Key Books for Storytelling (That we love)
Recommended reading for mastering the art of storytelling.
Why Storytelling is so Powerful
The Intelligence Paradox
Discussion of the Savanah Principal which contends that that humans are not good at coping with things not found in the ancestral environment, and that stories are a key way we learn new information.
Start With Why
A journey into how the limbic system processes information and what this means for changing hearts and minds. The author also gave a TEDx talk on the same topic which summarises his core thesis.
Made to Stick
Based on over a decade of research into urban myths, viral stories and effective messages, the authors share what we can do to help our stories stick in the minds of our audience.
Storytelling structure and theory
Save the Cat
An easy, fun read which breaks down the small number of patterns behind almost all movie screenplays, although many of the truths apply far wider than just the big screen.
The Golden Theme
Short book espousing the basic idea that good stories often follow the ‘We are all the same’ arc. A short, quick read which belies its depth and power.
Longer book by the author of The Golden Theme in which he speaks more broadly about powerful story structure.
Advice on telling effective stories
The New York Times bestseller that explains why certain products and ideas become popular. It also contains the lesson of which emotions to use in stories, and what to include to improve your chances of viral success.
Thinking, Fast and Slow
A rather meaty book on how our minds work and the common traps we fall into. A must for any storyteller looking to connect with people in the real world.
Advice on story telling techniques
Into the Woods
Top BBC writer John York breaks down different types of stories and contends that they all come from one overarching myth – the fairytale journey into the woods.
The Anatomy of Story
John Truby is a major movie story theorist and has created his own version of the archetypical narrative, the ‘22 block’ story structure.
Robert McKee is a major figure in the screenwriting community and this is his signature tome. It’s not a quick read, but it is a good one.