- Paperback: 170 pages
- Publisher: Libertary Company; Reprint edition (January 11, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0984178627
- ISBN-13: 978-0984178629
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 154 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #766,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Invisible Ink: A Practical Guide to Building Stories that Resonate Paperback – January 11, 2010
An Amazon Book with Buzz: "Ghosted"
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Invisible ink goes into great detail about the aspects of story telling that usually isn't apparent, the parts that are planned and guide and build the story without necessarily actually being a part of the story. Sub text and so on. While it might be apparent from the get go what makes this useful for a writer, it might not be so apparent what makes this useful for a reader. The truth is that this is maybe the best tool for getting enjoyment out of reading I've ever read. This book has some very simple concepts that will be relayed to you in a simple manner which does not presume you have any background in writing at all. Anyone will be able to follow and understand the concepts and the way the book builds on those concepts to deliver more makes it all the more accessible. If you enjoy stories, movies, books, comics.. You should read this book because you'll get way more out of them after reading this book than you did before.
One of the main concepts of this book is that stories should have a simple theme and follow them. This book is itself non-fiction, and yet it even follows that concept. The theme of having a theme is the glue that basically puts every concept together. The book will keep revisiting this theme itself and and further cement why it is important. Additionally in doing so the subject matter is easier for the reader to retain (I took notes while reading and plan to read again, but you by no means have to go through such lengths). If you've ever read a book, or watched a show and thought something was especially well done or bothered you, but couldn't quite put your finger on why, this book makes it clear.
As far as flow this book though non fiction really feels like a page turner. Through use of example and relating it back to stories you're familiar with, the lessons flow from the pages not like a lecture, but rather like you are actually watching an entertaining movie itself. Never a time did I find the material dry or especially difficult to trudge through. Finishing this book is something you could do quickly or savor it and re-reading potential, in order to retain more is quite high.
I do have one complaint and the author knew this would happen as he addresses it in the book. There is a time when he uses a gender tag for a concept that I personally wonder if it was a necessary way to describe the concept. He insists it is and spends a bit of time defending it in his work, but it felt a tiny bit like a distraction to me. I know some readers have found that section to be too much and stopped reading, but I personally think they missed out. It's a minuscule nitpick and for such an accomplished writer whose book is so extraordinary, I think we should forgive that section even if we don't entirely agree with it. I personally thought the content was spot on, just the labeling bothered me a tad. Small price to pay for this masterpiece book and I for one defer to the author's wisdom.
So in conclusion, who is this book for? Everyone. There is no one who could not benefit from the knowledge contained and it even reads a little like a fun little fiction. If you don't read this book you are seriously missing out.
It means the storytelling craft that has nothing to do with stringing words together and everything to do with dramatization -- with conveying an emotional understanding of an intellectual idea or theme. Invisible Ink is one of the very best books I've come across at conveying this.
Invisible Ink is an incredibly insightful book, but more than that, it is breathtakingly concise and clear. In fact, the one negative review you'll likely find on this book mostly dings it because it is such a slim work. Frankly, that reviewer is... well, I won't call him an idiot, but I think he'll do nicely until a real idiot comes along. The kind of clarity and concision on display is breathtakingly hard to achieve and only comes after years, if not decades of pondering, working with, and internalizing ideas and concepts. And lucky you gets to come along and pluck all that insight and wisdom through the course of an evening of easy reading.
But only if you buy the book...
So, If you already have your structure, this won't help much but there are some little things that are interesting (such as character clones) which may make you see things in a slightly different way. If you have an idea and need it fleshed out more, it's a pretty decent and inexpensive book to help you out with that. Well worth the $5 in my eyes.