- Mon, July 16 2012
- Filed under: Writing
As you know, I’m fan of Lisa Cron, who blogs on storytelling and whose book, Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence is now out. (I posted on it here when I received a review copy.)
Since it’s now out, I wanted to share a few more tips from the book that pertain to our work. Specifically, how to get to the heart of your story quickly—and how to give your story heart.
Every time you engage with someone about your cause, you should be telling stories. It’s how we come to understand your issue, what is at stake, and why it matters to us. So prepare with these three tips.
1. Know your point. When you’re writing about what you do, says Cron, ask yourself: “What is it I want my readers to walk away thinking about? What point does my story make? How do I want to change the way my reader sees the world?”
2. Nail your plot. Sometimes people mistakenly think plot is what your story is about. But a story is actually about how the plot affects the hero of your story, says Cron. In other words, the things that happen in your story should all affect a real person (or animal) in an important way.
3. Have a big theme but a small scale. Theme, says Cron, is the underlying point the story makes about the human experience - it is a universal feeling, emotion or truth that resonates with us all. But “it’s ironic that only when embodied in the very specific does a universal become accessible… In the abstract, universals are so vast they’re impossible to wrap your mind around. It’s only when expressed through the flesh-and-blood reality of a story, that we’re able to experience a universal (theme) one-on-one, and so feel it.
PS: It’s not too late to register for tomorrow’s storytelling webinar with Jonah Sachs here.