I'm Lisa Kron, and this is the course wired for story. And I can't tell you how excited I am to be here because there is nothing that I love more than being in a room full of writers Because writers, you guys, you are the most powerful people on the planet, and by the end of this course, you will have the tools to wield that power. And I think by then you're going to realize it's more power than you even think you have right now. But before we begin, their three really scary statistics released sobering statistics that I want to start with so that you don't become one of them. And the 1st 1 is that only 3% of writers who sit down to write a novel actually finish the first draft. And yet we're talking about just the very first draft. That means out of 100 people who sit down to write a novel 97 of them At some point, they're gonna go. You know what? I don't want to do this. I'm gonna go when I'm gonna binge watch all of the all of the episodes of breaking bad on my cell phone for the ne...
xt six months. They're going to give up. But let's say that you're in that 3%. You're one of those three out of 100 people who've actually finished a first draft. Once you've done that, what you're going to dio is you're gonna rewrite. You're gonna go through several drafts, you're gonna polish it, and then you're gonna put together a query letter. You'll do a bit of research because you want to get an agent and, you know, go out and get and get published. And let's face it, by that time, those three people are probably down to two people. So now we're down to two out of Now, of those people who go and query agents, agents are going to reject 96% of the submissions that they get 96%. So that means of that 2% 96% of them are now binge watching, breaking bad on their cell phone. But let's say you go OK, you know what? That's a step I don't have to take. Like, why would I put myself out there just to get slammed? I'm gonna forgo the traditional publishing route, and I'm gonna self published because there is a thriving indie publishing market out there right now. So you might decide that's what I'm going to dio. I bet you know where this is going. Most self published books and I mean almost all of them so actually considerably under ah, 150 copies. And to think of how many books that is in 2015 that was over 600,000 self published books and of those 150 copies. Let's be honest. Most of them are probably sold to family and friends who really do promise you that they are going to find the time to sit down and read it all the way to the end. But you know how that goes. And probably, you know, there are a lot of boxes of those books under your bed and in the closet and in the garage and in the attic and in the basement. So I think now it's time for a deep cleansing breath because you do not want to fall into that group. But the question is OK, so what do you dio to become one of those successful few who actually make it. And the answer is by creating a story that delivers what our brain is hard wired to crave, to hunt for and to respond. Teoh in every story that we encounter, And the surprising thing is, it's not what we think it is, and that is something that really surprised me. Now you may have heard. I'm sure your writers you've probably heard this, that if you want to write, you should read a lot, and that is a good idea. But they also say you should read a lot of really good books because that's gonna teach you how to write and talk a little bit later. Why that might actually lead you a stray. But everything I learned about story and writing came from reading that 96% of books that get rejected because I have spent my career working with writers and with manuscript in publishing as a literary agent, I read books to film for the William Morris Agency and Warner Brothers, and in that time I have read thousands of manuscripts, and it wasn't enough for me simply to go. This one is great. I think we should go with it or this one is really bad. We definitely need to pass. I had to say Why? Why is this working? And why aren't these other 96% Why don't they work? And what I discovered was was that the reason those manuscripts failed had absolutely nothing to do with what I had been taught, mattered. It had nothing to do with the beautiful writing. And it had nothing to do with the plot rip roaring plot. It had to do with a story itself. And that's what we're going to dive into. By the end of this course, you will have the tools to create a riveting story step by step from the inside out. But it's one thing to have the tools, and it's another thing to actually be ableto well, them. And so what is this gonna give you as a writer? What are you gonna walk away with? How will this change? How you approach writing and the process And there three things. Three, as they say in the business world, three delivery bubbles that this will leave you with and the first is this will drastically cut down on the amount of time that you are going to spend rewriting. The second thing that you'll get is it will make you a more confident writer because you are going to know where you're going right out of the starting gate. You're going to know what your point is you're gonna know you're headed for. You're going to know what the context is so that you can write forward with confidence. Writers will often go. No, no, no. I don't want to do that. I just want to unleash my creativity and see where it takes me and where it usually takes. You is right over a cliff because, as the great philosopher Seneca said, Ah, couple of millennia ago, he said, if a sailor does not know to what port she is steering, no wind is favourable To harden others, you have no idea where you're going. You get to that place where most writers have gotten where you go, what happens next. I have no idea, because here is the thing. Creativity needs a leash. Creativity needs context. Context is what gives meaning. Creativity without context is like a £2 Jara peanut butter. Without the jar, it just gets all over everywhere And at the end of the day that you know, there's really nothing you can do except get out one of those big giant industrial hoses and holds it all down and, you know, declare it a miss, try and have a page one rewrite. So the second thing is going to give you is it will make you a more confident writer right out of the starting gate. The third thing that you'll get is it will make whatever you're writing now, Deeper, richer, more of a page Turner more able to do what all stories are meant to do, which is change how your readers sees the world. Now, we're not going to do this, though, by doing general random exercises so that you've got all of these techniques and now you can write a story. We are actually going to be working on your story throughout this class because each action step that we take is going to build on the one that came before it. But before we can start that there, two things always get the numbers one or two things. Two fingers do things that we're gonna have to talk about first and the first thing is we want to bust the writing myth that's probably been holding you back all this time. And once we've done that, that we want to dive into. Okay, well, then what is a story if it's story that pulls us in? If we're wired for story, what are we talking about? What really is grabbing us when we read that first sentence?