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December 28, 2012
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I need a book on Story Writing and Structure?

:iconrobertc009:
robertc009 Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012
I've been trying to find a good book on writing stories but I can't find any that suit what I'm looking for, what I'm looking for the book to contain is this:


Basic story structure, beginning middle end, etc

Story Plots and how subplots work, different types of plots and examples from a modern source such as different movies etc

Different types of conflict (internal, external etc) and some modern examples

A big list of different character archetypes (e.g. Hero, Villain etc) and how they are used

Different types of Story Themes and morals for the story

and anything else that is useful for someone who is a beginner at story writing


I've found a couple of websites that have some of the bits I need, but different websites have different ideas and theories of story writing that conflict with each other, I need one that can help me write a story/script for an animated movie

So of anyone could recommend a decent book for a beginner to learn these basics that would be great!
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:iconnicocc98:
Nicocc98 Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012
You should try to search for ebooks and...er...purchase them.
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:iconjulietcaesar:
julietcaesar Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schmidt was something I picked up at my local library and was quite useful in explaining all the basic story structures that underpin the majority of stories out there. I've seen plenty more around, so I'd advise you to head out to your library and browse the books available. If your library uses the Dewey Decimal System, then 808.3 (808 thereabouts) is the section for writing books dealing with structure and story archetypes. Hope that helps!
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:iconlucy-merriman:
Lucy-Merriman Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012  Student General Artist
Mmkay, so how to write a story, like a short story, is different from a film script, and both of those are different from a novel.

If you want to write a novel, the single best, most helpful book I've ever read on the subject was How Not To Write A Novel by Howard Mittlemark and Sandra Newman. It has a lot of insight on plot structure in a longer work, and talks about things like characters and hooks. The best thing about it? It's funny, clever, and well-written, all of which make me feel confident that the writers know what they're talking about.

It doesn't, however, have a big list of character archetypes. You know what does, and is absolutely free? Tvtropes.org. Tvtropes.org is the best internet resource ever when it comes to dissecting stories (whether from books, movies, or tv) and figuring out why they work. Here's an index page on character archetypes: [link] They also have pages for practically any other device possibly used in stories, as well as pages dedicated to favorite shows, books, comics, and games.

However, if you really want to buy a book, I'd recommend the book Characters and Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card. It's part of the series called "Write Great Fiction," which includes titles like Plot and Structure by James Bell, Dialogue by Gloria Kempton, and Description and Setting by Ron Rozelle. However, I personally have only read Characters and Viewpoint, and it was helpful to me; that's the only one of the series I can recommend based on personal experience.

Lastly, if you really want to learn to write better, maybe see if any of your favorite authors have published a book or a series of articles on writing?
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:iconrobertc009:
robertc009 Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012
Thanks! The book on "Plot and Structure" seems like it might help me out a lot, also the list of archetypes might come in useful
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:iconlucy-merriman:
Lucy-Merriman Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Student General Artist
Glad I could help! Good luck with your writing :)
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:icondorianharper:
DorianHarper Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012  Professional Writer
If you look for any of the Writers' Digest books, I'm sure there will be something that can help! They have hundreds of books for every stage of the writing process from planning a novel up to publishing it. The next time you go to a book store, check the writing and publishing section and see what there is ;)
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:iconbrian-garabrant:
Brian-Garabrant Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Well a book could probably tell you, but it's like anything else that takes practice. Reading a medical book won't tech me to be a surgeon, and the same for a writer.
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:iconbrian-garabrant:
Brian-Garabrant Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
These seem like things you learn from experience, not a book.
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:iconsambev:
Sambev Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That's a hard order to fill. But, these books might get you on the right track: Writing for Dummies and Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft. But, honestly, the only things you need to know about writing are basic details about plot, setting, and character. Good writers don't decide to insert archetypes, morals, and themes into their story. First, the writer is inspired by their vision for a story, who their characters will be, and what the major plot happenings are, and then they write and all those tropes of writing appear naturally just on the basis of the human condition. Additionally, the linear plot is kind of a dying breed in a postmodern writing industry, so it's better to follow your intuition and let the story structure forge itself. Let your imagination lead the way. Once you have a draft, then you can think about more of these things.

I think you're at a unique advantage as a writer since you're not burdened with writing rules to slow down or stunt your writing. So, I would consider just writing before learning, and then coming back to education yourself after you've discovered your own unique, raw style. If you're wondering why my opinion might count. It doesn't :D. I got my BA in English and Writing with an Education Concentration, studied minority fiction from the United States and postmodernism. Now I teach students in 3rd through 6th grade at a public school.

Anyway, I hope one of those two books might help. This one is a favorite of mine, although it bypasses many of the basics you're looking for. But, I've read it cover to cover and still refer to it for insight: Extreme Fiction
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:iconrobertc009:
robertc009 Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012
Thanks! The books look interesting, but it's made me think that maybe I need a book more targeted towards screenwriting rather than writing a novel, if I ever get stuck with my writing I'll be sure to come to you
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