➮ The Science of Storytelling: Why Stories Make Us Human, and How to Tell Them Better Read ➶ Author Will Storr – Tactical-player.co.uk
I ve read a fair few books on stories and how they work, but Will Storr comes at the subject from an intriguing new angle The assertion that change is at the heart of stories is not novel, but his analysis that humans are hardwired to notice change, and to create meaning from change, is fascinating How this evolutionary drive reflects what we want from the stories we hear and read is at the core of the book Storr s writing is warm, smart and engaging, and nicely balances science, theory, general discussion and specifics regarding story construction.Though writers and would be writers are clearly a major audience for this book, it s appeal is wider than that Somewhat profoundly, it throws a new light on the story of our own lives To realise that we re passing through life in a subjective bubble of our own creation with objective reality an illusion is sobering and enlightening in equal measure We re essentially characters in our own story, but with only a vague and often inaccurate grasp of where and why we re heading in the direction we are What s your sacred flaw This is a brilliant distillation of current brain science research, psychology, and research into story structure I had read just about all of these ideas elsewhere, but it s taken me years, and what this book did was to make a beautifully seemingly simple narrative which cohered into a convincing argument It is both practical and scholarly, with extensive footnotes throughout the text I read on Kindle and it s worth mentioning that you get a pop up box referencing the footnote but some are expanded upon in the references section which is large and well thought out I thought the sacred flaw approach, while not entirely new, was well explained as a practical way to write from your character outwards so that plot becomes character and vice versa and you avoid cliche by embracing specificity I loved the examples of novels too, they were very clear and wellchosen Very much recommend this book and the others which he recommends you read too, all of which I ve read myself Together they give depth but this book serves as both a brilliant introduction and a great read in itself. I read a lot of books, but everyone once in a while one comes along that wakes me up to a new line of thinking The Science of Storytelling did just that Will Storr shares a fascinating analysis of why stories are so powerful and how to write better ones , and in doing so he somehow shines a light on our own lives too I read this book in three days, and found myself thinking about it between readings I took copious notes and was going to give it to a friend when I finished it, but decided I just couldn t let it go, so I ordered another copy Absolutely brilliant. I m a fiction writer and a journalist and have learned so much from this book.I often find non fiction particularly around the subject of writing quite boring I also find myself thinking why am I reading this when I could be writing But I ve really enjoyed reading this, checking in on it every day and then taking some time to register what I ve learned lots of it is so fascinating, I don t want to whizz through it I guess it makes sense that someone who has studied storytelling to such a degree would know how to grip my attention Oh also I really like that it looks into what makes a brilliant story but doesn t implore you to follow a particular formula down to a precise degree such as in Save The Cat as, while useful, I do find books like that to be stifling.I really think that this book is going to make me a better writer in my fiction books as well as a better writer and editor in my job as a journalist. Who Would We Be Without Stories Stories Mould Who We Are, From Our Character To Our Cultural Identity They Drive Us To Act Out Our Dreams And Ambitions And Shape Our Politics And Beliefs We Use Them To Construct Our Relationships, To Keep Order In Our Law Courts, To Interpret Events In Our Newspapers And Social Media Storytelling Is An Essential Part Of What Makes Us Human There Have Been Many Attempts To Understand What Makes A Good Story From Joseph Campbell S Well Worn Theories About Myth And Archetype To Recent Attempts To Crack The Bestseller Code But Few Have Used A Scientific Approach This Is Curious, For If We Are To Truly Understand Storytelling In Its Grandest Sense, We Must First Come To Understand The Ultimate Storyteller The Human Brain In This Scalpel Sharp, Thought Provoking Audiobook, Will Storr Demonstrates How Master Storytellers Manipulate And Compel Us, Leading Us On A Journey From The Hebrew Scriptures To Mr Men, From Booker Prize Winning Literature To Box Set TV Applying Dazzling Psychological Research And Cutting Edge Neuroscience To The Foundations Of Our Myths And Archetypes, He Shows How We Can Use These Tools To Tell Better Stories And Make Sense Of Our Chaotic Modern World I took a class from Will at the Guardian that was appropriately titled The Science of Storytelling That six hour class was a deeply distilled summary of the material contained in this book This book is impressive on several levels First, it does not advocate a cookie cutter approach towards writing stories Rather, Will focuses on the pivotal role of character in the commencement of story development Second, Will liberally uses examples of other works of fiction to make points in easy to understand prose Third, Will cites important research to back up his analysis Will does all of this in a writing style that is compelling on both an emotional level and from an analytic perspective After reading this book, I already have some concrete ideas as to the process I will use to write my work of fiction I highly recommend this book.