Hardwired for Story


“We think in story. It’s hardwired in our brain. It’s how we make strategic sense of the otherwise overwhelming world around us.” –Lisa Cron

I recently explored a writing opportunity as a web copywriter and storyteller.  I really appreciated that they called the work “Storytelling.” Humans are hardwired for story, and any piece of writing that puts people (characters) at the center of an action (plot) will be translated as a story.

Everything is a story. This is a story.

I can see that using characters and plot for advertising purposes is one of the best ways to engage an audience.  We are not only hardwired to listen to a story and take it in, but to relay the story to others.  There are many articles here and here where people much smarter than me have proved this hypothesis.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in grad school where I spent years studying writing, is that stories are made to be retold.  For example, even our favorite memes on social media are a hybrid of storytelling.  A meme advertises a concept in its storytelling form that is retellable, and advertising must capitalize on that.  The epidemiology of memes is exactly because they are a micro story, they are relatable, and therefore they ask to be retold.

If a piece of writing is not translatable as a story, we won’t have that feeling to retell it. Advertising that is storytelling at its heart will be the most effective.


1 Comment

Filed under Writing

One response to “Hardwired for Story

  1. This is so true, this is why textbooks are so hard to remember. They have no character!

    Kevin Kindle

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