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A Story is a Promise & The Spirit of Storytelling Kindle Edition

18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

I have never reviewed anything on Amazon before but I feel so indebted to Bill Johnson that I have to give him a review. I went to a big name film school for college and throughout the entire 4 years and thousands of dollars, I never learned more about storytelling then I did reading this 3 dollar kindle book. Bill Johnson really gives you the map to the maze. After 6 years of making movies, I had some idea on what made a story work and what didn't, but Bill Johnson really gives the theoretical groundwork to what makes a story resonate with an audience. Not only did the book corroborate some ideas that I already had but enriched them and gave me so much more to think about. Thank You Bill!

(from Amazon)

From the Author

When I was young, I was an intuitive writer. I once wrote nine plays in one year, including full lengths.

But my writing always hit a certain ceiling.

Then I took a class from story analyst David Morgan, who taught me that understanding storytelling was something that could be understood.

I've spent my life going down that road, gathering and sharing understanding.

I welcome you to join me, for as long as it suits you.

Bill

Product Details

  • File Size: 1848 KB
  • Print Length: 305 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Haven; Fifth Edition edition (April 2, 2011)
  • Publication Date: April 2, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004V020N0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #395,272 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Bill Johnson is author of A Story is a Promise and The Spirit of Storytelling, a writing workbook. Bill's writing workbook reviews popular movies, novels and plays to explore principles.

His book helps writers learn how to write a novel or write a screenplay.

From an Amazon review: "You simply can't go wrong with this book. It's a goldmine of important information you really need to know if you want to infuse your work with all the right stuff. Get it. It's all good."

And, "I have never reviewed anything on Amazon before but I feel so indebted to Bill Johnson that I have to give him a review. I went to a big name film school for college and throughout the entire 4 years and thousands of dollars, I never learned more about storytelling then I did reading this 3 dollar kindle book. Bill Johnson really gives you the map to the maze."

Many new authors who struggle with storytelling are blamed for not understanding what they haven't been taught. A Story is a Promise offers a clear, deep understanding of the mechanics of storytelling.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By JAD on August 19, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have never reviewed anything on Amazon before but I feel so indebted to Bill Johnson that I have to give him a review. I went to a big name film school for college and throughout the entire 4 years and thousands of dollars, I never learned more about storytelling then I did reading this 3 dollar kindle book. Bill Johnson really gives you the map to the maze. After 6 years of making movies, I had some idea on what made a story work and what didn't, but Bill Johnson really gives the theoretical groundwork to what makes a story resonate with an audience. Not only did the book corroborate some ideas that I already had but enriched them and gave me so much more to think about. Thank You Bill!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. R. Arias on February 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Wow! I've had this book (Kindle version) for some time and refer to it constantly because it has so much to offer. It's one of the few books I consider that really helped me understand what it takes to develop and write an effective and powerful story. Bill Johnson really knows how to lay it out and put it all into perspective by revealing the key elements and techniques that go into storytelling by using plenty of examples and literary references.

I only wish I'd read it before I started writing my first novel. But luckily, many things are fixable so that's what I did and it's made a big difference. Let's face it, it's a long and winding road to publication, but this is one tool you're going to need if you want to break through.

You simply can't go wrong with this book. It's a goldmine of important information you really need to know if you want to infuse your work with all the right stuff. Get it. It's all good.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mindy S. HALLECK on November 15, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Bill Johnson is a master at understanding the how and why of creating characters. In A Story is a Promise & The Spirit of Storytelling Johnson seamlessly pulls together key aspects of story-telling – from premise to promise, dramatic moments and dramatic truths – he gives the reader the necessary techniques to bring their stories into full bloom. Whether you’re stuck on enhancing your dialogue, plot or conflict there is a chapter to aid you in your story creation, recovery, or rescue. And for me, someone who needs examples, he uses plenty of examples and literary references which were most helpful.
This is a writer’s bible, and should be read and re-read until your storytelling is perfection, and as soon as you actually think that, you need to read it again. Love this book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn J. Rose on November 20, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Bill's work made me take a longer look at what matters to readers - and what matters to me as a reader - at the emotional core. I feel my characters are deeper and more memorable because of what I learned.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mark Chapman on January 22, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book. The author shows why some novels are page-turners, and why some are not. He talks about a novel's promise and premise, and how to make these work. I highly recommend this book to all new fiction writers - and to some not so new writers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C.B. Derrick on December 7, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Okay, so it is true no book or class or seminar can "teach you how to write", however, what Bill Johnson's book does do is provide you some crucial weapons for the writer's arsenal.
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Format: Kindle Edition
My opinion is that this book was very helpful to read and it helped shed light on a few areas as a writer that I struggled with over the years. My favorite Chapters were Five ("How To Make A Down Payment On Your Promise") which provided a realistic technique for writing and providing the reader with just enough information to collectively gather the information from your story without revealing too much too fast. My second favorite Chapter was Chapter 17 (Thrust and Counter Thrust) which gave me an essential set of techniques to incorporate into my writing style to make the stories I right more exciting while maintaining momentum throughout the literal delivery. My Third favorite Chapter was Chapter 30 (Character Types) that helped me transform characters into people with personalities. Truthfully, I believe that the Author did an ingenious job laying out the technical blueprint for Authors to follow. This book is flawless and impeccable work !
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book lays bare the essential aspects of storytelling. I've recently published a memoir, "Last Chance to be a Cowboy", but it was purely "by the seat of my pants", intuitive writing. If I had the good fortune of reading Bill Johnson's book first, I would have known how to structure my book in a way that would have pulled readers into my story and compelled them to keep reading.
I initially bought this book as an eBook, but came back to Amazon and bought the paperback, so I could more conveniently refer back in forth and highlight different parts.
I also am ordering another copy to send to my son, Sam, a naturally talented writer.
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