Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Story Is A Promise” as Want to Read:
A Story Is A Promise
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

A Story Is A Promise

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  35 ratings  ·  9 reviews
In A Story Is a Promise, Bill Johnson posits that a well-designed story "promises dramatic fulfillment of our needs." Too often, says Johnson, writers embark on projects without first identifying the dramatic issue that is at the heart of their story. These writers--novelists, playwrights, and, clearly closest to Johnson's heart, screenwriters--would do much better, and sa ...more
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Story Is A Promise, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Story Is A Promise

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 84)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
I actually read the 30th anniversary edition and yes, I got lots out of it, especially in the new section, but where the heck was the copy editor????

I really can't rate it because of the above. A shame. Not that I won't use the book...
Mindy Halleck
Oct 31, 2014 Mindy Halleck rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: writers
Recommended to Mindy by: writers
If you plan on writing a novel or screenplay, read this first: Save yourself years of struggle and grief. Story Is A Promise by Bill Johnson is one of my favorite writing tools. I have 7 books that I call my writing Bibles on my desk and this is one of them. Johnson offers tools for creating vibrant story characters, outlining a novel, and a guide to writing a novel, screenplay, or play, and how to evaluate a manuscript, review a screenplay, and tools to revise a novel. But don't let your educat ...more
Karen Azinger
An excellent book for learning about the importance of THEME in writing screenplays or books. I highly recommend this book by Bill Johnson.
Suzie Quint
This book offers a great perspective on story telling. Highly recommended it.

The full review is at
This is a very focused book with one clear point to make, while applying the point to every aspect of storytelling and story writing. It really brought things into focus for me, regarding where I was missing the key to writing stories. I am eager to apply the guidance and structured analysis that this book provides to one of my story ideas and see if this helps me write an effective story.
The best screenwriting book you've never heard of - that's the way it was described to me by a UCLA instructor, and that's the way I describe it myself.
Don't miss a chance to see Bill Johnson if he's speaking at a screenwriting event ... he's a rare combination of brilliance and common sense.
Carina Burns
I haven't yet finished but a MUST read for any writer of any genre. Simple and it makes sense to me so that I remember his pointers. He aptly begins his book that I was lured into wanting more information.

Explains the promise that a story must make and fulfill. This is a key, valuable focusing device for writers, particularly novelists.

Amrita Skye
good book on the craft of structure
Marioush marked it as to-read
Mar 21, 2015
Louise marked it as to-read
Feb 24, 2015
Edossa Temesgen
Edossa Temesgen marked it as to-read
Nov 05, 2014
Diana marked it as to-read
Oct 08, 2014
Melissa marked it as to-read
Aug 26, 2014
Heather Denigan
Heather Denigan marked it as to-read
Mar 10, 2014
Austin Storm
Austin Storm marked it as to-read
Mar 09, 2014
Fenia marked it as to-read
Feb 24, 2014
Ellie Red
Ellie Red marked it as to-read
Feb 23, 2014
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Bill Johnson and his wife Brenda (Beni) Johnson are the Senior Pastors of Bethel Church in Redding, California. Johnson is a fifth generation pastor.

Johnson was born in Minnesota in 1951 and became a Christian as a young child. Soon after, Johnson read seven books on prayer, which significantly affected his perspective and subsequent ministry.

Bill Johnson and his wife have three children: Eric, Br
More about Bill Johnson...
When Heaven Invades Earth: A Practical Guide to a Life of Miracles The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind: Access to a Life of Miracles Face to Face with God: Transform Your Life with His Daily Presence Strengthen Yourself in the Lord: How to Release the Hidden Power of God in Your Life Dreaming With God

Share This Book