How do master storytellers compel us? There have been many attempts to understand what makes a good story, but few have used a scientific approach. In The Science of Storytelling, Will Storr applies dazzling psychological research and cutting-edge neuroscience to our myths and archetypes to show how we can tell better stories, revealing, among other things, how storytellers—and also our brains—create worlds by being attuned to moments of unexpected change. Storr’s superbly chosen examples range from Harry Potter to Jane Austen to Alice Walker, Greek drama to Russian novels to Native American folk tales, King Lear to Breaking Bad to children’s stories. With chapters such as “The Dramatic Question” and “Plot, Endings, and Meaning” and a practical, step-by-step appendix dedicated to “The Sacred Flaw Approach,” The Science of Storytelling is destined to become an invaluable resource for writers of all stripes, whether novelist, screenwriter, playwright, or writer of creative or traditional nonfiction.
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