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The Science of Storytelling: Why Stories Make Us Human and How to Tell Them Better

  • The human brain is wired for story, this is how we transmit knowledge

  • Change and the unexpected is a big part of storytelling

    every story you’ll ever hear amounts to ‘something changed’. Change is endlessly fascinating to brains.

This is what storytellers do. They create moments of unexpected change that seize the attention of their protagonists and, by extension, their readers and viewers.

It’s by learning how to control the world that they get what they want. Control is why brains are on constant alert for the unexpected.

The ‘Sacred Flaw Approach’ is a character-first process, an attempt to create a story that mimics the various ways a brain creates a life, and which therefore feels true and fresh, and comes pre-loaded with potential drama.

if we’re psychologically healthy, our brain makes us feel as if we’re the moral heroes at the centre of the unfolding plots of our lives. Any ‘facts’ it comes across tend to be subordinate to that story.

  • “It’s people, not events, that we’re naturally interested in”
  • The five act plot is an efficient mechanism to show the evolution of deep character change
  • Threat of change arouses curiosity
  • Humans have a thirst for knowledge, giving incomplete information insights curiosity

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