Story Trumps Structure

Story Trumps Structure

How to Write Unforgettable Fiction by Breaking the Rules

Book - 2014 | 1st ed.
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Don't limit your fiction - LIBERATE IT

All too often, following the "rules" of writing can constrict rather than inspire you. With Story Trumps Structure , you can shed those rules - about three-act structure, rising action, outlining, and more - to craft your most powerful, emotional, and gripping stories.

Award-winning novelist Steven James explains how to trust the narrative process to make your story believable, compelling, and engaging, and debunks the common myths that hold writers back from creating their best work.

Ditch your outline and learn to write organically. Set up promises for readers - and deliver on them. Discover how to craft a satisfying climax. Master the subtleties of characterization. Add mind-blowing twists to your fiction.

When you focus on what lies at the heart of story - tension, desire, crisis, escalation, struggle, discovery - rather than plot templates and formulas, you'll begin to break out of the box and write fiction that resonates with your readers. Story Trumps Structure will transform the way you think about stories and the way you write them, forever.

Publisher: Cincinnati, Ohio : Writer's Digest Books, c2014.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781599636511
Branch Call Number: 808.3 JAMES
Characteristics: 297 p. : ill. ; 22 cm

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squib Mar 30, 2017

A guide to writing that dives into familiar territory with clearly a different vision.

Although the definition of story is pretty limited (call it a guide to popular fiction, rather than mythology, teaching tales, journalling, etc), some of the lists of ways to accomplish things are limited bu... Read More »


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katsmit1
Nov 08, 2017

This book is a good guide for those who do want to explore writing and alternatives to the detailed plot plan. A lot of what was said resonated, and I realized I am already an 'organic' writer, and this style does work. Is it for everyone? Perhaps not, but that is the beauty in writing—explore the styles and use what works best for you.
This guide does seem to focus on and uses mostly examples from thriller/crime style novels which is one draw back if that is not your genre, however there is still a lot of that can apply to any genre of writing as many of the premises are the same.
It's well organized and a relatively quick read that covers most of the important aspects of a well crafted story. If you are a new writer or are looking for some fresh ideas on how to tackle writing a full length novel (maybe the plot outlining method is not for you), this is worth a read.

squib Mar 30, 2017

A guide to writing that dives into familiar territory with clearly a different vision.

Although the definition of story is pretty limited (call it a guide to popular fiction, rather than mythology, teaching tales, journalling, etc), some of the lists of ways to accomplish things are limited but helpful (like the four things your opening needs to do), there is plenty of novelty in the approach that really bears consideration.

Eschew the outline? Right. Get rid of it altogether. (I know, blasphemy).
Character-drive or plot-driven? (hint: neither).

It's all about building tension, expectation, and payoff in a way that we've come to expect, and to demand from our stories. A quick read, and a better starting point than a lot of the books on writing I've encountered over the years.

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