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How to Fulfill Reader's Expectations

via CreativeLive


We’re hardwired to come to every story tacitly asking one question: what am I going to learn that will help me make it through the night? We’re looking for inside intel on how to best navigate the unpredictable, scary, beautiful world we live in. As a result, there’s a set of specific unconscious expectations readers have for every story — expectations that have nothing to do with the surface plot or how beautifully the story is written. By decoding your reader’s hardwired expectations – and how to meet them -- you’ll be able to create a story that will rivet readers from the very first sentence.

In this session you’ll learn:

  • The truth about the writing myths that are holding you back, and why story trumps beautiful writing every time.
  • What it is that actually hooks and holds readers, and how to create the underlying foundation from which a riveting story organically springs.
  • One by one, the specific expectations that readers bring to every story, which together create a set of guidelines that will help you keep your story on track.
  • Why, as a storyteller, you are one of the most powerful people on the planet.


  • Class Introduction
  • What We Are Not Wired To Expect
  • How Story and the Brain Evolved
  • The Story Will Make a Point
  • An External Problem Will Trigger an Internal Change
  • A Glimpse of the Big Picture
  • A Protagonist – Someone to Root for
  • The Protagonist Will be Vulnerable
  • The Protagonist Will have a Past
  • The Protagonist Will Enter Wanting Something
  • The Protagonist Will Enter with a Defining Misbelief
  • The Reader Expects to Feel Something, Always
  • The Protagonist Will Struggle to Make Sense of Everything
  • Everything the Protagonist Does Makes the Problem Worse
  • Everything is There on a Need-to-Know Basis
  • The Protagonist Will Emerge with New Eyes

Taught by

Lisa Cron


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