The Science of Story Telling

Why are we innately drawn to good stories? What makes a story great?… In today’s book of the Day, ‘The Science of Storytelling’ – Will Storr explains how to capture the attention of the subconscious mind using simple psychology tricks!

Before I really get into it, we must grasp how big of an impact telling stories has had on our species over time. One theory even states that language evolved as a way of gossiping (telling stories about other people). Although language was better utilized for social cooperation, I’m sure it didn’t hurt to know who had a crush on who in the village.

How to get people’s attention.

Will Storr says that to grab someone’s attention we must create a feeling of ‘drastic change’. Think of clickbait titles, for example, if I really wanted to get your attention at the beginning of this post I could have said something like ” She left me and never coming back” or “I died today”. Although it wouldn’t make sense I’d at least get your attention just enough to get you to read the next line.

Our brains have evolved to register change as a sign of danger, so when you create a feeling of massive change, you receive massive attention.

Who’s really in control?

After reading this book, I gained a lot of perspective on how many forces are acting on us without us noticing. Right away, I can think of gravity, air resistance, friction, and so on… I failed to realize that we can let our minds be just as powerful as these other forces. Think of a patient with schizophrenia, they can’t tell the difference between reality and their hallucinations because their mind has taken over their perception of the world. The point I’m trying to make is that it doesn’t matter how good a story sounds in your head, you can only make it good by painting a clear picture for the reader and letting their mind do the rest.

Personal Thoughts

Although it’s not in my plans to become an author or screenwriter, I’ve always been curious about how certain people become good at telling jokes or stories. The truth is that this book won’t make you good at either one. It will just give you a ‘game plan’ to formulate your stories in a way that keeps people engaged and curious. I enjoyed this book mainly because I like to learn about psychology and it gave me ideas for future posts. It’s never been harder to get attention than it is right now with social media, if you understand how psychology works you’ll be able to leverage that to your advantage.

Ps: I made a TikTok using some of these attention grabbing tactics and it blew up with 3.8M views.

Use This affiliate link to get your copy of the book: The Science of Storytelling: Why Stories Make Us Human and How to Tell Them Better

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