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20 Master Plots: And How to Build Them [Paperback]

Ronald B Tobias
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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20 Master Plots: And How to Build Them 20 Master Plots: And How to Build Them 4.7 out of 5 stars (3)
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Book Description

27 Mar 2003
Give your story a solid foundation - a plot that engages readers from start to finish!The best stories linger in the hearts and minds of readers for decades. These tales gain their power through plots that connect with the audience on both an emotional and intellectual level.Inside, Ronald B. Tobias details these 20 time-tested plots. Each is discussed and analyzed, illustrating how a successful plot integrates all the elements of a story. Tobias then shows you how to use these plots effectively in your own work.Tobias then goes to the next level, showing you how to choose and develop plot in fiction. He shows you how to craft plot for any subject matter, so that you develop your work evenly and effectively. As a result, your fiction will be more cohesive and convincing, making your story unforgettable for readers everywhere.


Product details

  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Walking Stick Press (27 Mar 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582972397
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582972398
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 13.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 380,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Ronald B. Tobias has spent his career as a writer moving from genre to genre, first as a short story writer, then as an author of fiction and nonfiction books and finally as a writer and producer of documentaries for public television. He is currently a professor in the Department of Media and Theatre Arts at Montana State University and the author of "The Insider's Guide to Writing for Screen and Television." He lives in Bozeman, Montana.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The shelves of libraries are stacked with the stories of centuries, but out in the street, the air swarms with newly made fiction. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful 19 May 2006
By xenofan VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
This is one of the better "how to write" books that I've brought over the past few months or so, and i found myself rather pleasantly surprised by it. The tone was light, comfortable to read and each chapter is very in-depth. Rather surpring to me was the initial starting chapters-which I expected to be boring page filler/introductory text. But, they actually turned out to be some of the most helpful and informative tips on the subject of plots that I've read.

What I particularly found good about this book was that it raises points that made me think about my own story and its plot, and I found myself mentally applying the principles discussed in this book's pages to my own work.

The author uses clear and friendly writing to get accross a point, drawing from examples in both fiction and film. The author does not assume that you've seen most of what they discuss, so whenever a title is discussed, the author gives enough information to those that might not be familiar to the work being discussed. I didn't feel like I had to go and do several hours of reading homework before I could access this book and know what the hell the author was talking about.

I'll be referring to this book again as I write my own story. There are no winning solutions, but lots of sensible advice, much of which is pretty logical---but to a beginner like myself, it was invaluable and highly useful.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three 5-star books 6 Mar 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is great, but you should also get the wonderfully practical 'Plot and Structure' by James Scott Bell and completely brilliant 'The Seven Basic Plots' by Christopher Booker.

Splash out on these three and IMO you'll know all you ever need to know about plotting.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid resource to make you think 24 April 2011
By M
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a decent read and will certaintly make you think. You may conclude that few decent films sit comfortably in any single plot type and using this as a blue print may result in your writing being a bit formulaic, so beware. I would have no hestiation in recommending reading this book.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally some one who talks sense. 5 April 2005
Format:Paperback
I've just finished reading it and I really like his writing style; clear, to the point, and humourous. It's nice to read a book that starts to make sense within the first paraghraph. It's 20 plot summeries are not the be all and end all the title at first surgests, in fact he goes out of his way to state that there are many more, but it is not the total amount that's important here.
I've often been told that a plot is like the skeleton that holds our bodies together, along with other similiar describitions. But that never felt right to me. Ronald B Tobias writes about plot in words that feel more intuitivley truthfull to what a plot is and its use within the story. The guide lines after each well writen describtion of plot are also very useful.
The only downer's to the book I can find is how he overly repeat's and restate's certain idea's, that he clearly explained the first time round. It's almost as if he feel's we need reminding just in case we have forgotten his earlier words of advise. Also some times his words are alittle patronzing. These points do annoy me somwhat but overall the book is well written and a good read.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 Master plots 26 Nov 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this as I was preparing to start work on my latest writing project and it yielded some useful information, although some of the information in there can be arrived at once you have done a bit of writing for yourself.

A useful guide to someone who wants to start writing fiction, I would recommend also buying a few other guides to ensure that you cover as many techniques and ways of working as possible.

I was pleased to read that some of the themes it explained I already was using in my writing work.
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