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May 29, 2018

The Best of ‘The Writer’s Brain’ Part Three: Storytelling

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.

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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, 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

The Show Notes: