and structure to create tension and keep the reader engaged.
Chapter 4: The Power of Emotion
In the fourth chapter, the author discusses the importance of emotion in storytelling. She argues that stories that evoke strong emotions are more memorable and impactful than those that do not. To create emotional stories, the writer must understand the emotions of their characters and use language and structure to convey those emotions to the reader.
Chapter 5: The Art of Character
The fifth chapter of Wired for Story focuses on the art of characterization. The author argues that characters are the heart of any story and that readers will only care about a story if they care about the characters. To create relatable characters, the writer must understand their motivations, desires, and fears, and use this understanding to create characters that feel real.
Chapter 6: The Craft of Dialogue
In the sixth chapter, the author discusses the craft of dialogue. She argues that dialogue is one of the most important tools a writer can use to create characters and advance the plot. To create effective dialogue, the writer must use language that feels natural and realistic, and must use it to reveal character and advance the story.
Chapter 7: The Architecture of Action
The seventh chapter of Wired for Story focuses on the architecture of action. The author argues that action is the engine that drives the story forward, and that it must be structured in a way that creates tension and keeps the reader engaged. To create effective action, the writer must use language and structure to create a sense of urgency and to build towards a climax.
Overall, Wired for Story is a thought-provoking book that provides valuable insights into the psychology of storytelling. The author’s framework for understanding the structure of a story is helpful for writers of all levels, and her emphasis on emotion and characterization is refreshing. Whether you are a seasoned writer or a beginner, Wired for Story is a must-read for anyone who wants to create stories that resonate with readers.