Writers Don’t Need No Storytelling Advice

As may have become evident by my previous posts, I’m a girl obsessed with story: the format, the plot, the characters, when to reveal what, how to reveal it, and the list goes on. I’ve read extensively on story creation and the techniques of storytelling and something I’ve always found fascinating is that the vast majority of books on storytelling are by filmmakers/screen writers, and not fiction or non-fiction authors. Weird, huh?

Even one of the few books I found on storytelling for writers of actual books, Wired for Story, is written by someone who has TV experience. Sidenote: while this book was very interesting, I found it odd that a book about how to grab people had one of the longest, clunkiest subtitles I’ve ever seen – the official title is Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence. Let me tell you, that’s not a title that hooked me.

The books for traditional writers tend to be more on writing technique, language usage, and where to find inspiration. These are all important things, but, and I could be wrong here, isn’t learning about storytelling also important for, you know, telling a story? I’m sure many authors read the storytelling books for film and apply the information to their own writing, but I just thought I’d put this little oddity that I’ve discovered over the years out there.

To finish, here’s Andrew Stanton, a filmmaker for Pixar, giving his awesome TED talk on the subject of how to tell a story. It’s pretty awesome. It’ll brighten your day, trust me.

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