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)

    • 4.4 • 28 Ratings
    • $12.99
    • $12.99

Publisher Description

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.

Professional & Technical
August 9
Clarkson Potter/Ten Speed
Penguin Random House LLC

Customer Reviews

c.lexico ,

Writers of all level

Everybody can write a book but not all can tell a good story. This book can help you go deeper and make your message more meaningful to the reader.

quarantine_reads ,

NO BRAIN SCIENCE, don’t waste your money.

If I could give this a 0, I would. This book wasted my time and robbed my brain of off its creativity with the very firm suggestion that EVERY NOVEL (no matter the genre) has ONE protagonist and follows their development. Okay, then how do you explain Game of Thrones which has multiple protagonists? Or Girl, Woman, Other which won the 2019 Booker? Or Normal People, which has two protagonist and doesn’t have just one misbelief but multiple. If you wanna create one-dimensional characters, Caron’s advice would be great; she erects a black and white formula which works for you know, LSAT Logical Reasoning sections not a novel. Creative writing has to come from a very intimate part of the author, it can’t be this straightforward and it never is. Writers have different ways of approaching, you simply can’t just say EVERY SUCCESSFUL BOOK follows this method. I suggest people listen to an interview by Hanya Yanaghira, author of Little Life — she gives solid advice — or you know, use suggestions from fiction writers who have successfully written a fiction novel, which, Cron hasn’t and she admits it too. Plus, the novel by Jess Nath which is used to repeatedly explain everything in this book, is itself just bland and boring and not something I would read anyway so I regretted this promising “brain science” genius, master of spewing big words confidently to essentially only sell a book to beginning writers. Cron just cuts and pastes some opinions from scientists — which you can find on Google — to prove her points, which by the way are not unique at all. If you wanna waste your money like I did, I’d say go ahead. If not, here’s Cron’s point for you to decide if this is worth it: every novel is character-driven, concentrating on the third rail which is the character’s internal struggle and development, and the external plot of the novel drives this development, and yeah obviously the motivations, actions, consequences and realizations should “logically follow.” If you’ve read books, chances are you already know that so don’t fall prey to this sort of manipulative marketing. Save your money and read another book or sth jeez.

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