Critically Acclaimed Novelist & Award Winning Longform Journalist
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Based on years of research, and honed during his regularly sold out London courses, ‘The Science of Storytelling’ is Will Storr’s unique exploration of craft for writers of all kinds.
Over more than twenty years of longform journalism, for titles such as The Guardian, The Sunday Times and The New Yorker, Will Storr has interviewed thousands of fascinating people, from Hollywood legends to Holocaust deniers to Vatican exorcists to mass murderers. As a novelist, learning the techniques of fiction, he noticed that the way in which people naturally told him the stories of their lives often took the form of traditional myth. The human brain, he realised, was an automatic storyteller. He wondered if, by understanding how the brain creates the story of our lives, it might be possible to find new insights into how to make our written stories more perfect.
In the past, scholars have tried to unlock the secrets of the successful narrative in a top-down fashion, by deconstructing great stories to see what they have in common. Storr thought it might be interesting to take the opposite approach, by trying to understand ways in which the brain generates and processes story. This was the start of a long journey through the worlds of social psychology and neuroscience that’s resulted in a fascinating and completely new kind of guide to storytelling. It’s been the basis of the highly popular course he’s been leading in London since 2014, and that he’s been invited to present everywhere from Liverpool to Istanbul to Bangkok and at major institutions including Hearst Magazines and the European Parliament.
His next book, ‘Selfie’, is a history of the western self from Aristotle to Generation Z. It will be published by Picador in February 2017.
‘Storr can open chapters like a stage conjurer. He is a funny and companionable guide . . . [who] confounds expectations’ The Guardian