Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Book Review: WIRED FOR STORY by Lisa Cron

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have guessed that I’m in love with Lisa Cron. Her book, WIRED FOR STORY is my favorite book on the craft of writing. 

I love books about writing - I’m always curious about the process by which other writers write and what tips on craft they have to share. But what sets WFS apart is that Cron focuses on what happens in the brain when we read stories. There’s a biological reason why we cried when Beth March died and why we swooned when Mr. Darcy said, “But your family owe me nothing. Much as I respect them, I believe, I thought only of you.” 

All by itself, that information on how our brain responds to stories is fascinating and helpful. But Cron doesn’t stop there. She teaches you how to evoke emotions and how to construct your story, scenes, and characters to give our brains the stories they crave. Do you want to know why you sometimes stay up long past your bedtime because a book is too good to put down? Or how to keep your readers from abandoning your story? Pick up this book! 

I’ve only had it for a few months but it looks years old. The cover is scuffed up, many pages are dog-marked, and I’ve annotated the hell out it (Yes, I’m a monster, I know!).

This book has changed the way I think about what a story actually is and how it functions. It made me realize why some plot points in my WIP weren’t working and how to fix them. I fold pages and write notes, and take it on road trips because it's not a book I read once and put on the shelf, it's one one with ideas I want to absorb.

As I get ready to open my current project, Lisa Cron’s new book, STORY GENIUS, is slowly starting to get that beat up look. I’m only about fifty pages in, but the concepts and exercises on character have already made a huge difference in my WIP. I can't wait to see where I'm at when I finish reading this one!

If you haven’t picked up Lisa Cron's books yet, do so. Soon. I’m willing to bet you’ll fall in love with her too.