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May 22, 2018

The Best of ‘The Writer’s Brain’ Part Two: Empathy

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 how great writing creates an emotional response in readers?

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 Two 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 empathy from a scientific standpoint and shed light on the darker corners of how writers can tap into the hopes, dreams, and fears of readers.

If you missed The Best of ‘The Writer s Brain’ Part One: Creativity you can find it on writerfiles.fm, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

In this file Michael Grybko and I discuss:

  • How science is changing our definition of empathy
  • What actors and doctors have in common with writers
  • How to resist the dark side of empathy
  • The difference between good storytelling and great storytelling
  • How marketers tap into well-worn paths in our brains
  • The key to empathizing with your readers
  • Why great content starts with the desire to help people

The Show Notes: