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The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller

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John Truby is one of the most respected and sought-after story consultants in the film industry, and his students have gone on to pen some of Hollywood's most successful films, including Sleepless in Seattle, Scream, and ShrekThe Anatomy of Story is his long-awaited first book, and it shares all of his secrets for writing a compelling script. Based on the lessons in his award-winning class, Great Screenwriting, The Anatomy of Story draws on a broad range of philosophy and mythology, offering fresh techniques and insightful anecdotes alongside Truby's own unique approach for how to build an effective, multifaceted narrative. Truby's method for constructing a story is at once insightful and practical, focusing on the hero's moral and emotional growth. As a result, writers will dig deep within and explore their own values and worldviews in order to create an effective story. Writers will come away with an extremely precise set of tools to work with--specific, useful techniques to make the audience care about their characters, and that make their characters grow in meaningful ways. They will construct a surprising plot that is unique to their particular concept, and they will learn how to express a moral vision that can genuinely move an audience.

The foundations of story that Truby lays out are so fundamental they are applicable--and essential--to all writers, from novelists and short-story writers to journalists, memoirists, and writers of narrative non-fiction.

445 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2007

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John Truby

11 books107 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 703 reviews
Profile Image for Wil Wheaton.
Author 89 books198k followers
May 9, 2018
This is an extraordinarily useful guide to understanding why and how stories work. Some writers are just naturally able to know what needs to happen in a story. They innately know what beat needs to happen, when it needs to happen, and -- most importantly -- WHY it needs to happen. These writers make the rest of us look bad, and make us feel like we have no idea what we're doing.

For the rest of us, there is this book, which walks us through things like the steps that every story needs to have in it so a reader can connect to it. It helps us understand WHY we need to show the opponent's plan, even if we're focused on the hero's desires, because that's how we build the story. This book helps us understand how to map the relationships of characters in simple and complex webs, so that everyone we introduce to our audience has a reason to be there, and an internal logic that supports the story as a whole. I read this while I was working on my first novel, and I ended up taking six months off from my writing process, because I was learning so much from this book and I wanted to be able to use that knowledge while I was finishing the first draft. I can unequivocally state that this book make all the difference for me, and helped me take a bunch of ideas and scenes and assemble them into a proper _story_. And it does all of this not just through lectures, but by showing us how classic and popular works of fiction, literature, and film use the 22 steps to form their stories.

This is an incredibly dense book, and that can be intimidating. I say, don't stress about that. Read it with your pen and your highlighter, and make lots of notes. Use sticky tabs, because you're going to end up referring to it over and over again while you work.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
April 30, 2022
The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller, John Truby

John Truby is an American screenwriter, director and screenwriting teacher. The Anatomy of Story is his long-awaited first book, and it shares all of his secrets for writing a compelling script. Based on the lessons in his award-winning class, Great Screenwriting, The Anatomy of Story draws on a broad range of philosophy and mythology, offering fresh techniques and insightful anecdotes alongside Truby's own unique approach for how to build an effective, multifaceted narrative.

Truby's method for constructing a story is at once insightful and practical, focusing on the hero's moral and emotional growth. As a result, writers will dig deep within and explore their own values and worldviews in order to create an effective story.

Writers will come away with an extremely precise set of tools to work with—specific, useful techniques to make the audience care about their characters, and that make their characters grow in meaningful ways. They will construct a surprising plot that is unique to their particular concept, and they will learn how to express a moral vision that can genuinely move an audience.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز سی ام ماه آگوست سال2014میلادی

عنوان: آناتومی داستان: 22گام تا استاد شدن در داستان‌گویی؛ نویسنده: جان تروبی؛ مترجم محمد گذرآبادی؛ تهران نشر ساقی‏‫، سال1392؛ در692ص؛ شابک9786006128511؛ چاپ دیگر تهران: نشر آوند دانش‏‫، سال1394؛ در445ص؛ شابک9786007022368؛ ‬‬‬موضوع قصه گویی و نگارش فیلمنامه از نویسندگان ‬ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده21م

کتاب «آناتومی داستان»، نخستین کتابی است، که «جان تروبی»، همگی اسرار خویش را، برای نگارش فیلمنامه ای قانع کننده، با خوانشگرانش شریک میشود؛ «آناتومی داستان»، با تکیه بر دروس ایشان در کلاس گامهای استاد شدن در فیلمنامه نویسی عالی، طیف گسترده ای از فلسفه و اساطیر را، برای خوانشگران خویش ترسیم میکنند، و تکنیکهای تازه، و حکایات روشنگری را، در کنار رویکرد منحصر به فرد خود «جان تروبی»، برای چگونگی ساخت روایتی مؤثر، و چند وجهی، ارائه میدهند؛ روش «جان تروبی»، برای ساخت یک داستان، روشنگری و تمرکز بر رشد اخلاقی، و عاطفی قهرمان داستان است؛ در نتیجه، نویسندگان، برای ایجاد یک داستان مؤثر، ارزشها، و جهان بینیهای ویژه ی خود را، کشف میکنند؛ ایشان یادآوری میکنند نویسندگان، با مجموعه ای از ابزارهای موشکافانه، برای کار با تکنیکهای ویژه و مفید خود، برای جذب بینشگر و خوانشگر، درباره ی شخصیتهای خود، گاه از آنها دور میشوند، تا باعث شوند: شخصیتهای آنها، به شکلی معنی دار رشد کنند؛ نویسندگان طرحی غافلگیرانه را ایجاد میکنند، که ویژه ی خود آنها است، و آنها یاد میگیرند، چگونه یک دیدگاه اخلاقی را بیان کنند، تا بتوانند واقعاً خوانشگر و بینشگر را، به حرکت درآورند؛ این کتاب در درجه ی نخست برای فیلمنامه نویسی است، ولی ویژگی «تروبی»، و کتابش این است، که تمایز چندانی بین رمان، داستان کوتاه، و نمایشنامه، نمیبینند، و راهکاری یکسان برای آنها ارائه میدهند؛ همانگونه که در سالهای پیشین، استادان داستانگویی نیز، به همین سمت و سو پیش رفته اند؛ «تروبی» چندین مبحث تازه را، برای نخستین بار، در همین کتاب معرفی میکنند؛ برای مثال ایشان مدل نوی را، برای ساختار فیلمنامه ارائه میدهند، که پس از مدل «سه پرده ای»، و «سفر قهرمان»، که دو مدل شناخته شده، در این حوزه هستند، ارائه شده، و مدل «22گام تا استاد شدن» نام گرفته است

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 18/04/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 09/02/1401هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Hannah Greendale.
703 reviews3,275 followers
August 13, 2018
The Anatomy of Story is not your average writing guidebook. What sets it apart is Truby's emphasis on interconnection between characters (specifically how the hero is not as important as how the hero relates to other characters and how those secondary and tertiary characters must be a reflection of some aspect of the hero) and the importance of early story components that are crucial to achieving an arresting, memorable pay-off by the conclusion. He also approaches villains from a different angle than most authors, thereby deepening one's understanding of how to craft a more complex antagonist and/or opponent.

Organizationally, Truby's many layers within layers of storytelling can be challenging to follow, and the final chapters feel hasty, but there's good meat here. Definitely recommend this informative guidebook to writers of film, plays, books and short stories.
Profile Image for A.J..
Author 2 books20 followers
December 19, 2008
It's a bedrock truth of writing that the oldest scam in the game is writing about writing. Most writing books are junk, and the reason they're junk is that they push formula, transforming art to engineering. They reduce everything to archetype and suggest logical, linear approaches to what is in fact an intuitive, iterative process. You get recipes.

No doubt the steady appetite for books pushing writing to formula motivated the misleading subtitle of The Anatomy of Story. But there is no 22 step program to become a master storyteller here. There is a 22-step plot structure, but it concerns only 38 of the book's 445 pages -- and furthermore, some of the steps are treated as disposable. This is not a recipe.

A better subtitle would have advertised the connection of structure and theme, for this is the point that Truby hammers at throughout. Rather than pushing the notion that you should ignore your themes, as so many writing books suggest, Truby insists that all great stories rest on a moral dilemma that is properly expressed through their plot and structure. This is where you connect with an audience: not through characters culled from some list of archetypes, but with a web of characters who all express, in some way, the protagonist's central conflict, which in the best stories is a moral problem.

And this is not simply a screenwriting book. Nothing here is applicable only to the movies. Indeed, Truby draws about half his examples from novels rather than films, considering Ulysses alongside Casablanca. As a book concerned primarily with screenwriting, it ignores the stuff of most books aimed at fiction writers: narration, description, etc., and focuses on what those books tend to gloss over: plot. Consequently, it should be of equal interest to the aspiring novelist.

There is a downside. No doubt with sales in mind, this book keeps one foot firmly in the camp of formula. You get linear steps for iterative processes. This is a particular fault of an early chapter on developing your premise. A little more emphasis on examples that flout formula would have been nice.

A valuable book on writing, worth reading carefully.
Profile Image for Mark O'Bannon.
9 reviews10 followers
July 14, 2010
I've read over 150 books on writing, and I can throw them all away now. This book is, by far, the best book ever written on the subject of how to tell a story.

The book breaks stories down to seven basic steps:
1. Problem/Need - The problem is what the character is dealing with as the story opens. The need comes from the character's weaknesses. The weakness is something that is ruining the character's life. The need comes out of the weakness. The weakness/need is the wellspring of the story.

2. Desire - This is what the character wants. The desire forms the spine of the story (while the need forms the heart of the story). Readers identify with two things in your protagonist: The need and the desire. If your story isn't working, look at the desire line.

3. Opponent - The opponent is the person best able to attack the weakness of the hero. In good stories, there will be one main opponent, and two or more other opponents. Using more than one main opponent will allow you to use advanced techniques, such as showing how your conflict affects the society.

4. Plan - This is the plan used by the hero to overcome the opponent and acquire his/her desire. The plan never works of course. When the plan fails, the hero has to improvise to win.

5. Battle - This is the final conflict between the hero and the antagonist. The battle is the scene that leads to the self-revelation.

6. Self-Revelation - This occurs during the battle scene, and it is an insight about the character's weakness/need. The hero must overcome their weakness to defeat the opponent.

7. New Equilibrium - This is the final scene where the character is shown acting in a new way after having fulfilled his/her need.

John Truby is the Einstein of writers. There are concepts I've struggled to understand for over 10 years which are explained simply in this book.
If you want to write, you need to get this book.

Get the book at his website: http://www.truby.com

Profile Image for PUMPKINHEAD.
41 reviews13 followers
September 21, 2020
All in all, I'd say this book was good. It wasn't great, it wasn't poor, it was just plain good and not much more.

It's a how-to guide basically, for people who want to be writers (particularly screenwriters). There was lots of good advice and insight. The pages are littered with story breakdowns, concepts, and techniques. It dug right into the meat of the matter of storytelling, but to be honest 'Anatomy of a Story' really did come off like more than an autopsy at some points.

And that's the thing... the breakdowns and strategy proved a bit, well... soulless I guess. These kind of books generally come off like a Tony Robinson routine on the page, and this book is no different. The "secrets" of storytelling, and the appropriate "formulas" certainly have merit... and they're also a bit wank at the same time. I was surprised by how much fun (to me at least) was sucked out of the equation when something was examined so closely. I also somehow doubt that my favorite writers adhere to Truby's system when writing a book or screenplay. Or maybe they just do by default. I dunno.

There's a big market selling to "aspiring (insert artist type here)" these days and I felt this book really pandered that. The whole 'become a master storyteller in 22 easy steps' pitch got on my nerves. Maybe success is gained by following templates, but I have a feeling that more is achieved by breaking the mold.

I'm sure this book is a useful tool to have, but probably not the only one you'd want in your toolbox.
Profile Image for Katherine Addison.
Author 16 books2,800 followers
January 12, 2021
I have, first of all, a beef with Mr. Truby. At an early point in the book, he says, literally parenthetically, "I'm going to assume that the main character is male, simply because it's easier for me to write that way" (40). And he does. Throughout the book, he uses the pronoun "he" exclusively---not just for the hero, but also for the writer--- unless he's actually talking about a woman. And it's like, I'm sorry half the human race is INCONVENIENCING YOU BY EXISTING, Mr. Truby, but maybe you could go the extra mile here? Also, in talking about The African Queen, a story with two heroes, he is plainly only talking about Humphrey Bogart. Katharine Hepburn is so much chopped liver. So it's NOT just, This is easier for me. It's, Hi, I'm trying to be sexist without you noticing.

So, yeah, I have a personal-is-politlcal beef with Mr. Truby.

And then there's what he's trying to sell.

In fairness to Mr. Truby, I have to say that I believe that he truly believes his system is the only right way to write stories. In fairness to me and everybody else, I have to say that he is wrong. His elaborate 22-step system is, to me, both artificial and awkward, and while he can impose it on certain stories (his favorites are The Godfather, Casablanca, and Tootsie), it's very like Aristotle basing his entire theory of drama on Oedipus Rex and thereby forcing generations of high school students to find Hamlet's fatal flaw. (Hint: he doesn't have one.) Truby insists that his formula is not a formula, but a formula is exactly what it is, just at a structurally deeper level than "boy meets girl." He also doesn't understand symbolism or irony, and he's somehow made a quite successful career as a script doctor without ever running into the idea that other people may write stories differently than he does and still have them come out okay.

I found this book very interesting, in a no-I-will-not-join-your-cult way, but I cannot say that it was at all helpful.

I would give this book three stars, except that he DOES insist his is the only way to successfully write a story, and that's pernicious. Two stars.
Profile Image for Armina Salemi.
Author 2 books299 followers
January 20, 2021
به‌زودی در این مکان نظرات اینجانب نصب می‌شه. :دی
خب، الوعده وفا!
تنها دلیلی که باعث می‌شه هنوز حرکت در مه برام در اولویت باشه نسبت به آناتومی داستان، اینه که حرکت در مه کتابیه که برای نویسنده‌ی فارسی‌زبون نوشته شده. منظورم این نیست که الزاماً از المان‌های بومی حرف می‌زنه، منظورم اینه که حرف همدیگه رو می‌فهمیم، اشتباه‌های منو می‌دونه و غیره. خارج از اون، آناتومی واقعاً کتاب جامع و کاملی بود.

بذارید یه اعتراف صادقانه‌ای بکنم: من با روح کتاب‌های تألیفی‌ای که می‌خونم مشکل دارم. از این که شخصیت‌ها اینطور مکانیکی در خدمت پلاتن واقعاً خوشم نمیاد. صدی‌نود کلاً نمی‌تونم با داستان ارتباط برقرار کنم، انقدر که بی‌روحه. برای همینه که فکر می‌کنم آناتومی داستان کتابیه که نویسنده‌ها یا اونایی که می‌خوان نویسنده شن، حتماً باید بخونن. دقیقاً همون چیزی رو هدف گرفته که همه‌مون باهاش مشکل داریم: روح داستان، و پلات مکانیکی. داره یاد می‌ده چطور داستانمون موجودی زنده باشه، خودش رشد کنه و پس از پایان کتاب هم به حیاتش ادامه بده و این، به‌نظر من، لازم‌ترین درسیه که هر نویسنده‌ای باید یاد بگیره. قشنگی‌ش اینه که تمام طول مسیر هم تأکید می‌کنه هیچ فشار نیارید که قطعاً همه‌ی این بیست‌ودو گام رو داشته باشید. می‌خوام بگم حتی وقتی فرم کامل و مناسبی ارائه می‌ده، با فرم‌گرایی مخالفت می‌کنه، که از نظر من خودش عامل مکانیکی شدن داستان و بی‌روح بودنشه.

خلاصه که... آناتومی خوب بود عزیزان. آناتومی بخونین، ولی بدانید و آگاه باشید که در هنر کتاب مقدسی وجود نداره. :دی
Profile Image for K.M. Weiland.
Author 32 books2,295 followers
April 6, 2010
Fabulously insightful, practical, hands-on guide to storytelling. Should be read and reread.
Profile Image for Jacob.
879 reviews49 followers
January 5, 2016
Whew... this was more difficult to get through than I expected, and I'm still not sure why. Maybe it was just too many dry passages of abstract discussion that was mostly meaningless. Maybe not, though; I don't remember there being that much of it. And most of it isn't dry, or too abstract, or meaningless.

Some key things are, though. Truby's instruction to come up with a designing principle is very important, but he can't for the life of him nail down what a designing principle is. He starts with "it's not just picking a genre", and that's as close as he gets. From there he wanders past "it's how the story will be told" without actually saying it, and his examples which come throughout the rest of the book just look like restatements of the premise. So I've got my own idea of what the designing principle is: a metaphor that describes what you're comparing the story to and dictates how you convey the story. However, it does not seem like that's what Truby thinks it's supposed to be.

I won't go much into further detail, but a lot of the material is difficult like this. For someone who gets hired to fix stories and gives a lot of seminars, this guy sure has a lot of trouble communicating effectively. He insists that the story telling process is organic and NOT mechanical, but then immediately starts describing a mechanical process for writing an organic story. I suspect he really means that writing a good story is mechanical but NOT thoughtless, and that the result feels organic.

I'm actually glad I read this because there's a lot of good advice and material -- the designing principle is very important if you can figure out what it is and take time to come up with one before you write your story. Also, I now know much more what Pride and Prejudice is about than I ever did. Maybe I'll even read it sometime.
Profile Image for Nick Johnson.
374 reviews6 followers
November 23, 2016
As a reader of books on writing, I accept the strange affliction they generally suffer from, of having surprisingly little to say. There will always be lots of naming types of plots and characters, without real insight into when to use them, and lots of "make your character fascinating" and "think deeply about how the elements of your story mesh together," without much concrete help. But I'm a bit grumpy that Truby had surprisingly little to say for four hundred pages.

He didn't say nothing. I appreciated his focus on personal quest as plot, and the basic need of a narrative arc to change the main character. But these and other basic tenets of novels are mixed in with a thousand other assertions, which range from probably helpful, to too vague to mean much, to almost certainly silly.

Take for example Truby's assertion that the hero and opponent must want the same thing. He uses as one example a detective story, where, he says, both the hero (the PI) and the opponent (the killer) want their version of the truth to be believed. Presumably, an FBI agent and a terrorist with an atomic bomb both want their versions of New York City to exist. And...how exactly does this work in a rom com? Possibly you could assert this of any story if you define wants vaguely enough, but that doesn't make it useful.

The trouble is that Truby risks nothing and dares nothing. All of his advice is, according to him, general enough that it applies equally to last summer's blockbuster and Homer's Odyssey. He can't concieve of any controversy in the field of writing, or imagine when his ideas might find themselves awkward to apply. So in the end he sounds like a politician who's surely going to make great strides for America, but no matter how long you listen you can never quite catch any specifics.

Honestly, I started skimming pretty quick.
Profile Image for Suzannah.
Author 27 books474 followers
March 4, 2017
This book was phenomenal. Please go out immediately and torch your copy of SAVE THE CAT and get this book instead.

Well, maybe I exaggerate. I didn't agree with Truby's contention that three (or four, or five) act plot structure, containing three plot points on which to hang the story, was artificial and useless. I'll stand by it; it was good enough for Shakespeare and it's good enough for me, and it helps with pacing. However, apart from the occasional minor niggle, I thought this book was absolutely brilliant.

I sometimes tell people that writing fiction is like juggling cats: it's an intensely multidimensional, ticklish craft in which the ultimate aim is to get a thousand different elements linking together in a sort of beautiful organised chaos that means something far more profound than they could ever do alone. There's a density and richness that comes when all the elements begin to link up, presenting the main theme of the story from a myriad of different angles. On the way, an infinite number of pitfalls lurk as the hapless writer faces all the many decisions that he could make (but how to know which is best?)

The worst thing is how few writing manuals or articles do more than scratch the surface of the art. Truby's book, by comparison, dives deeper and speaks more clearly and to the point than anything else I've ever read. This is the book you've got to read if you want to go beyond cheap entertainment and write a work of art that will resound with your audience long after reading, a work of art that will unfold new facets on multiple re-reads. Truby effortlessly articulates a multitude of concepts I'd only ever dimly, partly grasped, and pushes them far beyond what I'd ever imagined.

Every writer should own a well-worn copy of this book, and go through the writing exercises regularly. It really is that good. (And if I haven't convinced you, check out the Lessons from the Screenplay channel on YouTube for a more in-depth application of Truby's brilliant storytelling principles).
Profile Image for Brent.
348 reviews144 followers
February 9, 2019
I have been reading this book for almost a year. Not because it was bad, but because I didn't want to rush through it and miss something. (As is my tendency with how-to books.)

I never do the homework or learning exercises in any book, but I did the ones in this book, slowly digesting the information, working though it and applying it to my WIP.

The key concept in this book is to dig into your characters and their flaws and desires to realize a plot that organically grows out of them rather than is mechanical forced from above.

As with most organic functions, it can take a while, but the results are worth it.
Profile Image for Danny.
32 reviews22 followers
September 12, 2009
I actually stumbled upon The Anatomy of Story more or less totally by accident while I was searching for online writer's resources. I was sure someone somewhere must have at some point sat down and picked apart great stories, broke them down to their constituent components, and analyzed what elements worked in which plots, and why. I didn't find much. It dawned on me while I was trying to come up with more refined search terms that what I was looking for was the fundamental anatomy of the stories. So into Google it went, and, low and behold, someone had done just that, and his name was John Truby.

So, The Anatomy of Story isn't exactly the definitive bible for fiction writers, but it's pretty close. What it is, is dead helpful for learning how to construct a viable, solid story, and knowing the shape of things before you ever start actually writing it. And really, that's only a bit of what Truby covers in this book. He also covers scene construction, effective dialog, character building and interplay, genre, and more. It's incredibly dense compared to other books I've read on plot construction and scene writing. Where in many of those other books you may only find a couple of gems scattered across each chapter, I found The Anatomy of Story to be packed wall to wall with helpful and useful information. Truby could have easily stretched the subject of each chapter into an entire book of its own.

My only real dislikes about this book were that I felt some of the examples he uses to illustrate his subject matter could have clearer, and the overall structure of the book seemed a little disjointed, like each element could have fit together more smoothly than it did. But, that said, it's definitely a must-read for any beginning fiction writer, and even for people who just want to become more effective readers, this book would be immensely helpful in that regard as well. The principles Truby lays out are not only present and visible to me, but obvious and unmistakable in every novel, movie, short story, and television show I've seen since I've read this book.

Profile Image for Lisa Feld.
Author 2 books21 followers
December 19, 2020
I have a number of friends who swear by this book, but I couldn’t get through it and very little of Truby’s framework resonated with me. Some of that may be because I’m a hybrid planner/pantser, and this book is very much for people who shape their characters and the full arc of their central conflicts before they’ve drafted a word.

But some of it is also that Truby is good at breaking down some elements of famous stories into his frameworks, but there’s no evidence that these are the elements that make those stories successful, and he doesn’t model how to use these elements to create a new story that works well. In point of fact, I don’t know anything he’s responsible for writing, and of however many students he’s had over the years, apparently only three of them have written anything we’ve heard of (and we don’t know if they did it primarily based on these methods).

I’m frustrated and disappointed that this didn’t live up to its reputation. And I resolve to stop buying books on writing by anyone who hasn’t actually had a solid writing career.
Profile Image for Lama Hussein.
77 reviews15 followers
December 14, 2022
جائزة أكثر كتاب حيرني في تقييمي تذهب إلى هذا دون منازع
أعتقد أنني أحتاج إلى الوقت لأحدد إن كان كتابا جيدا أم سيئا

فأحيانا كنت أشعر أنني أقرأ "دليلك العملي لاستخدام الكليشيهات المهترئة"، أو كأنه يحاول إخضاع المنطق على شيء لا منطق فيه، محاولة فرض القواعد على الفن وتحويله إلى علم بينما هو - الفن - يتملص
كتاب لتعليم الكليشيهات على أنها قواعد يعني

وأحيانا كنت أقدّر نصائحه بشدة

وأحيا��ا لم أفهمها مثل حالة ال
Designing principle
الذي قرأت الكتاب كاملا ولم أفهم ما هو حتى شعرت أنني حمارة
لكن أليس هذا خطأه؟ أعني حتى لو كنت حمارة من المفروض أن يشرح لي؟

وأحيانا كنت أنفر من الكتاب وأكاد أرميه مثل حين يقفز من فيلم اسمه
Ulysses لجيمس جويس
قمة المساواة ما شاء الله، يضع كلاسيكيات الأدب جنبا إلى جنب مع الأفلام التجارية الأمريكية

الخلاصة أحتاج إلى وقت ليتضح رأيي في هذا الكتاب
Profile Image for Dani.
37 reviews
February 8, 2013
So far I would say this has some interesting ideas in it. On the other hand, it's funny how many of these books could really use a re-write. And I think re-writing is not a skippable part of the process to becoming a "master". He mentions you should make your main character endlessly fascinating. In theory, I could see why that would be a good idea. But Truby gives one example on how to do this and then moves on. I guess it's that easy? I'll update more later.

Okay, I'm a little further along. While I DO like the ideas and I haven't seen some of them covered by other writers on writing, I would add this guy has a real thing for making broad generalizations without backing them up and some laziness too. In a compelling section about making the world of your story an extension of your character, he gives "Moby Dick", "Titanic" and other super obvious choices as examples of stories that take place on the ocean. I mean, dig a little deeper, why don't you, Truby? Normally, I wouldn't be so critical because there's a lot of useful stuff in here. But he throws around words like "master" and I think a "master" should also be able to re-write and cut out stuff that's boring or obvious. All that said, I'm changing my rating to 4 stars up from 3 stars. More later.

Holy crap. Even though I like the writing help more and more as I read this book, it's a real slog. You know for example, how some textbooks frustrate you because they're so repetitive. And you just want to yell at the book, "I'm not dumb, I'm SMART!! Not like people say!" On the other hand, I'm reading the section on plot right now and it's pretty good stuff. Mainly, this is one of those books that has me preferring to check my phone, facebook, twitter and even linkedIn before picking this up for another go.

Well it's February 5th and I'm still slogging through this thing. I like it even better without changing any of the above opinions. I swear to the allmighty that I'm really almost finished with this. It's too bad I'd like to keep it around as a reference since it's become kind of an albatross and I'd really like to tear it to shreds once I'm finally done. More later...

Okay, finished this beast... FINALLY!! Holy Moses. This took longer to read than Don Quixote... both parts! Just to support what I said earlier, while I think the nuts and bolts of the book are very strong, this was a super annoying read and needed a re-write. Just some advice, Mr. Truby. If you are going to write a book about becoming a master storyteller, why say "Huckleberry Finn" has a crap ending? We all have some unpopular opinions. I think it's fairly non-controversial to say "Huckleberry Finn" is widely acknowledged as a great book. Has Truby written anything as good? Judging by this book, I would guess not. A good editor may have pointed out a different example could suffice. A better writer wouldn't have picked on Mark Twain as a negative example. Luckily, the dumb parts of this book don't totally obscure the good parts and I will probably come back to this book and review the stuff I liked.
Profile Image for Reza Qalandari.
171 reviews6 followers
November 24, 2020
اما تسلط بر تکنیک به‌تنهایی کافی نیست. اجازه بدهید کتاب را با یک رازگشایی نهایی تمام کنم: داستانِ بی‌پایان، «شما» هستید. اگر می‌خواهید داستانی بزرگ، داستانی بی‌پایان، بگویید باید مانند قهرمان داستان‌تان، با هفت گام زندگی خودتان روبه‌رو شوید و باید هربار که داستانی تازه می‌نویسید، این کار را انجام دهید. سعی کرده‌ام نقشه را در اختیارتان بگذارم: استراتژی‌ها، تاکتیک‌ها و تکنیک‌هایی که به شما کمک می‌کنند به هدف‌تان برسید، نیازهاتان را برآورده کنید و مخزنی تمام‌نشدنی از مکاشفه‌های نفس به دست بیاورید. رسیدن به مقام استادی در داستان‌گویی کار شاقی است، ولی اگر فن را فرابگیرید و زندگیِ خودتان را. به یک داستان تبدیل کنید، از قصه‌های شگفت‌انگیزی که خواهید گفت، به حیرت فرومی‌روید.
اگر خواننده‌ی خوبی باشید- که تردید ندارم هستید- همان آدمی نیستید که در آغاز این کتاب را به دست گرفت. حالا که آن را یک‌بار خوانده‌اید، اجازه بدهید بگویم... خب، می‌دانید چه باید بکنید.

و حقیقتاً همین‌طوره. تاحالا این‌قدر از چیزی که می‌خوام بنویسم، مطمئن نبوده‌م‌.
این کتاب اطلاعات تکراری خیلی کمی داشت و بسیار آموزنده و مفید بود.
Profile Image for eddie ♡.
129 reviews119 followers
May 24, 2022
You know when you’re reading something and you just know that it makes sense, even when you don’t know? Like, you just know? Truby just knows.

This is one of the best books on writing I’ve read. Although it’s on screenwriting, I do believe all writers greatly benefit from screenwriting knowledge and should endeavour to research it and/or read books on it, such as the like. It is a writing medium, after all. And this is the greatest source I’ve come across.

Thank you, Truby, for making me feel both dumber and smarter.
Profile Image for Omid Kamyarnejad.
73 reviews30 followers
June 23, 2016
کتابی است که بیشتربه سمت فیلم نامه نویسی می رود و بحث های ساختارگرایی رمان در آن مورد توجه است.
ایده های داستان نویسی آن بسیار خوب و حائز اهمیت بود. ولی به درد نوشتن داستان کوتاه نمی خورد. شبکه معنایی و نماد های آن بسیار مو شکافانه و دقیق و خب البته دانستن آنها خالی از لطف نیست. در مجموع کتاب خوب و قوی بود
Profile Image for Mindia Arabuli.
Author 1 book54 followers
May 1, 2016
მხოლოდ ეს წიგნი რომ არსებობდეს და სხვა წერის სახელმძღვანელოები არა(კინგს თუ არ ჩავთვლით), საკმარისი იქნებოდა
Profile Image for Jana Bianchi.
Author 39 books230 followers
November 21, 2018
Um dos melhores livros sobre escrita que já li. Confesso que a ideia de seguir 22 passos a princípio me soou meio formulaico, mas se justifica quando você entende a origem do método na observação do comportamento humano. Logo no fim do livro, inclusive, Truby diz: "eu queria que você descobrisse o código dramático — o modo com que nós humanos crescemos e mudamos ao longo da vida — em todo o seu esplendor e complexidade". É o tipo de livro que me abriu a cabeça, mostrando coisas em que eu nunca tinha pensado e outras óbvias, mas que ficaram mais concretas na minha cabeça depois da análise do livro. Destaco ainda a abundância de exemplos da literatura e do cinema usados pra explicar os conceitos e também os "exercícios" propostos pra que você desenvolva a sua própria história segundo o método. Muito bom mesmo.
Profile Image for Joel Adamson.
114 reviews4 followers
February 25, 2019
This is a classic storytelling manual, and it certainly adds something unique to the storytelling world, but I had a lot of trouble telling what that was. If you are the sort of writer who devours writing books and collects advice, able to weigh it against everything else you've read, then this is a good book. Based on my reading of it, however, it is not a panacea. Not that it has to be, but I would advise against having expectations as high as the jacket copy suggests.

My complaints follow.

It's always bad when a book you've highly anticipated opens with a series of statements that run completely counter to your own experience. Or in the case of this book, just don't make sense. Truby starts in with the approach of many advice books, by saying what's wrong with most sources of advice and how his will be different. In contrast to many other authors making statements like this, his assessment of things is just plain wrong. For example, he says "Terms like 'rising action,' 'climax,' 'progressive complication,' and 'denouement' ...are so broad as to be almost meaningless." Except that I know exactly what those words mean and I find them extremely helpful in structuring a story.

He goes on to say that three act structure is meaningless, useless, and amateur, and that it results in rigid, unoriginal storytelling. But his replacement for three act structure is a 22 step story progression that requires rigidity, not to the extent that Save the Cat: The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need might, but it still appears constricting and unnecessarily complex.

Similar to Blake Snyder, Truby points out that writers should be able to say what their story is about before they start writing, but his primary method of getting there is unclear. The "designing principle" is, I would say, Truby's really original contribution, something I haven't read about before, but he can't say what it is. He can never get to whether this is a method storytelling, a master plot, a narrative focus, or what. He puts a lot of importance on it, and says it will lead to "original and organic" storytelling, but can't say what it is. If I said I had something of enormous value, you'd probably want to know what it is, and get annoyed with me if I just told you over and over that it was really important.

A few more pet peeves made me think this book wasn't really worth spending more time on, but you can judge for yourself. First, this is clearly a screenwriting book, written by a screenwriter, for screenwriters. But Truby promises his method can apply equally well to novels, short stories, plays and so on. As with other screenwriters and screenwriting coaches who make this claim, Truby doesn't really seem to understand these other forms very well at all. If you want this book for screenwriting purposes, then it should be fine, but I wouldn't write a novel based on its advice.

My final pet peeve is when he talks about Westerns: "The vision of the Western is to conquer the land, kill or transform 'lower' 'barbarian' races, spread Christianity and civilization, turn nature into Wealth, and create the American nation." This really pisses me off. I don't know where people get bizarre ideas like this, but it's not from watching Western movies. These factors play absolutely no role in great Westerns like Destry Rides Again, Gunfight at the OK Corral, or The Magnificent Seven (either the original or the reboot) and certainly are nowhere to be found in Sergio Leone's Westerns. They are peripheral in the revisionist Westerns of Kevin Costner and Clint Eastwood, far from the major concerns of the characters. Westerns are often about classic themes like revenge (Destry, Once Upon a Time in the West) and good versus evil (Magnificent Seven), or more existential themes like man's place in nature and society (The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly).

Yes, my opinion is colored by the more modern Westerns I grew up on, but it looks like Truby's analysis is clouded by political or ideological preferences (i.e. this idea that Westerns are all about white men taking over the prairie from the natives). There are specific stories with the vision that he mentions, but it's far from all of them, or even a majority. High Noon and Rio Bravo are not about Christianity. When in 3:10 to Yuma do we see anybody dominating or killing Native Americans? I'm scratching my head trying to think of how these stories are not just about men fighting for good over evil in a particular setting. Yes, I agree with Truby that they incorporate specific symbols (the six-gun, the sheriff's badge) and that the characters fulfill particular symbolic roles which have an effect on the viewer. But I disagree that any of that adds up to an overall racist thesis.

All of these things added up meant that I didn't spend too much time with this book, as good of a reputation as it has. Again, if you're eager to read every writing book out there, this is worth a look, but it's not worth more than a few hours.
Profile Image for Laura Walin.
1,478 reviews47 followers
September 8, 2021
One of my friends who is into creative writing as well recommended this book to me as the best there is on the the topic of writing a novel. Now that I have read this (through somewhat painful steps) I can see why - this is is a book that dissects a story into it parts and claims that if you know all the individual nuts and bolts you can assemble something magnificent. In other words, this is a book written to the story telling engineers.

I do not totally object the idea that all great stories have some common features and elements that any writer should at least be aware of. Also, it is very possible to look at the great stories (whatever the media) and try to identify these elements in them. However, I see it as a total impossibility or at least highly improbable that by just following this formula anyone could actually come up with a great story in the end.

The book, in its belief in story engineering, was also a relatively tedious read, as same bits and pieces and same examples were repeated over and over again. In the end I as a reader had just this bag of lego pieces and I felt no wiser on how to apply this book into my own writing process. But then again, I am not an engineer.
Profile Image for emily.
108 reviews25 followers
December 16, 2015
I am skeptical of 'how to write stories' books, as I've been plenty disappointed in the past, but this was recommended by a published author as the 'secret' to their novel planning and thus decided it couldn't hurt to have a read. It was well worth my time, packed full of logical, actionable instructions on how to create a story that never reduce into ridiculous "do's" and "don't's" like so many other how-to books do. I have long struggled with taking my smaller character, plot, or setting ideas and stringing them into larger cohesive stories, but now I have a very well thought out formula to follow. Instead of this formula being limiting, it allows me to properly construct the ideas I've had in my head into something meaningful and cohesive. As I get better at writing I'm sure I'll learn how to bend the rules and change the formula to suit me, but this is a really excellent start for getting the feel of writing good stories.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in writing!
Profile Image for Rachel.
252 reviews36 followers
March 10, 2019
Well, I had a long rant review of this but it appears Goodreads ate it when I switched shelves. Not gonna type it up again so the TL;DR is I do not like when writers preach to other writers about rules you have to follow. Also bad pacing, baffling amount of examples, insane number of "rules," and everything managed to be very basic information while sounding weirdly academic. Definitely Not For Me and I worry that this would harm novice writers more than it would help them.

My Rating Breakdown

Writing Style: 1.5
Pacing: 1
Intrigue: 0
Logic: 1
Enjoyment: 0

Overall Rating: 0.7

(for full details on this rating system see: my blog post)
Profile Image for Zora.
1,223 reviews51 followers
January 1, 2016
Lots of nonsense. Also "formula is bad, so let me give you the real formula" talk irritates me. Get McKee's Story or even Save The Cat instead.
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