- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Writer's Digest Books (2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1582973253
- ISBN-13: 978-1582973258
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 57 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #317,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Story Structure Architect: A Writer's Guide to Building Dramatic Situations and Compelling Characters
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About the Author
The author of 45 Master Characters, Victoria Lynn Schmidt, Ph.D. holds degrees in film production and creative writing and also has a Ph.D. in psychology. Victoria also works locally as a story analyst and writer.
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This book's attempt to catalog those fundamental elements of story structure makes it a worthy addition to any writer's library. As I read, I ran across a number of conflict elements that I had used but needed to explore more fully in my novel.
I only had a few minor issues with the book. First, the author seemed to be pushing new age metaphysics a bit. And she's free to do that. But it was a distraction to me. In a reference work like this, I suppose I expected a more objective tone.
Second, there seemed to be too much overlap between some of the structures, as if the Polti structure was simply being expressed in more positive terms, but not really fundamentally different. I feel this may have something to do with the feminism subplot in this book, which I think sees the older story structures in Polti as too deeply rooted in patriarchy, and therefore in need of a feminist re-imagining.
This is interesting to me, because in my story I am addressing both shallow feminism and shallow patriarchy as twin evils, on the premise that the human condition cannot be so easily categorized, that truly universal truth, the truth that really sets you free, plays out in ways that both recognize and transcend gender.
Which is why I wish the book had taken a more objective approach. But others may be ok with an advocacy approach. Either way you look at it, a careful reader will get great benefit from this thoughtful body of work.
Personally, I have 3 copies -- 1 I highlight, 1 I keep at home and 1 I keep at work. I have also given this book as gifts to 7 friends, one which is a published author who gives seminars that has thanked me several times for the book.
The mechanics of structuring a great story will no longer be a time consuming process. Just make some decisions about the type of story you want to write, and then let your creative thoughts run wild. No matter whether you're experienced, intermediate, or novice, you'll be able to write intriguing stories much quicker and more accurately.
Any experienced writer who reads this book will wish they had this book when they got started. Novice writers get a bonus of starting off right in the beginning. Intermediate writers will refine their writing methods and wish they had it all along.
"Story Structure Architect" is a must read for writers. It'll make your writing life a lot easier and give it a gleeming touch!
Having had trouble with my first three novel projects in terms of plot and structure, this has completed solved my stuck-ness with my fourth project.
Can't recommend it highly enough.