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Stealing Fire from the Gods: The Complete Guide to Story for Writers and Filmmakers, 2nd Edition Paperback – July, 2006
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About the Author
More About the Author
Since 1990 he has been conducting intensive weekend story seminars in Los Angeles, and consulting with screenwriters, producers, directors, novelists, lawyers, psychologists, and corporations. Since 2006 he has been holding workshop/retreats in France and Santa Monica and teaching in Paris, London and Singapore. His book has been taught in university courses around the world.
Top Customer Reviews
When I get first time writers in my class they usually show up with TONS of passion mixed with very little idea. Something they heard, a family friend story, a true life adventure they went on and they want to write it. Then, during my class, we go through the process of fleshing out their idea into something cohesive. Hopefully ending up with a fully fleshed out idea that they can now go write. I do not psychoanalyze what they are putting into the idea. We do not deal with issues of conscious versus subconscious, metaphors and archetypes or dealing with the quintessential character. Mostly, we are just trying to show character, build conflict, create momentum and complete the story.
What James Bonnet does in his book, though, is deal with that subconscious. He deals with the metaphors, the archetypes. The journey of hero and the antihero.
Using a device entitled "The Story Wheel" he shows the journey of the hero to antihero. He shows the upside of a story and the downside of a story. He does not push a belief that you need to write one or the other - he really explains, in clear language, the path of story. A path you may not really realize you are on (subconscious).
He also does a great job of giving you examples of both types of story in film. How "The Godfather" is a story of an antihero while "Star Wars - Episode IV" is a classic story of a hero called to do great things. Much like Frodo in "The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.Read more ›
If you are a writer of novels or screenplays, you must purchase this book. Its insights will help elevate your writing. Stealing Fire from the Gods is meant to be highlighted up, passages marked for reference. It is the roadmap to your story without it being formulaic. Mr. Bonnet gives many, many examples from popular, well-done films to illustrate his teachings as well as examples from events in history that fall into the story pattern he's uncovered. I believe the examples he uses are the most important elements in the book because if you are familiar with the film, book, or history examples, you immediately make the association with the material.
Just last month, in October, I returned to Studio City as Mr. Bonnet's guest in his weekend class and I placed in his hands a copy of the novel that came out of me as a result of his first class.Read more ›
Key concepts include the high concept and the threat. Jim Bonnet shows how the threat is key to story because it creates all the critical elements of story and brings the story into being. Indeed, the threat (for example, the shark in Jaws) provides the resistance that creates the classical structure.
In addition, story diagrams have been updated. Through images, you're now able to see how the whole story passage and the hero's journey relate to the story focus.
The structure of the story focus is explained and Jim's thought leadership is showcased through his critical analysis of the three-act structure. Instead of the three-act structure, look at story through the eyes of the problem. Hollywood execs, however, are stuck on three acts, so you also learn how to pitch your idea in three acts.
From archetypes to zenith, the concepts in this book are powerful tools for the beginning or experienced storymaker. If you want to create great stories, this is the book to begin and end with.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Plenty of good books about writing out there, but this is a great one. Bonnet gets you thinking about the underlying dynamics that make superior stories emerge from the page (or... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jeffrey Rich
I would definitely recommend this book for writers, screenwriters especially. As a screenwriter, plot is an area that definitely needs improvement and James Bonnet gives very... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Nicole J Barrett
This book contains some of the best explanations of what story is and why it matters. Writing books like this, the kind that give insight into the nature of myth, psychology, and... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Abner Rosenweig
I thoroughly enjoyed this book which has managed to explain more than any other the reasons why great stories work and why we as humans do what we do and react in Specific ways. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Ralphy
This is simply the greatest book on script writing available!!!Published 17 months ago by Carsten Lind
Awesome book on screenwriting both seasoned and newbies. A must have tomb for getting a breakthrough for writing a story.Published 23 months ago by Gospel Guy
Contrary to the sentiments of my family who are a long chalk more academic than I, I have to confess, I am not impressed. Read morePublished on July 28, 2013 by John C. Wilson
I actually came back to re-write this review. The first time I wrote about this book I was fairly inebriated; I had been celebrating my new understanding of just one... Read morePublished on July 25, 2013 by JACK BANE
What I like most about this book is the simplification and logical breakdown of the structural components that define the art of story telling. Read morePublished on December 16, 2012 by Amazon Customer