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Story Architecture Meets Tracking Wonder

treehouseWhen Jonah Berger was a teenager,

his grandmother gave him a copy of Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point (2000). The book tells the story about how ideas become influential. The young Berger relished the intellectual journey Gladwell took him on. He was hooked.

Haven’t you read a book and thought, “How did he do that? How did he cast that spell on me? I want to do that!” 

Berger did what any smart business artist does: He studied The Tipping Point with wild abandon like an apprentice before his master to break down Gladwell’s craft and figure out how he cast the spell he did on his readers.

True, Berger was irritated by what he considered to be lacking in science and set out to to some day top Gladwell’s The Tipping Point in his own book thirteen years later, Contagious: Why Ideas Catch On (2013).

But Berger learned from the master author the art of Story and something more.

Stories elicit our emotions and imaginations not just our intellects. As a consequence, we’re more likely to respond at a near-unconscious level to a story, more likely to remember an idea conveyed through story, and more likely to share it with others.

But there is a higher art of story called Story Architecture.

It’s a talent that anyone can learn. Almost everyone intuits what Story Architecture is the way we intuit what building architecture is but few people other than authors, actors, playwrights, screenwriters, and other people involved in film and entertainment fully understand how to finesse it.

Still, thought leaders and conversation leaders such as the Heaths, Gladwell, Berger, Dan Pink, Brene Brown, Seth Godin, and Arianna Huffington learn Story Architecture.

Story Architecture for trade nonfiction books involves artful sequencing + layering to create a captivating and elevating experience for an audience.

And at the heart of truly memorable and moving Story Architecture is wonder.

Not surprisingly, Berger and his team discovered that the most contagious New York Times articles evoked one key emotion in readers: Awe. Awe’s more discreet cousin wonder has many faces, and a thought leader or conversation leader can learn how the Faces of Wonder serve as emotional punctuation in any story or presentation. That’s another layer to Story Architecture I include.

You can’t fake it. You have to feel it.

Imagine being in a place that lights you up again with the love of learning toward the aim of making you an authentic Story Architect emboldened with self-knowledge and craft knowledge, industry knowledge and universal knowledge you can feel in your bones.

All while tracking wonder – the cognitive framework that trips the traps of rigid thinking.

Check out what we’re up to over here at Your Brave New Story and join us.

If you’ve ever felt that gee-whiz “How did she do that? I wish I could do that!”, then remember: You can do that. You can learn how. So much is possible.

Thanks for running with me,



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