Story Trumps Structure: How to Write Unforgettable Fiction by Breaking the Rules
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 narra...more
I read this book because I have read a handful of books on storywriting from a structural point of view, and I wanted to balance that with a book from a non-outlin ...more
This would have been a five star for me, except for two specific issues.
I underst ...more
At first, I'll admit that I was unimpressed. It didn't seem like anything that I hadn't heard before and a lot of the author's advice didn't seem relevant to the stories I want to tell. However, once the information had time to digest within my brain, I realized there was more there than I had first thought! In fact, only two days after finishing the book I was referring to it to help me revise the opening of my current WIP. I highly recommend this book!
It's full of practical, applicable advice in a digestible format. I'll definitely be keeping this on hand, and I encourage any novelist to pick up a copy.
I disagree with some of James's points, particul ...more
For example (I’m paraphrasing):
OUTLINE RULE: ...more
Steven James' book is about "organic writing" where the narrative shapes the story. I found the book to be amazing. Among many other things, I loved the part about the three questions that can solve every plot problem you may ever have.
He talks about narrative forces that shape your story. Also, I loved his chapter on the "subtle ...more
In other words—as the author puts it himself—he doesn't fulfill his promises.
And it is kind of disappointing. Though, again, if he skipped that first part about breaking the rules, it would be a great book on the craft of writing.
Story Trumps Structure might not provide steps 1-89 of how to write the best book ever, but it does teach writers to take note of details in their writing. Most of us understand the idea of a story, but no one quite articulates facets of writing like ...more
Steven James gives us METHODS for writing stories. His approach is practical and precise. He covers the basics in a fresh way by making you think about your story at hand. There are some great check lists in the book to help you identify problems in you ...more
The fact is, there is also much information that is truly useful as well as some topics I've never heard discussed before (such as character status). This is something we sort of understand intuitively, but thinking about character status in a very direct way w ...more
On the negative side I found the text very dense, as if the publisher wa ...more
His latest novel, SYNAPSE, a near-future thriller, is set to release on October 8, 2019.
Suspense Magazine, who named Steven’s book EVERY WICKED MAN one of their “Best Books of 2018,” says that he “sets the new standard in suspense writing.” Pu ...more