Surprise makes brains happy

Today on my weekly visit to Powell’s I bought a copy of Spunk & Bite: a writer’s guide to bold contemporary style by Arthur Plotnik. It’s a charming companion to Strunk & White that examines modern style and how to break the rules effectively. I recommend this book to writers that are seeking advice on how to punch up their fiction without creating a mess.

In one of the first chapters I found an interesting tidbit about the nucleus accumbens, the brain’s pleasure center. Research shows that unpredictable stimuli excites the nucleus accumbens, whereas expected stimuli elicit no response. Which basically means that the human brain enjoys surprise. No big revelation there. But it is useful for writers to keep in mind.

I am a huge supporter of the unpredictable. Bizarro fiction takes risks and sparks imagination. This fiction is scientifically proven to make your brain happy!

That said, check out the latest releases over on BizarroCentral.com