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Story Genius Paperback – 9 Aug 2016
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"Using brain science, Cron busts the myths of good writing to help you find the real story behind all that plot and metaphor."
-- The Writer
-- PsychologyToday.com "It's a simple question: 'How do you write an effective, engaging story?' Ask Lisa Cron. An accomplished author and story coach, she has just published her second book, Story Genius. A manual of sorts, it teaches cognitive storytelling strategies and uses actual brain science to help make its readers into better writers."
-- Creative Screenwriting "Cron, author of Wired for Story, proposes this new book as the answer to the question, What's the biggest mistake writers make? She uses psychology and other sciences to explain what makes an utterly compelling story and how to write one. . . .Novice writers looking for a step-by-step guide to how to build--or fix--their novel might find a lot of useful information in here. . ."
-- Publishers Weekly "Lost in the quagmire of trying to write a novel? Well, forget everything you've ever been told about story, because chances are, it's totally wrong. So where to turn? Story guru Cron not only gives you the skinny on why and how stories work (and why and how we respond to them), she also shows you how to craft a novel step by step, working with author Jenny Nash from the germ of an idea to a living, breathing story. I'd never consider writing a novel without Lisa's input, and neither should you."
-- Caroline Leavitt, New York Times best-selling author of Is This Tomorrow and Pictures of You
About the Author
LISA CRON has worked as a literary agent, a TV producer, and a story consultant for Warner Brothers, the William Morris Agency, and many others. She is a frequent speaker at writers' conferences, and a story coach for writers, educators, and journalists. She teaches in the UCLA Extension Writers' Program, is on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts MFA in Visual Narrative Program, and is the author of Wired for Story. She splits her time between Santa Monica, California, and New York, New York.
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I have some misgivings about the book. One is that Cron's delivery is breathlessly fanatical. She evangelises her idea as if she's just invented its worth, whereas backstory and psychological depth have always been well-rooted in the most successful stories. And she's a bit harshly dismissive of other how-to authors' rationales. The other sticking point is her use of a single author as a guinea pig. I couldn't connect with the story that was so closely scrutinised in development. To constantly be told why a given scene works when it seemed bland and inconsequential to me diluted Cron's message. In the end I skipped some of those sections, which are a significant chunk of the book.
But this is subjective. Overall, I think her ideas are long overdue the relevance she gives them, and her method for laying down the foundations of a strong novel are inspirational
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