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The science of storytelling with Will Storr

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The Guardian

Kings Place

90 York Way

London

N1 9GU

United Kingdom

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Drawing upon the latest research from neuroscience and psychology, award-winning writer Will Storr reveals how authors, screenwriters and journalists of all levels of experience and background can make their writing more gripping and original.

You’ll learn how the human brain turns life events into dramatic narratives and discover how to exploit the brain’s natural storytelling processes within your own writing to make it more effective.

This fascinating masterclass comprises a series of short, fun talks, each of which will introduce a new concept about the storytelling brain to be applied to one or more examples of brilliant storytelling and revealing how each works from a scientific perspective.

You’ll also be introduced to some great examples of storytelling in fiction, film and screen – from James Baldwin to Breaking Bad, Transparent and Kazuo Ishiguro.

Whether you’re a literary or genre writer, working for page or the screen, you’ll leave the course with new perspectives on your own work and a greater understanding of the neurological common ground of all audiences.

Course content

  • How the brain creates a world

  • How the brain creates a flawed self

  • Antagonists and protagonists – good and evil

  • The importance of goal direction and active characters

  • How the essential dramatic question drives all great scenes in drama

  • Creating original characters by understanding psychological damage and trauma

  • Personality and the secrets of three-dimensional characters

  • Why cause and effect is the natural language of the brain – and of the story

  • The scientific study of plots

  • How to break free of standard story structures by understanding what the brain wants

  • The secret to a satisfying ending

Tutor profile

Will Storr is a multi-award winning long-form journalist and best-selling author. He has written for Guardian Weekend, The New Yorker, The New York Times and The Sunday Times Magazine, among other publications. He has ghostwritten number one bestsellers for public figures and has been named New Journalist of the Year and Feature Writer of the Year, and in 2012 was presented with the Amnesty International Award. His books include Selfie: How the West Became Self Obsessed, which The Financial Times called ‘Electrifying’ and The Sunday Times said was ‘approaching genius’, and the critically acclaimed novel The Hunger and Howling of Killian Lone.

All Guardian Masterclasses are fully accessible - but please contact us if you have any queries or concerns.

Full course and returns information on the Masterclasses website

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Date and Time

Location

The Guardian

Kings Place

90 York Way

London

N1 9GU

United Kingdom

View Map

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