7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Not for short story writers or novelists,
This review is from: Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting (Methuen Film) (Paperback)
As a caveat, I must say I read this book as someone who writes short stories and novels, not the screenplays this book chiefly focuses on.
There is some good stuff in this book, and great ways to get you thinking about conflict in writing.
However, as others have said, it is over wordy and just wanting a bit too hard to be technical.
By that I mean it breaks down every word or exchange between two characters into a technical exercise. I think there's validity in this, but there's also the case of not being able to see the wood for the trees. Sometimes there is something beyond technique in fiction, something unexplored called authentic feeling and I think this book overlooks this excessively and instead emphasises on some very finicky technique.
My gut feeling is that writing a novel with the advice from this book would be like having sex with reference to a set of prepared instructions. Textbook, but slightly creepy!
But I'll say it again, this book is mainly for scriptwriters and I acknowledge script writing (at least from what I've read here) is a more narrow, prescriptive genre so it may all be excellent advice as far as scripts are concerned.