George Saunders On Story

“A bad story is one where you know what the story is and you’re sure of it…”


Watch this fantastic 7 minute video about writing a good story (WARNING: Mild Profanity)

George Saunders: On Story is part of an ongoing series created by Redglass Pictures and executive produced by Ken Burns, courtesy of PBS. Saunders’s new book, The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip, is out now. The first short film, Ken Burns: On Story, can be seen here. To see more from this interview with George Saunders go to the Redglass Pictures website.

How Stories Change the Brain

This is an article published by Paul Zak in 2013 storytelling-brain-2which details his research about the power that storytelling has on the brain. I have also included a quick video about his findings. This is yet another fascinating development in what we already understand as true: Stories Stick With Us!

How Stories Change the Brain

By Paul J. Zak

Everyone can relate to this story. An innocent treated unfairly, and a protector who seeks to right the wrong—but can only do so by finding the courage to change himself and become a better person.

A recent analysis identifies this “hero’s journey” story as the foundation for more than half of the movies that come out of Hollywood, and countless books of fiction and nonfiction. And, if you take a look, this structure is in the majority of the most-watched TED talks.

Why are we so attracted to stories? My lab has spent the last several years seeking to understand why stories can move us to tears, change our attitudes, opinions and behaviors, and even inspire us—and how stories change our brains, often for the better. Here’s what we’ve learned.

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Storytelling Tip #1

As some of you already know, I teach an online fairy tales and storytelling class (that’s the icon on the right hand side). Because storytelling is so awesome…I wanted to give everyone some writing inspiration for today.

Storytelling Tip #1

PRACTICAL TIP: Make a list of 5-10 stories that you really enjoy telling people. Look expand on one or two of those stories by adding more sensory details. Write it out…video yourself telling the story…share it with other people!