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  • Story Genius

  • How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel (Before You Waste Three Years Writing 327 Pages That Go Nowhere)
  • By: Lisa Cron
  • Narrated by: Brittany Pressley
  • Length: 9 hrs and 36 mins
  • Categories: Education & Learning
  • 5.0 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

Following on the heels of Lisa Cron's breakout first book, Wired for Story, this writing guide reveals how to use cognitive storytelling strategies to build a scene-by-scene blueprint for a riveting story. 

It's every novelist's greatest fear: pouring their blood, sweat, and tears into writing hundreds of pages only to realize that their story has no sense of urgency, no internal logic, and so is a page-one rewrite. 

The prevailing wisdom in the writing community is that there are just two ways around this problem: pantsing (winging it) and plotting (focusing on the external plot). Story coach Lisa Cron has spent her career discovering why these methods don't work and coming up with a powerful alternative, based on the science behind what our brains are wired to crave in every story we read (and it’s not what you think). 

In Story Genius, Cron takes you, step by step, through the creation of a novel from the first glimmer of an idea, to a complete, multilayered blueprint - including fully realized scenes - that evolves into a first draft with the authority, richness, and command of a riveting sixth or seventh draft.

©2016 Lisa Cron (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Using brain science, Cron busts the myths of good writing to help you find the real story behind all that plot and metaphor." (The Writer)

"In [Cron's] new book, Story Genius, she picks up the...theme...that a protagonist's internal struggle makes the story work, and offers step-by-step advice on how to exploit this truth about neuroscience for richer, deeper, better first drafts.... Cron provides exercises and examples to keep writers on track, always highlighting the fact that emotions engage the brain faster than anything else.... The concepts are easy to understand and they are certainly important. Even if you can't go on a retreat, you should try to find time to do the exercises for your own blueprint." (PsychologyToday.com)

"It's a simple question: 'How do you write an effective, engaging story?' Ask Lisa Cron. An accomplished author and story coach, she has just published her second book, Story Genius. A manual of sorts, it teaches cognitive storytelling strategies and uses actual brain science to help make its readers into better writers." (Creative Screenwriting)

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  • I bought this
  • 20-11-2020

Worth the read if your writing a novel about a character

It was a little hard to get through and honestly the story she is rewriting kinda drowned on for way to long the advice really helped me and helped me creat a character rather than just some inner changeable main protagonist and I really like her scene cards though I had to look it up and see it before I realized how good it is and how the third rail is what drives my favorite story rather then the plot points so it is worth the read

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  • Larry Chambers
  • 20-11-2020

A BOOK WORTH BUYING

I’ve been a professional writer for thirty years. I have 50 nonfiction books and hundreds of published articles to my credit. I have gone to Robert McKee workshops, Syd Fields screenplay courses, been on Heroes journeys, listen to Arron Sorkin and all the greats on the Master's workshops, and have read almost every book on writing. I spent my summers at Iowa’s writer's workshop and learned a lot about the writing process and the subtle things like why you should save a cat. My rule was if a book gives me one good idea, well, I’m happy. I bought Story Genius as an audible book reluctantly because I didn’t believe the title; Story Genius? Yeah right. But once I started listening to the book's narrator, Brittany Pressley, I was Gobsmacked, filled with amazement surprised. Lisa Cron’s book spoke to me in an insightful way like none I have read before. She introduced the concept of misbelief and why I needed to know my protagonist's misbelief and the causal effects that misbelief has on your entire story. Here is another example of what I mean. One of my favorite sayings is John Huston’s “The central idea is one which when struck like a gong reverberates in every scene of the novel.” That makes sense, right? Only I never understood what the thing that makes it reverberate is? Lisa wrote about the protags misbelief about something that happened early in my character's life. I got so excited I picked up my own memoir eluding me for years and wrote the originating scene that the author suggested. The original incident that formed my misbelief about love and how my reactions to events were based on my misbelief kept me from getting what I wanted. OMG! Suddenly, I saw how ' cause and effect' made sense. Thank you, Lisa, for writing such an insightful and amazing book. Larry Chambers

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-11-2020

Wow, what did I just read?

I would be lying if I said this book didn't save my novel. I'm writing my debut, and this book showed me so many errors in my writing. Thank you, Lisa Cron. You helped me out and got and got one word stuck in my head: why? Don't understand? Read to find out.

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  • Isaiah
  • 28-08-2020

Great for a beginner

I'm new to writing and I am consuming as much knowledge on the craft of writing fiction as I can. Unfortunately many authors in this genre seem more intent on showing off their mastery of language than teaching the skill of crafting story. This book gave me exactly what I was looking for. practical knowledge on story writing and the most important elements of it. I'll be listening to this several more times.

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