How To Tell A Story by Peter Rubie and Gary Provost

Pros: A beautifully simple guide to storytelling for both beginners and veterans.

Cons: Out of print! There are used copies floating around though.

Thoughts: Takes a wonderful character-centric approach to story structure. As most storytellers (should) know, plot is not defined by arbitrary events but utlimately comes down to conflicts between characters. This emphasis on characters driving structure throughout How To Tell A Story, is great.

I had never heard of direct vs. indirect narrative before reading this book.

The “Gary Provost paragraph” is another small treat.

Summary: I wish I had read this first.

 

Table of Contents:

Foreward vi

Introduction 1

ONE – IDEAS 12

TWO – UNDERSTANDING GENRES 25

THREE – HOOKS 47

FOUR – PLOTTING 60

FIVE – CHARACTERS 72

SIX – GOALS 95

SEVEN – WRITING IN SCENES 104

EIGHT – SYSTEMS AND THE STATUS QUO 118

NINE – CONFLICT 126

TEN – THEME AND SUBPLOT 144

ELEVEN – PACE 165

TWELVE – STRUCTURE AND REWRITING 182

THIRTEEN – FOURTEEN STEPS TO WRITING YOUR STORY 194

APPENDIX – WRITING A BOOK PROPOSAL 200

Index – 231

 

How To Tell A Story on Amazon.com

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