How brain science can make you a better writer | Poynter ::again, real storytelling as the new journalism::


That’s why traditional news articles with their passive verb forms, collective nouns (“officials said”) and clichés have so little impact on readers. Flabby prose turns off readers because it doesn’t turn on the brain. Neuroscience shows how carefully chosen words and the tools of storytelling activate parts of the brain other than those that process language to make reading a deep, resonant and lasting experience.

Based on these findings, we can take advantage of this three-pound organ with its 86 billion nerve cells to enrich our writing. Here are five ways:

  • Create scenes.
  • Dig for details.
  • Choose vivid action verbs.
  • Avoid passive verb forms.
  • Cultivate a “a nose for story.”
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