Writing Fundamentals: The Craft of Story

with Lisa Cron
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Writing Fundamentals: The Craft of Story
Video duration: 0s 1h 59m Beginner


In this course, author Lisa Cron digs into the craft of writing a compelling story based on what the brain is wired to respond to in every story we hear. Whether you're writing a story from scratch, or revising your story for the umpteenth time, this course offers practical how-to advice, then illustrates it using before-and-after examples. Discover how to craft a first page, zero in on your story's point, create empathy, find a character's secret goals and inner issues, translate generics into specifics, write for suspense, create cause-and-effect connections, build momentum and tension, and deftly implement setups, payoffs, flashbacks, subplots, and foreshadowing.

Topics include:
  • What is a story?
  • Hooking your reader
  • Feeling what the protagonist feels
  • Being specific
  • Creating suspense and conflict
  • Writing flashbacks and subplots


- I'm Lisa Cron, and welcome to the Craft of Story. I have to say, I am thrilled to be here. There's nothing I love more than working with writers because writers are 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. That's why I've spent my entire career working with writers. In publishing, as a literary agent, as a story analyst for Hollywood studios, as a teacher and story consultant, I've worked with hundreds of writers and read thousands of manuscripts and screenplays, and along the way it's taught me something really surprising.

The place where most writers go wrong has nothing to do with how well they write, and everything to do with their ability to tell a story. And make no mistake, it's story that hooks the reader, the viewer, the listener. That's why the most important thing a writer can learn is what a story really is and how to craft one, which is what I'll be focusing on in this course. Together we'll explore what the brain's hard-wired expectations are for every story we hear.

Then I'll show you how to bring each element of story to life in your work. And, to make it even clearer, I'll walk you through before-and-after examples. Each chapter ends with an exercise you can do at home along with a checklist of questions to ask of your own story, whether you're still at the planning stage or diving into your umpteenth rewrite. When we're done, you'll come away with the tools to craft a story that'll have 'em at hello. So, let's get started.

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