I recently started following @Clumsy.Words on Instagram. Kathleen posts pictures of book, most with several pages bookmarked with small self-adhesive tags.
When I started reading Wired for Story by Lisa Cron I decided to highlight favorite passages and insert a bookmark on every page where I highlighted something. You can see the result of my efforts in the image above.
Below are my favorite top ten quotes from the book.
1. Stories allow us to simulate intense experiences without actually having to live through them. P9
2. A story is how what happens affects someone who is trying to achieve what turns out to be a difficult goal, and how he or she changes as a result. P11
3. Nothing focuses the mind like surprise. P12
4. A story must have the ability to engender a sense of urgency from the first sentence. P21
5. Signs that a story is going off the rails … P26
- No protagonist
- No goal
- No inner issue
- Protagonist changes unexpectedly
- No change
- Not believable
6. What is it I want my readers to walk away thinking about? P31
7. If I cut [this part of the story] out, would anything that happens afterward change? P162
8. A digression is any piece of information that we don’t need and therefore don’t know what to do with. Everything in a story must be there for a story reason. P164
9. Your protagonist really truly does have to suffer – otherwise … she will have nothing to teach us. P168
10. By defining your protagonist’s internal and external goals, and then pitting them against each other, you can often ignite the kind of external tension and internal conflict capable of driving an entire narrative. P75