Week 2 Assignment Lisa Cron + Wired for Story discussion Need help with writing it with in 2 hours. Also there is a vedio I will post the link for it. Once

Week 2 Assignment Lisa Cron + Wired for Story discussion Need help with writing it with in 2 hours. Also there is a vedio I will post the link for it. Once upon a time really smart people were completely convinced the
world was flat. Then they learned that it wasn’t. But they were still
pretty sure the sun revolved around the Earth … until that theory went
bust, too. For an even longer period of time, smart people have believed
story is just a form of entertainment. They’ve thought that beyond the
immense pleasure it bestows—the ephemeral joy and deep sense of
satisfaction a good story leaves us with—story itself serves no necessary
purpose. Sure, our lives from time immemorial would have been far
drabber without it, but we’d have survived just fine.
Wrong again.
Story, as it turns out, was crucial to our evolution—more so than
opposable thumbs. Opposable thumbs let us hang on; story told us what
to hang on to. Story is what enabled us to imagine what might happen in
the future, and so prepare for it—a feat no other species can lay claim
to, opposable thumbs or not.1 Story is what makes us human, not just
metaphorically but literally. Recent breakthroughs in neuroscience
reveal that our brain is hardwired to respond to story; the pleasure we
derive from a tale well told is nature’s way of seducing us into paying
attention to it.2
In other words, we’re wired to turn to story to teach us the way of the
world. So if your eyes glazed over back in high school when your history
teacher painstakingly recited the entire succession of German monarchs,
beginning with Charles the Fat, Son of Louis the German, who ruled
from 881 to 887, who could blame you? Turns out you’re only,
gloriously, human.
Thus it’s no surprise that when given a choice, people prefer fiction to
nonfiction—they’d rather read a historical novel than a history book,
watch a movie than a dry documentary.3 It’s not because we’re lazy sots
but because our neural circuitry is designed to crave story. The rush of
intoxication a good story triggers doesn’t make us closet hedonists—it
makes us willing pupils, primed to absorb the myriad lessons each story
This information is a game changer for writers. Research has helped
decode the secret blueprint for story that’s hardwired in the reader’s
brain, thereby lifting the veil on what, specifically, the brain is hungry
for in every story it encounters. Even more exciting, it turns out that a
powerful story can have a hand in rewiring the reader’s brain—helping
instill empathy, for instance5—which is why writers are, and have
always been, among the most powerful people in the world.
Writers can change the way people think simply by giving them a
glimpse of life through their characters’ eyes. They can transport readers
to places they’ve never been, catapult them into situations they’ve only
dreamed of, and reveal subtle universal truths that just might alter their
entire perception of reality. In ways large and small, writers help people
make it through the night. And that’s not too shabby.
But there’s a catch. For a story to captivate a reader, it must
continually meet his or her hardwired expectations. This is no doubt
what prompted Jorge Luis Borges to note, “Art is fire plus algebra.”6 Let
me explain.
Fire is absolutely crucial to writing; it’s the very first ingredient of
every story. Passion is what drives us to write, filling us with the
exhilarating sense that we have something to say, something that will
make a difference.
But to write a story capable of instantly engaging readers, passion
alone isn’t enough. Writers often mistakenly believe that all they need to
craft a successful story is the fire—the burning desire, the creative spark,
the killer idea that startles you awake in the middle of the night. They
dive into their story with gusto, not realizing that every word they write
is most likely doomed to failure because they forgot to factor in the
second half of the equation: the algebra.
In this, Borges intuitively knew what cognitive psychology and
neuroscience has since revealed: there is an implicit framework that
must underlie a story in order for that passion, that fire, to ignite the
reader’s brain. Stories without it go unread; stories with it are capable of
knocking the socks off someone who’s barefoot.
Why do writers often have trouble embracing the notion that there is
more to creating a story than having a good idea and a way with words?
Because the ease with which we surrender to the stories we read tends to
cloud our understanding of stories we write. We have an innate belief
that we know what makes a good story—after all, we can quickly
recognize a bad one. When we do, we scoff and slip the book back onto
the shelf. We roll our eyes and walk out of the movie theater. We take a
deep breath and pray for Uncle Albert to stop nattering on about his
Civil War reenactment. We won’t put up with a bad story for three
We recognize a good story just as quickly. It’s something we’ve been
able to do since we were about three, and we’ve been addicted to stories
in one form or another ever since. So if we’re hardwired to spot a good
story from the very first sentence, how is it possible that we don’t know
how to write one?
Once again, evolutionary history provides the answer. Story originated
as a method of bringing us together to share specific information that
might be lifesaving. Hey bud, don’t eat those shiny red berries unless you
wanna croak like the Neanderthal next door; here’s what happened.…
Stories were simple, relevant, and not so different from a little thing we
like to call gossip. When written language evolved eons later, story was
free to expand beyond the local news and immediate concerns of the
community. That meant readers—with hardwired expectations in place
—had to be drawn to the story on its own merits. While no doubt there
were always masterful storytellers, there’s a huge difference between
sharing a juicy bit of gossip about crazy Cousin Rachel and pounding out
the Great American Novel.
Fair enough, but since most aspiring writers love to read, wouldn’t all
those fabulous books they wolf down give them a first-class lesson in
what hooks a reader?
Evolution dictates that the first job of any good story is to completely
anesthetize the part of our brain that questions how it is creating such a
compelling illusion of reality. After all, a good story doesn’t feel like an
illusion. What it feels like is life. Literally. A recent brain-imaging study
reported in Psychological Science reveals that the regions of the brain that
process the sights, sounds, tastes, and movement of real life are activated
when we’re engrossed in a compelling narrative.7 That’s what accounts
for the vivid mental images and the visceral reactions we feel when we
can’t stop reading, even though it’s past midnight and we have to be up
at dawn. When a story enthralls us, we are inside of it, feeling what the
protagonist feels, experiencing it as if it were indeed happening to us,
and the last thing we’re focusing on is the mechanics of the thing.
So it’s no surprise that we tend to be utterly oblivious to the fact that
beneath every captivating story, there is an intricate mesh of
interconnected elements holding it together, allowing it to build with
seemingly effortless precision. This often fools us into thinking we know
exactly what has us hooked—things like beautiful metaphors, authenticsounding dialogue, an interesting character—when, in fact, despite how
engaging those things appear to be in and of themselves, it turns out
they’re secondary. What has us hooked is something else altogether,
something that underlies them, secretly bringing them to life: story, as
our brain understands it.
It’s only by stopping to analyze what we’re unconsciously responding
to when we read a story—what has actually snagged our brain’s
attention—that we can then write a story that will grab the reader’s
brain. This is true whether you’re writing a literary novel, hard-boiled
mystery, or supernatural teen romance. Although readers have their own
personal taste when it comes to the type of novel they’re drawn to,
unless that story meets their hardwired expectations, it stays on the
To make sure that doesn’t happen to your story, this book is organized
into twelve chapters, each zeroing in on an aspect of how the brain
works, its corresponding revelation about story, and the nuts and bolts
of how to actualize it in your work. Each chapter ends with a checklist
you can apply to your work at any stage: before you begin writing, at
the end of every writing day, at the end of a scene or a chapter, or at
2:00 a.m. when you wake up in a cold sweat, convinced that your story
may be the worst thing anyone has written, ever. (It’s not; trust me.) Do
this, and I guarantee your work will stay on track and have an excellent
chance of making people who aren’t even related to you want to read it.
The only caveat is that you have to be as honest about your story as
you would be about a novel you pick up in a bookstore, or a movie you
begin watching with one finger still poised on the remote. The idea is to
pinpoint where each trouble spot lies and then remedy it before it
spreads like a weed, undermining your entire narrative. It’s a lot more
fun than it sounds, because there’s nothing more exhilarating than
watching your work improve until your readers are so engrossed in it
that they forget that it’s a story at all.
Annotation Worksheet
Rhetorical Context (Who wrote it or created it? Why was it written? What is
it trying to do to or for its readers? What is it? Where does it appear? When
was it published? What is its genre?)
Summary (What does the text say? What are its main points? What did you
find most interesting or important?)
What are THREE golden lines from the text? (Quotes that stood out the most.)
Quote 1:
Evaluation/Significance of the Quote (Why did you choose it?):
Quote 2:
Evaluation/Significance of the Quote (Why did you choose it?):
Quote 3:
Evaluation/Significance of the Quote (Why did you choose it?):
Annotation Worksheet
Evaluation (Is the text convincing? Why or why not? What new knowledge
did you get from reading this text?)
Questioning (What questions do you have about the text? What would you ask
the author if you could speak to him or her directly? Do you have any
questions to ask your fellow students or the instructor?)

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