Currently I’m reading Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence on my iPad.
Although I love books about creativity and consciousness, I didn’t know quite what to expect from this book. I looked at it several times, before I bought it, because it made me nervous. Would it destroy my pleasure in reading, I wondered? I value my ability to lose myself in books above everything else.
So, although I’ve been hearing good things about the book from other writers, I downloaded it with some misgivings.
Silly me. This book is brilliant. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give it a 10+. It’s the first writing-related book that I’ve ever read that I’m rereading, and thinking about, as I finish each chapter.
Will this book make you a better writer?
Writers read books on writing because we want to become better at what we do. No matter how long we’ve been writing, we keep looking for magic nuggets of inspiration and technique. This book will be useful to you if you’re working on a novel; each chapter ends with checkpoints which you can apply to your work in progress.
As I’ve said, this book makes me think. I’m mid-way through it, because I stop to reread, then I check my WIP with the fresh insights I’ve gained.
Chapter 5, Digging up Your Protagonist’s Inner Issue changed the way I write. Seriously.
For me, that chapter was worth 1000 times the price of the book.
Chapter 5 helps you to get to know your characters before you start your story. I’ve always been suspicious of “character bios” and consider them a waste of time. I write character journals, so I can to get to know characters.
Lisa Cron shows you a wonderful way to write character bios from which your outlines can develop. Yes, I said outlines, and please don’t run away screaming. Even if you hate outlining, as I do, you’ll be able to write these kinds of outlines.
A one-word summary of this book: stimulating. You know those magic eye photos which were popular years ago? You look at an image and then see something within the image? Wired for Story has exactly that effect on my writing. It’s disorientating. And uncomfortable. But above all, it’s stimulating.
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