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Story Line: Finding Gold in Your Life Story Paperback – March 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Wiese Productions (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932907890
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932907896
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #649,567 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Story Line: Finding Gold in Your Life Story is a practical and spiritual guide to drawing upon your own story and fictionalizing it into your writing. As a Story Consultant and former VP of Current Programs at CBS/Paramount, most of the author’s work with writers has focused on creating standout scripts by elevating story. The secret to telling strong story is digging deep inside yourself and utilizing your own life experiences and emotions to connect with the audience.

From the Author

I wrote Story Line: Finding Gold In Your Life Story for anyone who has a story they want to write but are not sure which platform to write it in.  We are all storytellers.  We all have a story.  After working as a studio executive for over 15 years and learning from the top players in the business, I wrote this book to help writers understand how to "develop" their story.

One writer mentioned that my book takes off where "Save the Cat" left off.  This was a huge compliment.  She said that Blake's book showed her how to structure her story while my book shows her how to develop it.

I came into my story philosophy after recognizing the common thread between all the shows that were nominated for Emmys, Golden Globes and Oscars.  I want to be able to teach writers that they too can write from this place and achieve great heights in their writing careers.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 51 customer reviews
Better late than never - I just got and read this book.
eskeech
What It's About: Story Line is a unique book for writers that functions like a writer's journey through their own personal story as they pick up ideas along the way.
Tom Farr
Jen Grisanti takes her years of story developing experience in the Entertainment industry and has used that wisdom and know-how to write, "StoryLine."
K. Ahn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Tony Levelle on March 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
The publisher sent me a review copy of Story Line when I was in the middle of writing a nonfiction book about the ways people handle personal crisis.

As I wrote about different kinds of crisis, memories and emotions from my past threatened to overwhelm me. I was experiencing what Grisanti would call 'the power of my life story.'

Story Line helped me understand that what I was experiencing was the raw emotional energy of my own life story. Story Line helped me channel this energy and improve my writing.

Although Grisanti's book is directed at script writers, I found the principles useful for nonfiction, as well.

Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gary E. Fayman on March 1, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I finished reading "Story Line" a few days ago, and it is definitely a must-read for aspiring writers, professional writers, as well as individuals who are looking for a spiritual guide. Jen's approach to storytelling is unique; instead of merely dispensing advice, Jen talks about her life experiences and favorite movies and TV shows to tie in and illustrate the concepts she presents. Reading this book is like having a close friend give you uplifting advice. It's not condescending, and her "log line for your life" method really works!

Because Jen makes the effort to personalize her own experiences and create her own story, it's easy for the reader to connect with her on a personal level. The spiritual aspect is quite fascinating and is a welcome addition. As someone who has met Jen and who attends the Friday Night Drink events she co-hosts, I can definitely say that I'm satisfied with her book and look forward to working with her as a client in the near future.

This is money well-spent, and I cannot recommend this book enough.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By rbrett on March 17, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just finished reading Jen's wonderful book. Truly inspiring -- the most original and powerful methodology I've come across in quite a while. Jen rightly understands that strong writing comes from life experience and universal emotions, and this book brings the worlds of writing and living into splendid symbiosis, with appreciation and understanding of each enriching the other. I particularly related to one of her end-of-chapter exercises where she urges the reader to pause at those moments in a film that are emotionally powerful and to analyze WHY they are so powerful. I've been doing this, off and on, for years, but never really connected my own life experience with that process. Am eagerly looking forward to examining some of my favorite films in this new light, as well as applying Jen's powerful tools to my own screenwriting. If you want to bring your life and your writing into sync, and take your storytelling ability to a whole new level, this is the book for you.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By eskeech on November 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
Better late than never - I just got and read this book. Or rather inhaled it. It speaks to everything any writer at any level needs to know to improve their writing. And it does so in a very simple, logical way. With relevant and current examples and Jen's guidance (in a voice that seems to be talking to you as if she's known you for years), she takes you through each step in writing or rewriting your script. I was able to take my pilot script to the next level. No, more than the next level - at least ten levels beyond what I thought I was capable of. Truly, this book has done more for my writing than an M.F.A did. She's used her past experience working with writers to see what it is, exactly, that makes a great script, and then deduced an answer. It sounds simplistic, I know, but it speaks to the heart and truth found in all good writing. It's when we get away from this that the problems begin. And the endless fixing, revising, etc. I am so happy and grateful to have this book and I can't wait for her to publish her next.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D.B. Gilles on October 10, 2013
Format: Paperback
I just finished this incredible book and felt, well, inspired. It contains a methodology that grabs you by the shoulders and shakes you. Ms. Grisanti knows that strong writing comes from life experience and emotions that are universal. If we live it, why shouldn't we learn from that knowledge, then use it as material. Makes sense to me, so why I have ignored it for so long? "Storyline: Finding Gold In Your Life Story" brings writing and living together, with an understanding of how each enriches the other. I liked her exercise where she urges the reader to pause at those moments in a film that are emotionally powerful and to analyze why they are so powerful. Brilliant! Connecting my own life experience with this process proved to be enlightening. If you want to make your life and your writing life simpatico, this is the book for you. Highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback
Sometimes as a screenwriter it is difficult to come up with material. You may struggle with character development or just have a tough time coming up with a piece of story to connect two ideas together. In Jen Grisanti's book “Story Line – Finding Gold in Your Life Story” you will learn some neat tricks to help out in the “I can't think of anything to write” department because your life is filled with great stories and interesting characters. You just need to learn how to find them.

“Story Line” takes writing a fictional story and breaks it up piece by piece. You start by creating a good logline. a logline is made up of a few sentences that tell what your movie is about. It describes who the main character is, what obstacle is presented to them and what they must do to prevent the worst from happening. Once your logline is created Grisanti walks you through all the steps needed to create a unique story using events and people from your own life. It really is quite amazing when you begin to think about all the events that have shaped you as a person and then use those events to create and enhance a fictionalized story.

The book encourages you to dig deep into your own life and capture moments that can be put into your screenplay. Search for interesting characters you know, mix them up and create a fictional character that is interesting and different than anyone you may have ever imagined. Grisanti has developed some fun exercises at the end of each chapter. For example one tells you to watch your favorite TV show or movie and analyzing it to discover the key moments for the characters and story progression. By learning these moments you can them apply them to your story then add your own information from your life. A pretty interesting concept for writing.
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More About the Author

Jen Grisanti is a Story Consultant, Independent Producer, Writing Instructor for NBC's Writers on the Verge, Blogger for The Huffington Post and author of the upcoming book, Story Line: Finding Gold In Your Life Story.

Grisanti started her career as an assistant to Aaron Spelling 15 years ago. Aaron was her mentor for the next 12 years as she climbed the ranks and eventually ran Current Programs at Spelling Television Inc., covering all of Spelling's shows including Beverly Hills, 90210, Melrose Place and Charmed. In 2004, Jen was promoted to Vice President of Current Programs at CBS/Paramount where she covered shows including Medium, Numbers, NCIS, 4400 and Girlfriends. While at CBS/Paramount, she served as a mentor in the CBS Diversity Program, which seeks out and nurtures young writers and directors.

In January 2008, Jen launched Jen Grisanti Consultancy Inc., a consulting firm dedicated to helping talented writers break into the industry. By drawing on her 12-year experience as a studio executive where she gave daily notes to executive producers/showrunners, Jen personally guides writers to shape their material, hone their pitches, and focus their careers. Since launching, Jen has worked with over 250 writers working in television, features and novels. Twelve of her clients have staffed as writers on television shows and two have sold pilots that went to series. In 2008, Jen was hired to be the Writing Instructor for NBC's Writers on the Verge. Jen is also a blogger for The Huffington Post. Jen wrote Story Line: Finding The Gold In Your Life Story in 2010. It is being published by Michael Wiese Productions and will be out in March of 2011.

Her brand is Developing From Within. Her company hosts Storywise Seminars and Teleseminars as a way to get this message out. She has CDs and workbooks for "How To Write a TV Spec Script" and "How To Write A TV Pilot Script" and a Storywise Workbook: Gearing Up for Staffing and Development Season. Her workbooks are available on the Store Page on her website at www.jengrisanticonsultancy.com, Amazon.com and The Writers Store.

Jen also has a Storywise Podcast Series available on iTunes and her website. The podcast digs deep into the story behind some of our top storytellers as a way to inform, motivate and inspire listeners to go after their dreams. Final Draft/Script Magazine are now promoting the podcast series as well. Jen has taught classes for the Scriptwriters Network , Screenwriting Expo, the Northwestern Screenwriter's Guild in Seattle and the Alameda's Writer's Group. She has served on panels for the WGA and The Writer's Bootcamp. In 2009, her company hosted a Writing Retreat in Hawaii at the Turtle Bay Resort.

Jen meets writers who are interested in her services for a free initial half hour consult that can be done in person or on the phone. She then specially designs between 2-5 proposals to fit the client's needs and help them attain their goals.

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Story Line: Finding Gold in Your Life Story
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