- Hardcover: 464 pages
- Publisher: Faber & Faber; 1st edition (October 30, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0865479518
- ISBN-13: 978-0865479517
- Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 1.5 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 289 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #891,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller Hardcover – October 30, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Teacher and screenplay doctor Truby (responsible for popular screenwriting software Blockbuster) brings his complicated but time-tested story development system to print for the first time, a 22-point process that's more thorough-"an extremely precise map of your entire plot" that "shows you the most dramatic way to tell your story"-but also more unwieldy than the traditional "three-act" technique. For example, the first seven steps Truby introduces apply to structure: develop "weakness and need" and "desire" in your hero, give him an "opponent" and a "plan" for overcoming that opponent, then throw in a "battle" that leads to "self-revelation" and, finally, a "new equilibrium." Chapters build on each other, fleshing out these steps with a number of terms and concepts (character types include hero, main opponent, ally, fake-ally opponent and fake-opponent ally) that alternate between cagey (the "character web") and confusing (the nearly indistinguishable "designing principle," "theme line" and "moral argument"). Further frustration arises in Truby's examples, old movies retrofitted with his techniques (most notably The Godfather and Tootsie) rather than a script that has actually been put through Truby's paces (or, even better, a new script invented just to demonstrate the steps). Following Truby's complex system may yield a memorable screenplay, but writers without great patience may find it more trouble than it's worth.
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"The Anatomy Of Story is concrete and practical without resorting to simplistic 'Three Act Structure' screenwriting clichés. It will be an indispensable guide to writing your first great script. Then, the perfect survival manual to help you negotiate the often confusing, contradictory and cutthroat world of professional screenwriting." --Larry Wilson, co-writer /co-producer of BEETLEJUICE and co-writer of THE ADDAMS FAMILY
Top customer reviews
This is one technique book that I found hard to put down. And it's one that I will definitely reread. I wish Mr. Truby had more volumes printed about genres and craft, I understand that there are audio classes you can purchase and download. I'd much prefer more actual books, though.
There is an abundance of books about mechanics and structure of screenwriting, but if your story sucks they won't save you. No doubt he has recycled many ideas from others, but he has added a lot of heavy thinking as well, just as McKee has.
A lot of Hollywood's product is failing at the box office these days, so there is a huge opportunity for people who can write really good scripts with really good stories. If you pay $10 for a movie ticket, the theater keeps half. This means that if they spend $50 million producing a movie, they have to do $100 million at the box office. If you go to IMDB or boxofficemojo you will see that a lot of films aren't doing that = opportunity. Heads will roll until they find a new profitable formula. People like Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity 4- gross at least 9 times production budget) are paving the new way.