Story Genius
Read in 13 min.
Listen in 16 min.
Learn the key ideas of the book by Lisa Cron

Story Genius

Learn to write a novel that will capture your reader

Writing a novel begins long before the first page. Behind the scenes there is some very important preparation work to do, which enables you to create a story that flows, and is credible and captivating. If we want to become true experts in narrative writing, we need to spend some time exploring the mind and emotions of our hero; doing so will help us bring vital energy to the story and capture the attention of our reader. Stories are the natural language of the human brain and the book Story Genius helps us to understand this language, to study it and learn how to use it. 

Story Genius
Read in 13 min.
Listen in 16 min.

We are made to love stories and our brain uses them as a form of language

A lamp might be beautiful to look at, but if we can't switch it on, it will only be a useless object.  We can say the same about a story: it might be written well, with a fantastic plot and elegant style, but none of this is enough to ignite the curiosity and attract interest of our reader.

The secret to writing a compelling story lies in the way the main character manages to make sense of what happens to him, showing his inner struggle, and in the effort he makes to achieve any particular goal.

The biggest mistake a writer can make is to ignore what a story really is, how it works and in what way it can affect people.

As humans, we are made to love stories, it is in our nature. Neuroscience tells us that our brains evolved using stories to decode the world and understand it better. When it comes to looking for meaning in every story, and for specific information, we are true experts, even from a very young age.

Most writers think that a good story depends on style, on the choice of narrative voice, on the plot, and on the language; but this isn't the case. Of course, these elements are important, but one fundamental element is missing from our list.

What really makes the story, is an invisible ingredient which has nothing to do with what goes on externally, and everything to do with the main character’s internal struggle - they have an objective, which seems impossible, they want to achieve it, but there is something that holds them back, until they are given a push from external circumstances that forces them to act.

This book teaches us how to develop a project for a novel, starting with the description of the main character and of his inner world, so that it intertwines naturally with the external plot of the story.


The key ideas of "Story Genius"

We are made to love stories and our brain uses them as a form of language
Stories are not ways to escape from reality, they are tools to teach us how to deal with life
The true story of a novel begins long before that which is told by the plot
The basic important question: what meaning do I want to give the story I will tell?
The protagonist is the portal through which the reader enters the world in the story
Stories are not set in geographical places, but in the main character’s mind
Narration begins with a protagonist who is thrown from his comfort zone without warning
We start at the beginning, but we need to know from the outset how the book will end, to make it easier to write the plot
Take-home message
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