I define my editing skills by before and after I read Wired for Story by Lisa Cron. Discovering why we want story – what lies beneath our fascination, what our brain is subconsciously looking for – my perspective on reading took a 180 degree turn after finishing this book.
Wired for Story reveals the psychology and neurology behind the mechanics of fiction, and shows how to harness this knowledge to create compelling writing, from hook to closing sentence. I admit, there were times I felt like I was reading about a fail-safe formula for success every time; and that fiction could end up taking on the sinister ways of advertising if everyone had access to this knowledge. Or worse, that all stories might end up predictable and similar. However, Cron does not go into the psychology of creative language features like metaphor, syntax or voice, so I reminded myself, and thanked my mythical namesake for the infinite pleasure to be had from these, no matter how many times I read an un-put-downable story about a protagonist coming through.
This book has become one of my ‘most annotated’, and I see that others who have reviewed it elsewhere are never without it as they write. A crutch or an essential tool? You be the judge.
Posted on Goodreads, 2012