This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to

Wired for Story by Lisa Cron: Book Overview & Takeaways

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2024-06-08 21:00:05

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Wired for Story" by Lisa Cron. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

Why is it hard to explain what makes a story good? How does that impact our ability to write good stories? What can we do to overcome that difficulty and craft interesting narratives?

In Wired for Story, Lisa Cron argues that our brains evolved to absorb information through stories. So, writers who want to create compelling narratives should write in a way that satisfies our brains’ expectations of story.

Stories developed hundreds of thousands of years ago as a way to keep us safe from potential dangers without us actually experiencing them. And, thus, we’ve evolved to crave them. Today we continue to use stories to experience simulated realities to learn about life. In Wired for Story, Lisa Cron shares advice that’s directed mainly at literary novel writing, but her principles can be applied to any type of storytelling. 

Cron is an experienced writer who spent 10 years working in publishing and then began working as a supervising producer for networks like Showtime and Court TV. She’s also been a story consultant for companies like Warner Bros. and the Buchwald Agency. Her career then led her to be a literary agent at the Angela Rinaldi Literary Agency, and she’s currently an instructor at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program.

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