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I love popcorn popped in bacon fat. I love almost every fruit (except kiwi) and vegetable (including kale) I've ever eaten. And since I was little, I've loved diving head first into every story I hear, searching for what works, what doesn't, and why. (Which made a lot of otherwise boring stories way more tolerable.)

Story has always affected me in a big way. I wouldn't be who I am if I hadn't read A Wrinkle in Time when I was nine. Or, sadly, watched way, way too much TV as a teenager. Remember That Girl and Love, American Style?  I hope not.

Even the ads I watched as a kid had an impact on me. No, I wouldn't buy the product (even then I was a rotten consumer); what I bought was the "reality" that those old ads portrayed. Everyone's house is spotless. Happy people don't fight. Every problem has a neat, easy solution. 

It was the world of advertising that helped me really begin to understand the power of story. I remember being stunned to discover how many deep-seated ideas, attitudes and beliefs I held that I'd never actually thought about. Beliefs that, when I did think about them, I didn't believe at all, not even a little bit. In fact, they were often the exact opposite of what I knew to be true. (Happy people do fight — all the time -- and guess what? it's okay!) An effective story, it turns out, enters through your gut, looks out through your eyes, and is never really analyzed by your conscious brain. That's the hardwired power of story. 

Understanding that power allows you to both wield it, and, as important, to gird yourself against it if need be. Otherwise, like me, you might end up at McDonalds at midnight scarfing down a Big Mac, super sized fries and a 32 oz Coke because you deserve a break today! (Hey, it only happened the once.)

To keep me from falling prey to the straight and narrow, my mottos (not that I always live up to them) are:

  • Love the suck
  • If it’s not a least a little scary, you’re not doing it right
  • The only wrong choice is not choosing
  • Don’t just sit there! (as true literally as it is figuratively, more’s the pity)
  • Everything is easier said than done. Except getting in trouble. Which is actually easier.
  • Trouble is my middle name (sorry, couldn’t resist)

That's my story. What's yours?

Official Bio

Lisa Cron is a story coach and the author of Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers From the Very First Sentence  and Story Genius: How To Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel (Before You Waste Three Years Writing 327 Pages that Go Nowhere) both published by Ten Speed Press.

Her video tutorial Writing Fundamentals: The Craft of Story can be found at Lynda.com.

Lisa has worked in publishing at W.W. Norton, as an agent at the Angela Rinaldi Literary Agency, as a producer on shows for Showtime and CourtTV, and as a story consultant for Warner Brothers and the William Morris Agency.

Since 2006, she's been an instructor in the UCLA Extension Writers' Program and is on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts MFA program in visual narrative in New York City. Together with author, book coach and Author Accelerator CEO Jennie Nash she runs the online Story Genius Workshop.

Lisa works with writers, nonprofits, educators and organizations, helping them master the unparalleled power of story, so they can move people to action – whether that action is turning the pages of a compelling novel, or taking to the streets to change the world for the better. Or both!

Her literary agent is Laurie Abkemeier at DeFiore and Company

Books

 

How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel

The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers From the Very First Sentence

 

Upcoming Events

There is nothing I love more than talking story with a roomful of writers (but don't tell my husband I said that).  I'd love to see you at one of my upcoming events!

PAST APPEARANCES

  • California Dreamin' Conference for Writers - Brea, CA - March 25, 2017
  • California Writers Club of Long Beach - Long Beach, CA - March 11, 2017
  • SCBWI Writers & Illustrators Day, Los Angeles, CA,  February 25, 2017
  • School of Visual Arts, New York, NY November, 2016
  • Penn State Berks—Schools of Journalism and Creative Writing, March 2013, February, 2014, November 2016
  • Penguin Random House - November, 2016
  • Writers Unboxed Unconference, Salem, MA, November 2014 and 2016
  • Vroman's Bookstore, Pasadena, CA, September, 2016
  • Story Expo, Los Angeles, September, 2016
  • School of Visual Arts, MFA Program in Visual Narrative, June, 2016
  • SCBWI Wild, Wild Midwest Conference, Naperville, IL, April 29-May 1, 2016
  • Ventura County Writers' Club - Thousand Oaks, CA, April, 2016
  • Romance Writers of America San Diego - San Diego, CA, September 2015
  • Writer’s Digest Conference, New York, August, 2014
  • Romance Writers of America Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX, July 2014
  • California Writers Club, Los Angeles, CA June 2014
  • Sherwood Oaks Film School, Los Angeles, CA, June 2014
  • PEN, two-day workshop, Los Angeles, CA,  April/May 2014
  • Women's National Book Association, LA Chapter and the LA Writers' Conference, May 2014
  •  Furman University, TEDx “Story: the Thread of our Humanity”; Talk: Wired for Story, March 22, 2014
  • The Tampa Area Romance Authors, Tampa, FL, February, 2014
  • The Palm Springs Writer’s Guild, Palm Springs, CA, 2012 and February, 2014
  • Novelists Inc. Annual Conference, Myrtle Beach, SC<  November, 2013
  • The Writer’s Digest Conference, West, Los Angeles, CA, September, 2013
  • The Alaska Writer’s Guild Conference, keynote speaker, Anchorage, AK, September, 2013
  • The Greater Los Angeles Writer’s Society Conference, North Hollywood, CA, June, 2012 and June, 2013
  • PEN Emerging Voices, April 2013
  • Aquarium of the Pacific - Aquatic Academy Spring 2013 series, Long Beach, CA, April, 2013
  • Aquarium of the Pacific, public lecture on The Power of Story, Long Beach, CA, November, 2012
  • NOAA’s Science on a Sphere Workshop, “Science and Storytelling,” keynote speaker, Long Beach, CA, November 2012
  • FRANK: Conference on Public Interest Communication, University of Florida, Gainesville, keynote speaker, September 2012
  • Powell's, Portland, OR, August, 2012
  • The Willamette Writer’s Conference, Willamette, OR, August, 2012
  • Vroman's Bookstore, July 2012