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The Science of Storytelling for Screenwriters with Will Storr

I super excited to bring you today’s show. Today on the podcast we have best-selling author Will Storr. Will’s latest book The Science of Storytelling: Why Stories Make Us Human and How to Tell Them Better is a deep dive into how story affects the brain. Here’s a bit about the book:

Who would we be without stories?

Stories mold who we are, from our character to our cultural identity. They drive us to act out our dreams and ambitions and shape our politics and beliefs. We use them to construct our relationships, to keep order in our law courts, to interpret events in our newspapers and social media. Storytelling is an essential part of what makes us human.

There have been many attempts to understand what makes a good story – from Joseph Campbell’s well-worn theories about myth and archetype to recent attempts to crack the ‘Bestseller Code’. But few have used a scientific approach. This is curious, for if we are to truly understand storytelling in its grandest sense, we must first come to understand the ultimate storyteller – the human brain.

In this scalpel-sharp, thought-provoking book, Will Storr demonstrates how master storytellers manipulate and compel us, leading us on a journey from the Hebrew scriptures to Mr. Men, from Booker Prize-winning literature to box set TV. Applying dazzling psychological research and cutting-edge neuroscience to the foundations of our myths and archetypes, he shows how we can use these tools to tell better stories – and make sense of our chaotic modern world.

His TED Talk is a must-watch for all filmmakers and screenwriters. After interview hundreds of the world’s thought-leaders on story it’s rare for me to find a completely new way of looking at story.  I can’t tell you how fascinating this conversation is. If this episode doesn’t spark an idea or two in your screenwriting I don’t know what will.

Enjoy my conversation with Will Storr.

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