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Wired for story : the writer's guide to using brain science to hook readers from
Cron, Lisa
Adult Nonfiction PE1408 .C7164 2012

Comments  Summary  Contents  Excerpt  Reviews  Author Notes

ContentsPage
Introductionp. 1
1 - How to Hook the Readerp. 6
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.
2 - How to Zero In on Your Pointp. 23
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.
3 - I'll Feel What He's Feelingp. 44
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.
4 - What Does Your Protagonist Really Want?p. 65
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.
5 - Digging Up Your Protagonist's Inner Issuep. 84
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.
6 - The Story Is in the Specificsp. 103
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.
7 - Courting Conflict, the Agent of Changep. 124
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.
8 - Cause and Effectp. 144
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.
9 - What Can Go Wrong, Must Go Wrong-and Then Somep. 166
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.
10 - The Road from Setup to Payoffp. 185
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.
11 - Meanwhile, Back at the Ranchp. 200
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.
12 - The Writer's Brain on Storyp. 219
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.
Endnotesp. 239
Acknowledgmentsp. 251
About the Authorp. 253
Indexp. 254


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