“…when you’re listening to someone tell an interesting story, an enormous swath of your brain is being activated.”
According to neuroscience researcher, Jack Gallant on Freakonomics Radio 10/12/16
The key word in that quote is “interesting.” So what makes a story interesting? There are a ton of tips for telling good stories from techniques to the structure. For a much an in-depth discussion on the matter, I’d recommend “Writing Great Fiction: Storytelling Tips and Techniques” by Professor James Hynes.
In it, he explains that good stories evoke realities and ideas connecting the audience with the mind of the author. Good stories engage, connect and transport the reader. It’s the difference between “that book was so good” and “eh, I just couldn’t get into it.”
Engagement is what lights up the brain. That is what we are aiming for when we set about telling a story. Of course not every story will appeal to everyone and that is ok, find your core audience and build on it.