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Story Bones: How to X-Ray Any Novel for Plot, Conflict, and Character

Story Bones: How to X-Ray Any Novel for Plot, Conflict, and Character [Kindle Edition]

Mary L. Mercer

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Product Description

Product Description


Have you ever run up against a story problem that made you want to beat your head against a wall, wishing for a way to correctly diagnose and treat it? Is a manuscript lying paralyzed in a desk drawer somewhere, waiting for a broken conflict to be mended? Do you long to line your characters up in front of an X-ray machine so you can peer inside them?

Maybe it's time to call in a consulting team of "specialists," experts in their field who've been there, done that, and have the published novels (and reader fan base) to prove it. Consider your favorite authors as doctors who, for the price of their novels, can be called at any time to provide insights into a difficult case.

This book will empower you to-- 
  • Analyze any novel, movie, or television episode for insights into plot, conflict, and character development. 
  • Track the four throughlines that make engaging stories multidimensional. 
  • Master the eight sequences and turning point events that infuse stories with meaningful change. 
  • Identify the eight archetypes that "show, don't tell" theme. 
  • Recognize the three different types of character arcs and nine unique personalities that define character growth. 
  • Understand the five empathy elements that win reader identification. 
Enjoy examples drawn from modern bestsellers and timeless classics. BONUS: in-depth analyses of J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy novel, The Hobbit, and the blockbuster romantic comedy, While You Were Sleeping. Original, easy-to-understand diagrams and helpful charts are linked to handy printable versions online.

About the Author

Mary L. Mercer is a long-time judge of award-winning published novels, as well as an author. An avid reader and movie buff, she developed the book Story Bones from her experiences judging novels in national contests and applying creative tools gleaned from years of study and pleasure reading to her own writing.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3389 KB
  • Print Length: 199 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0615943675
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Mary L. Mercer (22 Dec 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #336,432 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing and easy to follow 7 Mar 2014
By Lynanne Carroll - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I decided to grab this ebook while it was free thinking it might be helpful in my 'structure' research, and I'm glad I did, because it was definitely worth checking out.

I enjoyed its simplicity, and the story examples Mercer used throughout solidified concepts she brought up (so if I had a misunderstanding about something, it didn't last long).

One thing I struggled with as I read was skepticism. All books have structure. Ok, agreed. But when she broke down the structure into percentages and stated that these events could be found in this range (10-12.5%, 22.5-25%, etc.), I admit I thought to myself 'there's no way this actually works...especially not for every novel'.

So I decided to try it out. Sadly, I chose Leviathan, which made the process messy because the author never goes into detail about how to analyze books with multiple protagonists and/or multiple points of view. Needless to say, that didn't work out great. But I found that it worked fairly well with other texts. And besides, the information I garnered about structure overall was worth the adventure.

For the price, it's a good deal. It's easy to follow, useful for writing your own novel (trying to match percentages to gauge structural integrity), and's kind of fun to check out novels' percentages and see what works (and what doesn't).
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