Monday, October 31, 2016

Book Review: Story Genius by Lisa Cron

ISBN: 1607748908
Published: August 9th, 2016
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Received: Blogging for Books
Read from September 12th to 18th, 2016
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Following on the heels of Lisa Cron's breakout first book, Wired for Story, this writing guide reveals how to use cognitive storytelling strategies to build a scene-by-scene blueprint for a riveting story.
Story Genius is a foolproof program that saves writers from penning hundreds of pages only to realize that something's not working and they have to start again. Informed by story consultant Lisa Cron's science-based insights into how story structure is built into the architecture of the brain, this guide shows writers how to plumb the nitty-gritty details of their raw idea to organically generate a story scene by scene. Once writers reach the end of Cron's program, they will have both a blueprint that works and plenty of compelling writing suitable for their finished novel--allowing them to write forward with confidence.


This book is unlike many of the writing books I've read in the past in that it lays out steps to take to follow a very specific writing process. Most of the books I've picked up about writing in the past offer general advice instead of laying out a direct method.

In the beginning, I was skeptical of how much information from Cron's book I would actually use, but by fairly early in, she had managed to win me over quite a bit. For one thing, I enjoy her writing style. It made just reading the book pleasurable. But, also, I enjoyed quite a lot of her ideas about how to brainstorm for the book, how to outline/blueprint using scene cards, and how to use those to write your story. It's a more detailed method than I have often used in the past, and her method sounds more organized than I often am about it all.

Needless to say, I was won over, and I have decided to start from scratch with a novel I was working on and was currently unhappy with. I'm going to trash what I had (not literally because I can't bring myself to delete so much work), and I'm going to start over with the method in this book. Actually, I've already started as we speak. It will be a fairly long process, of course, but we'll see how it all works out. Maybe I'll decide that it's too detailed for me and abandon it.

For now, though, I find this method appealing, and I also enjoy Cron's writing style. I would recommend this book to any other writers out there for both of those reasons. Her method won't be right for everyone, but I do think it could be very helpful, especially to newer writers who really need help with how to flesh out their plans for a story.

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

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