Welcome back to a special edition of The Writer Files called “The Best of the Writer’s Brain,” a series neuroscientist Michael Grybko and I started in 2015 where I enlisted his help to give us a tour of the inner workings of the writer’s process.
Q: Have you ever wondered why storytelling is such an omnipresent theme of human life?
As we take a short Summer hiatus to book new guests for the upcoming season, I thought I’d put all of these enlightening episodes in one place …
In Part Three of the series I invited my friend, research scientist Michael Grybko — of the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington — back on the show to help me define storytelling from a scientific standpoint.
If you missed the first two episodes of The Best of ‘The Writer’s Brain’ you can find them on writerfiles.fm, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to your podcasts.
In this file Michael Grybko and I discuss:
- Why storytelling is the default mode of human communication
- How empathy makes storytelling such an effective tool
- Why Hollywood continually taps into ‘The Hero’s Journey’
- How blueprints can help writers connect with their audience
- Why reading fiction makes us more empathetic
- Writers’ addiction to stories (especially the dark ones)
- Where humanity would be without storytelling
Listen to The Writer Files: Writing, Productivity, Creativity, and Neuroscience below ...
The Show Notes
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- The Best of ‘The Writer’s Brain’ Part One: Creativity
- The Best of ‘The Writer’s Brain’ Part Two: Empathy
- The Hero with a Thousand Faces (The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell)
- Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee
- “Reading literary fiction improves empathy, study finds” from The Guardian
- The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human by Jonathan Gottschall
- Kelton Reid on Twitter