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The Sea We Swim In: How Stories Work in a Data-Driven World

The Sea We Swim In: How Stories Work in a Data-Driven World

by Frank Rose


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A practical guide to "narrative thinking," and why it matters in a world defined by data.

In The Sea We Swim In, Frank Rose leads us to a new understanding of stories and their role in our lives. For decades, experts from many fields—psychologists, economists, advertising and marketing executives—failed to register the power of narrative. Scientists thought stories were frivolous. Economists were knee-deep in theory. Marketers just wanted to cut to the sales pitch. Yet stories, not reasoning, are the key to persuasion.

Whether we’re aware of it or not, stories determine how we view the world and our place in it. That means the tools of professional storytellers—character, world, detail, voice—can unlock a way of thinking that’s ideal for an age in which we don’t passively consume media but actively participate in it. Building on insights from cognitive psychology and neuroscience, Rose shows us how to see the world in narrative terms, not as a thesis to be argued or a pitch to be made but as a story to be told.

Leading brands and top entertainment professionals already understand the vast potential of storytelling. From Warby Parker to Mailchimp to The Walking Dead, Rose explains how they use stories to establish their identity and turn ordinary people into fans—and how you can do the same.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781324003137
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 06/29/2021
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 423,169
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Frank Rose is the author of The Sea We Swim In and The Art of Immersion, a landmark book on tech and narrative. A former contributing editor at Wired and contributing writer at Fortune, he now teaches global business executives as faculty director of Columbia University’s Strategic Storytelling seminar and heads the Digital Dozen awards program at Columbia’s pioneering Digital Storytelling Lab.

Table of Contents

Preface xiii

Part I The Narrative Turn 1

Part II The Elements of Story 23

1 Author 27

2 Audience 45

3 Journey 81

4 Character 101

5 World 113

6 Detail 125

7 Voice 140

8 Platform 169

9 Immersion 189

Part III The Shape of the Future 205

Acknowledgments 243

Notes 247

Index 267

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