It will be an indispensable guide to writing your first great script. The Anatomy of Story is a step-by-step guide to constructing the best story possible—be it a screenplay, short story, or novel. Truby, who has taught his twenty-two-step Great Screenwriting and Genre classes to more than 20, students worldwide, is available to discuss: Top 10 mistakes writers make about story. Five best and worst questions about screenwriting. How the step-approach is different from the 3-act structure. Five unique story elements of blockbuster films.
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The truth is, thanks to a book called The Anatomy of Story, by a script-guru named John Truby, I actually do know a lot more what the next book is shaped like than I did only two weeks ago. Two weeks ago, this idea was a jumble of notes and rejected pages, a pile of characters and a daunting list of research. Truby believes that there is a method to writing a good story, and that the method can be taught. Now, screenplays are much shorter than novels, so I adjust this final step to be not so much a concrete scene weave as a detailed description of each moment or beat that I know must happen in the story.
At the end of the given chapter, there is a worksheet, which reviews everything that chapter has covered, with plenty of questions and prompts. He fills out each worksheet himself, which I find to be very helpful when getting a hold of how my own work feels murky. What I like about accumulating so much work is the fact that Truby has me reiterate and revise and rethink elements over and over again.
Worksheet 1 — What the Novel is About Worksheet 1, at the end of Chapter Two, is where Truby invites us to state what the book is about. There are surely many novelists who write brilliant, perfectly crafted books without thinking about this.
You think about the Character Web, and how all the characters in your story can and must interact and illuminate each other. This is the chapter where I usually end up feeling as though things are really falling into place. This is when I feel a little thrill! What I have now is some help. Truby delves into the setup, from basic structure to the premise and the depth behind it. From there, he moves into character, emphasizing the importance of not only the hero but also the characters in the story who aid and oppose him.
Truby illustrates the importance of setting to the story and how careful plotting is needed to weave the elements of the story together. He cautions that plot is not incidental and requires careful management and timely revelations. Although most of his examples are from movies…Truby also draws from novels and plays, and his advice is applicable not only to the hopeful screenwriter but to the aspiring novelist as well.
The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller