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The Main Reason Stories Fall Flat … and What You Can Do About It

The Main Reason Stories Fall Flat … and What You Can Do About It

Kevin Rogers is a guy that gets Story. As a stand-up comic turned copywriter, he has worked with some of the most successful marketers in the world and now focuses his efforts on connecting business owners with copywriters through his company Copy Chief.

I had the privilege of being interviewed by Kevin on his Podcast The Truth About Marketing where we exchanged notes about our separate Hollywood journeys, as well as going deep on some story writing and storytelling tactics. We start sharing about my time as a story editor in Hollywood with Disney and Oliver Stone.

While this may sound like a dream job with endless perks, keep in mind the biggest moment up until that time was when they gave me an LL Bean tote bag to carry around the 20 scripts I had to read every week before defending the most production-worthy stories to Oliver Stone’s team.

My biggest takeaway during that time is that the best stories aren’t always the ones that are most technically accurate regarding the grammar and pros, but the stories with the best ideas that lay underneath.

Before my time defending scripts to Oliver Stone, I thought the best movies were identified by how big the explosions were and how dramatic the actual story was. But in actuality, the more specific the story is, the more universal it becomes. When it comes to story, many people are afraid to be specific because they want to relate to as many people as possible. But in effect, this dilutes the story and makes it impactful to no one. As the saying goes, you can’t be everything to everybody.

In that vein, the power of Story comes from the specificity of the story, and that’s where the universality comes from as well.  We cover the topic of specificity and more on this episode. As well as…

  • The ONE thing likely missing from your tale that’s killing your connection with your ideal customer.
  • The single biggest question you absolutely must answer before you even think about writing your story… and it’s got nothing to do with your “hook” or “writing chops.”
  • The “something’s gotta happen” tactic to catapulting your story from “dull n’ dreary” to rolicking tale your audience never forgets —even if you’ve never told a story before.
  • Why I bolted from the Hollywood life despite working with big time players… and the ONE thing I wish I did different. (If you’re feeling “out of place” at your current gig… you’ll want to hear this.)
  • The “locksmith” trick to getting your client so invested in your work they’ll even fight for you when someone wants to change it… even if you barely know your client right now.

Listen to Episode 131: Marc Gutman - Better Storytelling..

https://copychief.com/ep-131-marc-gutman/

Just like the Hollywood story editor with 20 scripts to read through weekly, your story has many filters to get through before grabbing the attention of your customer.  The market is fragmented and it is harder than ever to resonate with a reader across the numerous mediums, platforms, and devices now at our fingertips.

I would love to learn more about your Story and help you make it amazing as well as accomplish the goals that you have in mind.  There is no bad story, but learning to tell it with authenticity and in a way that captivates your audience is where the magic happens.

Let’s set up a time to chat!

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The Power of Your Business Story Can Add More Profit to Your Bottom Line Than Any Other Asset...

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Use the same framework Hollywood uses to create BILLIONS in revenue (BE CAUTIONED - You'll never watch movies the same again)

Your Business…The Hero?

Your Business…The Hero?

I just had the chance to get interviewed on the Digital Agency Show Podcast by my good friend Brent Weaver and talk about two of my favorite things – adventure & storytelling.

 

My philosophy has always been to get in the middle of where you want to be and then figure it out.  Through persistence and hustle delivering films on the Disney lot, I eventually found my way to my dream job, working for Academy Award winning director Oliver Stone.

As a story editor, I experienced a crash course on story and I learned an important lesson on authenticity.  A big lesson was learned during the success of the movie American Pie (written by a classmate of mine) and I couldn’t understand how a “cheesy movie” had become the darling of Hollywood when I was striving to write what I thought was powerful and meaningful work.  But what I realized was, the storyteller was writing about what he knew, his life experiences and this created a clear path to success. **So, the movie isn’t “cheesy”, it’s authentic and universal. Much cooler than my so called “important topics”.

If you remember, Oliver Stone became famous for his amazing movie, Platoon. Platoon is based on his own personal experience serving the military in Vietnam.

Translating this to business we are in an incredible time.  People, your customers and prospects can easily find the ideal partner for whatever problem they may have. “Ideal” immediately implies you can do the job, but going deeper than that it means we can find people to work with that are like us. That have the same values. That have a story that supports our needs. No longer do we just have to work with the company that has the biggest ad budget or best name recognition. We are in the age of niche and specialization. We are in the age of personalization.  Our customers and prospects crave this connection. They expect it.  To meet their expectations, we need to have a true and authentic story.  Universally, we all want to work with real people who can be bigger than themselves and together we can create a story that is bigger than the sum of the parts.

I love to serve entrepreneurs who are stuck by showing them the power of story to transform their business. If you’ve ever wanted to understand the art of storytelling and how it affects your business you’ll want to check out this episode.  I give some practical tips on how to get started or improve your story, brand, and your business.

Here’s what we cover in this episode.

  • What it means to “write what you know” and why it’s so important to be specific when describing your life experience.
  • Thoughts on how to create an ongoing relationship with people to get them coming back again and again.
  • Where a story should show up in your business and how you can leverage the power of storytelling in your marketing and sales.
  • The form (not formula) that you can use to put your story together.
  • Tips on connecting with the right audience.
  • Why journaling from your customer’s point of view can be an enlightening exercise.
  • The importance of developing a “move to action” as the first step toward creating your story.

I’d love to learn your story and help you get new clients by telling it.  

Let’s set up a time to chat!

 

Looking to Transform Your Business?

 

The Power of Your Business Story Can Add More Profit to Your Bottom Line Than Any Other Asset...

Download Our
Free Snapstory Guide

Use the same framework Hollywood uses to create BILLIONS in revenue (BE CAUTIONED - You'll never watch movies the same again)

What Do Your Business, Your Employees, and Your Customers Believe In? – Business Belief Statement

What Do Your Business, Your Employees, and Your Customers Believe In? – Business Belief Statement

“Are you beige or are you someone or a company I can some of myself in? Is this for me?”

 

That is the first, subconscious question your customers and prospects are trying to answer in the moment it takes to draw in a breath.  It’s the question we all try to answer for just about everything in our lives.

The simple fact is that people across this globe want something to believe in. Brett Michaels was right about that for sure! Look at our thirst for sports in this country. We want, no we need to believe in something. The Detroit Lions (I’m afflicted), the UM Wolverines, and whatever your favorite team is. We need to be in a stadium of 70,000 other people who believe in what we believe. It inherently feels right — because it’s a basic human need.

Look at our recent political climate. No matter what your belief system you’ve most likely taken a side and will fight vehemently for your point of view.  The list goes on an on.

 

Genetically as human beings we need to believe. We need to cherish, watch, love, and hope whatever it is we believe in.

If this is such a dominant force in our genetic make up, doesn’t it make sense that this should apply to our businesses, products, and services too? Doesn’t it make sense that our customers and prospects want to believe in us? Who we are? What we stand for? So they can see some of themselves in us, our products, and services and make the decision to join our tribe. To vote for our mutual beliefs with their budget? With their precious dollars?

In our WILDSTORY intensive we have a module called Plant Your Flag and what Plant Your Flag is all about is really declaring who you are and who you aren’t  – as both a company and a leader.  A  great way to do this is to write and record a belief statement.

It’s a very simple exercise. Start with the prompt “I believe…”, The idea is to really make a stand, let us know who you are and who you aren’t.  Let us know who you are fighting for and who you are fighting against.

In our previous manifesto post, we talked about how if you want to stand for something you can’t stand for everything.

The best way to build a story that matters, a story that spreads and leaves an impact that your customers remember is to commit to this simple but so difficult trade off. The notion that anyone can be our customer and we will get you whatever you want is always a road to nowhere. No customers, no growth, no business.

So, the trick is to start writing out what you believe.  You can even use your iPhone, hit record, and just start riffing. Inevitably what’s going to happen is the more and more you say  “I believe…” the more you’re going to scratch past the surface, get deeper and really find out what you do stand for. Don’t edit yourself. Let it fly unfiltered.  You can always go back and edit the recording.

The way I did mine was to write first, then read and record via quicktime and then imported it into Garage Band to lay some music on it.

You can post the recording to your employees and this Belief Statement works equally well for either your own personal stance or internally. Whenever I listen to this, it gets me all fired up. The bounce in my step returns and I really believe in what I’m hearing.

 

Tell me what you believe. I want to hear your belief statement. Go ahead and send me any of your ideas or your belief statements to marc@wildstory.com and I’d love to post them on the blog with your permission. So please go ahead and share your belief statements.

What do you stand for? What do you believe?

 

Looking to Transform Your Business?

 

The Power of Your Business Story Can Add More Profit to Your Bottom Line Than Any Other Asset...

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Use the same framework Hollywood uses to create BILLIONS in revenue (BE CAUTIONED - You'll never watch movies the same again)

Am I Telling a Narrative or a Business Story?

Am I Telling a Narrative or a Business Story?

A common mistake is to assume everything is a story.  A story is a series of episodic, influential, connected events that changes a person’s life.  More simply put, a story is a journey.  And a journey has conflict and energy and obstacles and stakes and things that create a struggle between the dynamic positive and negative changes of life! We will break down this definition in a later post but let’s assume for the sake of our discussion here this definition is in deed accurate. The key point to understand here is that a story revolves around change. Positive change and negative change. If there’s no change, there’s no story. If you’re not telling or hearing a story then you are most likely experiencing a narrative. All stories have narratives but all narratives are not a story.

If you’re not telling or hearing a story then you are most likely experiencing a narrative. All stories have narratives but all narratives are not a story.

A story follows a very specific form and structure and so a lot of times when someone says, “tell me the story of your company” the other person begin to immediately throw-up and rattle off a lot of different things. Reciting your org chart to someone who asks that question is a narrative. “Well, we have a CEO. He oversees the CMO, the CTO, the CIO, the CFO.” Describing how your assembly line process and works is a narrative. Story is not a list of things in you life. Here’s another example. Imagine someone asked me to tell them the story of the United States of America.  I start off by telling them about our Presidents. “We started the country with our first President George Washington then there was John Adams, then Thomas Jefferson, moved into JFK, then we there was George Bush, moved into Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and then we finished with Donald Trump”.   That is not a story.   That is a list. That’s not the story of America. That’s a narrative. It’s very common to mistake chronology as a story but instead is a narrative. A good way to spot a “chronology narrative” is when someone is consistently saying, “and then”, in their story. So for example today I got up, and then I had coffee, and then I went to yoga and then I came home and then I wrote this blog post and then I took the kids out to the Boulder Creek Fest. That is not a story. That is a narrative. Your resume is also a narrative and not a story. “Hey, I worked at this tech company. Then I worked for Oliver Stone. Then I worked for 20th Century Fox. Then I worked over at WILDSTORY. Then I started WILDSTORY. “ Again, that’s a narrative and not a story.

Remember, a story is a journey. And a journey has conflict and energy and obstacles and stakes and things that create a struggle between the dynamic positive and negative changes in life.

Do any of these narrative examples fit that description? No they do not. One of the problems with story is we all think we can tell great stories. And here’s the conundrum. We can. We have the ability. Most of us were amazing storytellers as children but have lost the skill of storytelling as we move into business communications and marketing jargon. We all have the ability to tell electric, life changing stories but it is also important to understand the craft and form of storytelling to maximize its effect in our businesses. When I was working for Oliver Stone, as a story editor we used to get hundreds of scripts a week submitted for consideration. Turns out  everyone who has seen a movie in their life assumes that they can write a movie. 99% of these scripts and stories were no good. And the simple reason is not the story they chose to tell, but how they told it.  First rule in storytelling is to tell something personal, something you know — and they all did this. Usually some sort of life story. But…these aspiring storytellers never studied the craft and the skill and the structure of a great story. So ultimately their script would fall flat and be rejected. I’ve had the experience of reading thousands of bad stories as well as hundreds of great ones. I hope that now you’ll notice the differentiation between story and narrative in your business storytelling. Some tips to make sure your business story isn’t turning into a narrative:

  1. Story has a beginning, middle, and end.
  2. Make sure there’s a protagonist or hero.  And often it’s you when it should be your customer.
  3. Create empathy by developing a human connection.  Empathy means “like me”.
  4. There’s no drama.  Everything is connected in a causal sequence.
  5. Create suspense by not summarizing everything. Let it unfold naturally.
  6. Create clear stakes. What happens if this plan doesn’t work out? What happens if it does?
  7. Create emotion by understanding your audience and what matters to them.
  8. Create a “move to action”, what do you want your audience to do after hearing your story? What is your story about?

Have questions about narrative vs story? Let’s start the conversation by leaving your comments below.

Looking to Transform Your Business?

 

The Power of Your Business Story Can Add More Profit to Your Bottom Line Than Any Other Asset...

Download Our
Free Snapstory Guide

Use the same framework Hollywood uses to create BILLIONS in revenue (BE CAUTIONED - You'll never watch movies the same again)

Top 13 Books for Business Storytelling

Top 13 Books for Business Storytelling

Top 13 Books for Business Storytelling

 

“What are the best books on storytelling for my business?”  OR “I’m discovering how powerful storytelling can be for my business, but I want to learn more. What books should I read?” I’ve been hearing these questions more and more.  The challenge with recommending books always comes back to a question of my own, “What do you want to know about story? The science, the structure, what stories to tell, how to tell a great story, how to use them in your business, etc?”  The study and practice of story is a science, art, craft, and passion. Just like if I asked my favorite musician to recommend the best books on music, I’m sure they’d have a list of their own questions and a laundry list of books to recommend. I am approaching this list to include what I think would be a well rounded list of getting anyone up to speed and schooled up to a story pro.  This is what I would personally recommend and why — in no particular order:

1. The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell

 

It all starts here, with Joseph Campbell and The Hero with a Thousand Faces. First published in 1949, Campbell was the first to identify the concept of the mono-myth and mythic structure of stories.  Anyone that has ever heard of the Hero’s Journey has this book to thank. It’s a foundational text that I consider the modern day “bible” for storytellers.  If you’re a story nerd this is a must read. But I warn you – it’s a dry read. After reading I thought to myself “Well, now I can say I read that…but it didn’t change my world.”  If you are a Star Wars fan, thank Campbell as George Lucas has cited Campbell’s influence on the Star Wars films. That movie follows Campbell’s Hero’s Journey almost to a T. Campbell’s theories and ideas are much better relayed into modern times in the books by Margaret Mark and Carol S. Pearson described below. If you’re short on time, read those. If you have to notch the master’s books off your list like I do, start here.

 

Why do I want to read this?: You are the type of person who needs to know where it all began and appreciates foundational works and insights. You want to be able to brag to your friends while sipping craft beer or kombucha out of a mason jar that you’ve read Joseph Campbell and find him to be the grandfather of modern storytelling. This also will make you feel like you’re back in college taking a semester of Joseph Campbell – which is like having a Delorean time machine in a way.

 

2. The Hero & The Outlaw by Margaret Mark & Carol S. Pearson

 

A deep dive on archetypes is one of the most overlooked areas of “story” study and books. For some reason, most people think archetypes are specific to branding.  However, the idea of applying archetypes was popularized by Joseph Campbell in The Hero with A Thousand Faces as they apply to stories. Whenever, we start to build out story campaigns we start with archetypes – it’s akin to setting the genre and world of your movie.  I want to know, am I going to see a comedy, action-adventure, 

 

romantic comedy, etc? Just by setting the stage I am prepared to accept the format of these genres. Your business audience is looking for the same thing – to know what to expect so they can received your message. The Hero and the Outlaw by Margaret Mark & Carol S Pearson is pretty much THE authority on the topic of using archetypes in modern day messaging. I think Margaret Mark & Carol S. Pearson have crushed it on this topic. Looking to go to level two on archetypes? Also check out Awakening The Heroes Within by Carol S. Pearson.

Why do I want to read this?: You are looking for the definitive source on archetypes, what they mean, and how to apply them to your marketing or branding.  This is akin to identifying your genre or world in storytelling. You can’t tell a good story unless you know either of these. If you want to make one immediate, impactful change to your marketing archetypes are the best place to start.

3. STORY by Robert McKee

 

If you’ve been a screenwriter in the last 30 years you know who McKee is – and you probably owe him your career. McKee is known as a screenwriting teacher and guru. He has long taught in person seminars on screenwriting and story structure long before this info was commonly available on the internet.  McKee loves to go deep on story structure, breaking it down to the parts of parts.  I was lucky enough to study with him in my screenwriting days. And most recently, McKee is applying his screenwriting story techniques to the business world.  I was fortunate to spend a day with him a couple of weeks ago in New York City in a class on storytelling for business. Another book that gets geeky on story structure.  Great for an overview of understanding the nuances of what drives a story and how a story should turn.  A word of caution though – this stuff may become a bit overwhelming. I recently presented on these structure techniques with McKee’s exact charts and I think I left everyone more confused than not. But if you like to go deep, the teachings are pure gold.

Why do I want to read this?: You are movie lover or film buff. Or you’ve always dreamed yourself as a screenwriter. This is not just for screenwriters only howvever. If you want to nerd out on story structure and get an inside look on how Hollywood tells a story read this. I keep a copy of this near my desk at all times and reference it often.

4. Wired For Story by Lisa Cron

 

When applying story to our businesses knowing that we connect emotionally is great but we also want to know WHY story is the #1 communication tool in our arsenal.  Lisa Cron has written a text that covers this topic without being dry or putting me to sleep. She does a great job of explaining WHY the brain craves story and how to keep readers “hooked” from the very first word.  She stresses that while beatiful prose and metaphors are fun, those are not the components of your story that are hooking your audience. Spoiler alert: It all comes down to structure. 

 

Why do I want to read this?: You need to know the science and process behind why story resonates with the brain. You are looking for step by step processes and guidelines to sharpen your storytelling skills.

5. Story Proof by Kendall Haven

 

Another scientific deep dive into the science of story.  This book is both fascinating and probably the toughest to read on this list. Caution, do not read before bed and make sure you have a strong cup of coffee at your side. It’s very technical but it’s the information inside that we’re after.  Haven goes into intricate detail on the effects stories have on the brain. Once we understand these effects it’s clear how we can apply this to our business and business stories for maximum results (and profits!) Haven’s research validates the importance of story, story reading, and storytelling to the brain development and education of children and adults. Haven goes deep on the topics of neural psychology and brain development and the value of a common definition of story if one is to fully grasp the importance and necessity of story to the development of the human mind. Go get it! 

 

Why do I want to read this?: You love Bill Nye the Science Guy and all things science.  If you don’t have every scientific proof point you’re not satisfied.  Well this will satsify you and then some.  This is a research driven book and if you are all about the data – this is your book.

 

6. Tell to Win by Peter Guber

 

You may not think you know the name Peter Guber but you know his work. Guber is the mega producer behind such hits as Rain Man, Gorillas In the Mist, Batman, Flashdance, Basic Instinct, A Few Good Men, The Witches of Eastwick. His producing credits are too numerous to list. He’s a co-owner of the Golden State Warriors and the LA Dodgers. He ‘s a professor at UCLA in the film and theater department. Simply put, Guber is one of the world’s best storytellers.  In this book Guber quite succinctly points out that “If you can’t tell it, you can’t sell it!” And Guber promises to show you how to do both in his book. He focuses on what he calls “purposeful storytelling” to win over, shape, motivate, and sell.  This guy knows what he is talking about. Plus the cover testimonial is from President Bill Clinton. Say what?

 

 

Why do I want to read this?: You want to learn insights from one of the greatest storytellers of our time while at the same time relating it to movies and being entertained. You want your book to cover some theory, but not too much.

 

7. Resonate by Nancy Duarte

 

If I were only going to recommend one book to anyone this would probably be it? Why is it buried at number 7? Because I don’t want everyone catching on and finding out the source of some of my best secrets!  I think this might be the most underrated book because of its visual nature and simplicity of presenting complex ideas – but I assure you – it’s pure gold. I actually discounted it when I first ordered it because it looked so pretty! But Duarte doesn’t waste any type – everything in the book is useable and applicable to your business. Resonate is the prequel to her other book, Slide-ology and is a brilliant primer on business storytelling. Duarte’s expertise is in presentations and talks so predictably this book does focus on that. However, these teaches can be extrapolated into all areas of your business storytelling.

Why do I want to read this?: You are ready to step into learning all about story AND applying to real life business examples. Or if you have a big upcoming presentation this is a perfect read for you.

8. Significant Objects by Jason Grote

 

Thanks and shout out to my buddy Russel L for turning me on to this book.  I know what you’re saying, “stories are great Marc but what are they WORTH to my business?”  Significant Objects will answer that question for you in a fun, page turning way.   This is a fun book on how narrative can greatly increase the value of anything (in this case it was insignificant objects).  The premise is simple. Two researchers wanted to understand the value (in actual dollars) that stories have on buyers. So they set out to recruit a highly impressive crew of creative writers to invent stories about an unimpressive menagerie of items rescued from thrift stores and yard sales. The results? An incredible 2700% increase in value!

 

Why do I want to read this?: You love creative writing and stories and want to see what stories created the most value for these objects.  The data basically contained in my synopsis above. The rest of the book are the actual stories and the starting value and ending sale price of each object.  Love this book but for most people you probably don’t need to read.

 

9. Descartes’ Error by Antonio Damasio

 

This book starts with the famous idea of “I think, therefore I am” and delves into the scientific study of how memory and emotion work — which it turns out is key in understanding why a story should be used (to tag memories with an emotional charge). Damasio, “one of the world’™s leading neurologists” (The New York Times) challenges traditional ideas about the connection between emotions and rationality. In this surprisingly engaging book, Damasio takes us on a journey of scientific discovery through a series of case studies, demonstrating what many of us have long suspected: emotions are not a luxury, they are essential to rational thinking and to normal social behavior.

 

 

 

Why do I want to read this?: You want to understand the connecting between emotion, memories, and storytelling. This book is an engaging read that gets into the psychology of how emtion and memory work. If you like going deep into the workings of the brain without it being too academic this is a good read.

 

10. The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler

 

Vogler is another one of those story “gurus” that has dedicated his life to teaching story.  He takes Joseph Campbell’s work to the next level and translates it into current day understanding.  Vogler cleanly breaks down the Hero’s Journey and maps it to Star Wars which makes it very easy to understand how the Hero’s Journey applies to a modern movie story. If you’re a professional screenwriter, novelist, or writer you most likely havea . copy of this book in your library.

 

 

 

 

 

Why do I want to read this?: You are getting serious about story and story structure. This is a book the “pros” like to reference. Not becasue it’s so complicated or for “pros” only, but it is very complete and thorough as it relates to the Hero’s Journey and structure.  If you’ve wanted to up your game on those topics, this is a good one. I also keep this one by the desk for ongoing reference.

 

11. The Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker

 

A lot of people I talk to become overwhelmed at the idea of writing a story. Booker identifies the most common basic plots (7 of them) that just about every story falls into. Once you understand these seven basic plots it’s easy to reconfigure them for your own needs. Using a wealth of examples, from ancient myths and folk tales via the plays and novels of great literature to the popular movies and TV soap operas of today, it shows that there are seven archetypal themes which recur throughout every kind of storytelling. Booker then takes these findings and goes deeper on the psychology of stories, why many stories have become watered down because they have lost the connection to their archetypal roots, and how stories have affected our psychological development over the past 5000 years.

 

 

 

Why do I want to read this?: You are looking to breakdown your stortelling into more bite size chunks and are looking to understand plots and plot structure. Once mastered, knowing these plots can be applied to your own storytelling thus shortening your time from concept to finished story.

 

12. The Dream Society by Rolf Jensen

 

Jensen elouently describes how the coming shift from an information society to an imagination society will transform your business.  He quickly details the historical evolution from a hunter gatherer society, to agaraian, to industrial, and to industrial. He posits that we are at the sunset of the information society and at the dawn of the imagination or dream society.  This book goes into detail on why those companies that embrace storytelling will win the future while those that don’t will perish.  Great stuff.

 

 

 

 

 

Why do I want to read this?: You are a marketer or interested in getting a jump on the future of marketing.  You are a progressive thinker and embrace the new in your business strategies.  If you’re a futurist and always want to be on the leading edge of new ideas and philosophies this book is for you.

13. Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

 

Saved the best for last. After having both read this book and listened to it on tape I literally laugh out loud when I read the title where it says “A Brief History of Mankind”.  There is nothing “brief” about this book. However, as it covers the complete evolution of homo sapiens it’s understandable that there are some things to cover.  Biggest story takeaway from this book is that stories are essentially what separates homosapiens from every other animal in the kingdom. It’s our ability to manufacture fiction and create things that don’t exist that has resulted in our evolution and progress. When you get into it it’s a real mind blower and one of my favorites. Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas.

 

 

Why do I want to read this?: You are fascinated by human evolution and the concepts of human choice and consiousness blow your mind.  You want to know more about who you are, who we are, and where we may be headed.  If you like challenging previously accepted beliefs and theories on history check this one out.

 

Bonus Section

Fiction Book

What Makes Sammy Run by Budd Schulberg

 

Looking for a fun page turner that is like a fly on the wall in old Hollywood? Here you go. The funny thing is, even though this takes place in the 50s (?) it might as well be today. Nothing has changed.  This book came out to great reviews and was a huge success and continues to be a must read of story lovers and movie afficiandos.  The story is all about the inner workings of screenwriters in Hollywood and the main character, Sammy Glick, is a composite of the archetypal movie producer hustling his way to the top.  Schulberg who wrote the screenplay for On the Waterfront delivers a character study that we just can’t turn away from.

 

 

Movies

 

The Player

 

This is THE movie on how the movie industry works. I must have seen this movie 50 times. Tim Robbins portrayal of the ultimate Hollywood climber is spot on. This is from the great director, Robert Altman. Another bonus, a ton of cool Hollywood cameos throughout this one.

 

 

 

Princess Bride

 

It’s a story within a story and just an awesome movie. It’s the movie that keeps giving and is a true classic. Not sure why it’s on this list other than it’s fantastic. If you haven’t seen it go stream it immediately. Better yet buy it and add it to your collection. You won’t be sorry.

 

 

 

Books Mentioned in Article:

 

Hero and the Outlaw: Building Extraordinary Brands Through the Power of Archetypes, by Margaret Mark & Carol S. Pearson

 

The Hero with a Thousand Faces, by Joseph Campbell

 

Awakening The Heroes Within: Twelve Archetypes to Help Us Find Ourselves and Transform Our World, by Carol S Pearson

 

Story: Style, Structure, Substance, and the Principles of Screenwriting, by Robert McKee

 

Story Proof: The Science Behind the Startling Power of Story, by Kendall Haven

 

Tell to Win: Connect, Persuade, and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story, by Peter Guber

 

Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences, by Nancy Duarte

 

The Dream Society, by Rolf Jensen

 

Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain, by Anthony Damasio

 

Significant Objects, by Jason Grote

 

The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, by Christopher Vogler

 

The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories, by Christopher Booker

 

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, by Yuval Noah Harari

 

What Makes Sammy Run, by Budd Schulberg

 

Movies Mentioned in Article

 

The Player

 

Princess Bride

 

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