The Anatomy of Story by John Truby
This was the book that made story click in my mind for the first time and allowed me to finish a manuscript I felt was worth publishing. The best part is, although John Truby works in Hollywood and fixes scripts for a living, he doesn’t rely on 3 act structure. Hearing this and following along allowed me the freedom to accept that I too don’t write in a 3 act structure and that was okay. I’d always worried I was wrong in my approach.
“John Truby is one of the most respected and sought-after story consultants in the film industry, and his students have gone on to pen some of Hollywood’s most successful films, including Sleepless in Seattle, Scream, and Shrek. Based on the lessons in his award-winning class, Great Screenwriting, The Anatomy of Story reveals all his secrets for writing a compelling script. The book draws on a broad range of concepts and archetypes from philosophy and mythology, offering fresh techniques and insightful anecdotes alongside Truby’s own unique approach to building an effective, multifaceted narrative. The foundations of story that he lays out are so fundamental that they are applicable─and essential─to all writers, from novelists and short-story writers to journalists, memoirists, and those interested in narrative nonfiction.”